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In the red corner, we’ve got the overly emotional, benefit driven, impulse buying, often imitated, but never replicated B2C marketing. And in the blue corner, we’ve got the highly rational, but oh so boring, features driven, logical, and rational, but takes forever to make a decision B2B marketing. Both have a time and a place. And that time and place is here and now. So let’s get to it. (upbeat rock music) Hey there, my name is Adam Erhart and welcome to the Modern Marketing Show, where we help you make marketing that matters. So if you’re interested in learning about the latest and greatest marketing strategies, tools, tips, tricks, and tactics, well, ya may wanna consider subscribing (bell chiming) and hitting that
little notification bell. Now before we dive into the meat and potatoes about B2B versus B2C, we need to make sure that we’re operating from the same definition, so let’s quickly cover that first. First up is B2B or business to business. Now this is a business that operates by selling its products to other businesses, kinda self explanatory.
And the same thing pretty much goes for B2C or business to consumer, which is a business that operates by selling its products or services directly to consumers. Now when I first got started in marketing, I got to learn all about the B2C market first. This is what most people think about when they see an ad on TV or hear something on the radio or see something online. My introduction to B2B marketing, however, came from one of the worst places possible to learn about it, a textbook. I remember like it was yesterday, sitting, staring, and quickly losing focus on what I was supposed to be concentrating on and my textbook soon becoming my pillow for the next 45 minutes, but it’s hard to blame myself looking back.
After all, my B2B marketing textbook was filled with such amazingly exciting chapters like Organizational Buying Behavior, Supply Chain Management, Inter-Firm Relationships and Networks, Relationship Portfolios and Key Account Management, and who could ever forget the classic, Segmenting The Business Market and Estimating Segment Demand. I remember thinking to myself, “What is this stuff?” At the point I was taking this class, I had already been studying marketing for years, had built a successful agency and was already consulting some of the best and brightest minds in the marketing from all over the world. I’d also already worked in sales and marketing for years in both B2B and B2C industries and sold everything from shoes all the way up to airplanes, and I knew the concepts that they were talking about in the textbook were really just written for academia. Big words and concepts just to sound interesting, but with little real world application. Sure, there were some good gems in there and some important takeaways to learn, but even for a self-confessed marketing geek, this was just too much and nobody ever built a business studying Inter-Firm Relationships and Networks.
Here’s the thing, whether B2B or B2C, marketing is marketing. And marketing is little more than communicating how your business, your product or your service can help solve your customers’ problems. Don’t over complicate it. The whole B2B versus B2C thing really confuses things by suggesting that each requires its own set of strategies and tactics and underlying principles. Now, before I suggest a better alternative to comparing which one, B2B or B2C, let’s first take a quick look at the differences between them. Now business to business industries typically have the following traits in common. They have fewer customers, larger orders, higher value orders, longer decision time, and in general, a longer relationship is formed. B2C businesses on the other hand, typically have more customers, smaller orders, lower value orders, shorter decision times, and a shorter or transactional relationship time. Now, obviously there are exceptions to the rule, like in some cases, B2B businesses might have smaller priced items and some B2C businesses might have higher priced items, but in general, the criteria work pretty darn well. Basically, B2B marketing typically focuses on fewer, but bigger customers, and B2C marketing, on more, but smaller customers.
This means for B2B type marketing, you’re gonna have a little more incentive to put a little more punch behind your pitch because you’re gonna have to market to fewer customers. And if you’re B2C type marketing, well, you’re gonna wanna make sure that your message has a little bit more of a broader appeal ’cause you’re gonna wanna appeal to more customers. But here’s where people and those textbooks start to go oh so wrong. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, here’s the cold hard truth. People like doing business with people, not businesses, So even when we’re talking about massive, nameless, and faceless corporations, it’s still people behind those businesses that are making the purchasing decision. Which means it doesn’t make a lot of sense to toss out common sense and replace it by businessing up your marketing. This is especially true today where customers, whether B2B or B2C, have become increasingly skeptical, jaded, and cynical of marketing in general.
They’ve seen it all and they’ve been burned way too many times by spammy marketing, hyped up claims, and over-promising and under delivering. Fortunately, there is an alternative and one that’s easier, more effective, and a whole lot more fun, too. That alternative is to all but completely abandon the constructs of B2B or B2C and choose instead to embrace human to human or H2H marketing.
