B2B (Business to Business) marketing has undergone a greater metamorphosis in the last few years than B2C (Business to Customer) marketing.
The strength of personal charm wears off
Virtually every B2B buyer needs strong support from the potential supplier to be able to somehow respond to the offer. In other words, personal contact should occur in the early stages of purchasing. As we know, the natural consequence of the personal touch is that it begins with a traditional sale – meetings, presentation, lunches – building relationships, in other words. Thus, today you can meet with confidence, especially in the more mature (older) part of the industry that is based practically exclusively on relations, direct marketing and personal contact, and the whole marketing based on the fact that sales supports throughout the procurement process.
We’re made of emotions
There has also been a belief that industry B2B emotions are not very meaningful, because people make rational decisions. From the very beginning, this thesis was strongly suspected, because the sales process and building a relationship is nothing but an act on emotions. It’s been a bit changed by research (which proved that B2B rests largely based on emotions) but only just.
The seller stands at the end of the road
Meanwhile, recent studies indicate that the digital revolution has made it virtually 90% possible for the purchasing customer to do B2B themselves. There is nothing surprising in this, because the digital revolution has meant greater access to information. Instead of calling or asking to meet, we can just use Google and start looking, then read, then ask for a meeting or demo. These changes include changes in the major trends. However, based on these two major trends, you’ll notice some other specific changes in B2B customer behavior.
Debunking B2B myths
This can be reduced to some myths that are no longer valid. B2B customers are no longer older people – the B2B market is getting younger, and many of the people in it can no longer remember a world without the Internet. We can see this even in conservative industries such as finance. It also significantly changes the status quo for the marketer, because these people bring their own „digital” habits to their daily work. They use all kinds of search engines, social media platforms, and corporate services to find out, verify, get an idea and finally make a decision.
B2B is mainly C-level. The world is changing! It is true that C-levels finally sign the contract, but no longer take decisions on their own. They do this with very strong participation from young people who look up information on the Internet. According to surveys it was the „no-c-levels” that had the greatest impact on the purchase of B2B industry.
Search engines promote your company name – your brand. It never hurts to do this, but I believe that making this the main way to reach your target group is more than suspect. From our own experience we know that people trying to find out about a new category for us do not enter phrases associated with a specific company but generic phrases. We do the same if we want to find more than two or three companies we know in the industry. However, you have to be promoted on generic phrases at least as intensively as in phrase records.
Video is not for BB?
On the contrary. Video is a perfect carrier of information, easily digestible, quick and convincing. Therefore, seekers of knowledge about specific solutions go back to videos and consume them quite intensely. To sum up: B2B and video = a successful relationship. Much more accurate data on these trends in B2B Marketing can be found in a study conducted by Google entitled „The Changing Face of B2B Marketing”.
B2B marketing has become incomparably more exciting than ever. Its complexity has increased dramatically due to the saturation of modern technologies. Quite incidentally, I think this is due to the fact that B2B marketers find it easier to make a great organizational and mental leap because it does not suspend their „super-ripe” practice, and the risks are not as large as in the case of B2C.