Originally coined by Bryan Kramer, human to human or H2H marketing is pretty much exactly what is sounds like; marketing like a genuine, authentic person. This means removing inauthentic, stiff, and rigid marketing messages and choosing instead to replace them with genuine bonafide human communication, in all its messy and beautiful glory. This means more smartphone videos and less Hollywood production. Oh, hey there. More conversation style email marketing and less personality-devoid business talk. It means completely eliminating words like synergy from all of your marketing and replacing them instead with words that people actually use, maybe like cooperation or working together.
It means actually caring about the person on the other end of the call, or the email, or the social media post. And it means not treating customers like products, or assets, or a means to an end, or rather, the end itself. But above all, it means being human and seeking to serve the people in the best way you can. And when you do this with good intentions because you really can’t fake this stuff, well, a funny thing starts to happen. You’ll find your marketing becomes way more effective. It also becomes way more fun and a lot easier to create. And you’ll find that your audience will start to overlook any tiny flaws or errors that you may have made in the past that people quickly jumped on; typos, bad hair days, too many ums, ahs, whatever! People are a lot more willing to forgive other people when they recognize that they have the best intentions at heart. Some of the best B2B and B2C marketing that I’ve ever created and ever seen have gracefully walked the line between being professional, but approachable, authentic, but engaged, and results-driven, but people-driven first.
Because authenticity and being truly human doesn’t mean sacrificing professionalism. Whether B2B or B2C, results matter, but people matter more. Alright, so thanks so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed the episode. If so, make sure to give it a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel, and if you have any comments or questions about this episode, make sure to leave them in the comments section below. Also, for more great marketing strategies, tools, tips, tricks, and tactics, make sure to head over to adamerhart.com which is packed full of all sorts of different resources and articles and videos to really help take your business and your marketing to the next level and way beyond that. So thanks so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on the Modern Marketing Show. .
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I mean when you think about technology as part of the solution it’s not everything right and I know Mariana you and I yesterday talked about this issue of process product people how’s that working for you what’s top of mind for you as it relates to kind of Chris’s comments right right well I find that the technology is moving faster than I think the people are in adopting it and using it the most effective ways I think what helps are having key performance indicators that you align around so analytics that you would you know lying around in sales and marketing and other organizations that care but I find that one of the challenges is getting large numbers of people to adopt to new ways of working even when
you align to analytics yeah you you’re both from kind of large organizations so that alignment is even more of a something you have considering right yeah I know Traci you actually wrote the book on kind of account patient marketing sales and marketing alignment what do you think about whether what are you seeing and how do you think that maps to the comments from Mariana and Chris yeah I mean we have the same challenges just on a smaller scale that we’re more of a mid-market sized company we are all in on a VM Nate especially for our enterprise business not only going after new logo accounts but expanding it in
our customer accounts and that’s really a new way of thinking for marketers I think we always used to be thinking top of funnel and converting new leads into new customers but we’re spending just as much time looking at our customer base and figuring out how to add value as the marketing team yeah in you know Chris we talked earlier about analytics and how critical that is for this you you kind of done a lot of work with analytics at your at your firm yeah I mean we’ve been working hard to sort of really understand what the customer what the customers are looking for and I think you know as marketers it’s very easy to
kind of ignore some of that because it’s a bit geeky it’s a bit dial it’s a bit hard but actually most of your insights come from that data right you know when you actually start looking at that data in a really you know focused fashion you can actually find some really good gems here I’ve made I made a thing when I joined the role that I’m doing to make really good friends with our NPS guru make sure I understood what the cool centers were doing what they were talking about and also what our brokers and clients were talking about so as we could actually focus on the things that really mattered to them and I think you know that the analytics when you start to build these systems and build these platforms then
tell you more stories and then they’re often things that you don’t really realize that are going on so it’s really interesting interesting times right now yeah you know you don’t know what you don’t know until you analytics grab solutely yeah great let’s shift gears slightly we’re at the end or getting close to the end of 2018 so we’re starting to think about 2019 planning and most marketers I speak to or thinking about you know the challenges they’re facing in the year ahead Mariana when you think about what’s coming in 2019 whether it’s technology or training you know what’s top of mind for you as you get ready to think about your next
year and the things ahead yeah we’re we’re still learning how to do integrated marketing so that we can sort of reinforce the core messages around key campaigns versus what used to be called spray-and-pray type of tactics of just going out there so we’re actually still learning how to use all the channels around the key campaign or a key message effectively in an integrated fashion that’s definitely part of what we’re looking at we’re also looking to incorporate some of the AI and machine learning into our outreach in our communications brand is
also a big emphasis but I find that in the day in the age of these you know sort of data-driven efforts which I wholeheartedly support I’m an engineer by training we forget that ultimately engagement matters and engagement with the customer or the consumer or the prospect and that goes back to what is that you bring a value to that relationship so we I keep reminding myself and our teams that we’re still in the human to human interaction yeah your beginner’s mind approach to this AI and the application of it for the sake of your business is a great observation Tracy you are in the part of Silicon Valley yes and in this new
age of everything that Mariana just said about like how do you take advantage of AI let’s take a beginner’s mind approach how do you think about that when it comes to hiring and finding people and the skills you need in in today’s environment yeah Nate talent in and finding the right talent but also grooming the right talent when you have it in your team is so so key I’m really finding the best candidates have a blend of sales and marketing like nothing better than to have a new marketer that’s carried a bag on a sales team or been an SDR there’s a lot more integration happening there I know that I’m trying to do in my group really creating what I call a capital t-shaped marketer where every marketer has
visibility into what’s going on and the different I’d say domains whether it be digital or more personalization or analytics so they can play a better role but a lot of that’s on us as leaders to train right and so using things like trail head or using things like green fig micro education for digital marketing certification I think is really really key yeah that’s great I think Chris you probably have a unique perspective too because you have the the challenge of modern marketing skills combined with the very specific needs of your industry right in the healthcare industry I think an echo an echo tracing to say I think there’s there’s a there’s an added challenge to what we have is you need this you need the generalists to
understand the whole what are we doing why are we doing it and all that kind of stuff but you also need the specialists and to go deep into how to use an email platform how do you use the CRM platform and I think you’re giving that mix is really hard and then layered on top of that we’ve obviously got the financial services experience that we that we always need or want I’m not so sure that that’s you know necessarily a you know an absolute must-have but I think it helps you know in terms of hiring on fire yeah sort of get the right getting the right team together I wanted to add a comment to what you just said regarding
kind of the skills which is you know we keep hearing about STEM jobs right in the market and you should be going after engineering jobs and things like that there’s phenomenal numbers oriented jobs in marketing yeah and you know I think that we’re seeing kind of a new generation of marketer coming up that come up through math and science and are super data-driven there’s phenomenal roles for them in our marketing teams like please people that are data science oriented don’t go somewhere else come look engineer heart right as you grew up it yes oh yes yeah definitely we have marketing as a disciplines
transform I mean and it transformed very quickly it’s become very much in a data based analytics game that balance that I alluded to earlier is important to strike but when I look for what I find when I look for people and I try to fill these very high tech jobs you also need to find people who care about the context right and and the environment they’re in right now kids right right so it’s not that sort of very focused data-driven approach but it’s analytics and the why questions are being continuously asked and they need to ask the right questions is right I think that’s critical you’re not asking the right questions is is a no-no right I think that whole engineering understanding the data getting into the real depths of it it’s really important the name coming but back up again and being able to sort of see the landscape it’s really important right though we are at Dreamforce we’re
gonna we’re almost out of time we’re really excited you all were here thank you so much for coming but we’re at Dreamforce day one what are you most excited about to see or learn or participate in for Dreamforce while we start with you Mariana I love your executive forums I love the roundtables I learn every single year and I get inspired so that all experiences that’s that was great having you yesterday on the CMO council the first one we’ve ever done that Tracy helped us with Chris how about you I think it’s about what’s the art that possible I think here’s a lot of stories out there all Sonny can do this something can do that I think
this is a great place to find out well what it can do and how you can put it all together yeah I love that Tracy I’m excited about the first ever part Akeno I am too which I’m gonna be in the front row and I wanna hear we’re a relatively new part customers so I really want to find out what the best practices are I do I’m so looking forward to you being there tomorrow or Thursday sorry so wrapping up thank you thank you all for being here with us today we are excited to have our b2b marketing keynote that Tracy alluded to it’s Thursday at a.m.
at the Marriott Marquis your point of room nine we have an additional exciting thing we’re doing with the pod up puppies Wednesday from to right outside of minute and fourth Street and last plug for our team is the Pied Piper at the Palace Hotel is everything b2b marketers will see there thank you for having us thank you .
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