What's the difference between B2B and B2C? Agency Inc's Nikki Guevarra explains why the gap between the two is closing, and that agencies need to keep it simple.
2020 is the year businesses should finally recognise that the savvy consumer with high standards of customer service, and increasing expectations around information being available at their fingertips, is in fact the same buyer of their B2B solutions and services.
There’s strong evidence that the gap between B2C and B2B is closing. Les Binet and Peter Field have taught us that best practice effectiveness principles in B2C also largely apply to B2B, in many surprising ways.
For example, brand building in B2B is just as effective in driving long-term sales growth as it is in B2C. In fact, B2B investment in brand building is as important as investment in short-term sales activation. Contrary to popular belief, there’s much more of an emotional connection between customers and B2B brands than with B2C. This is because the stakes are much higher in a business environment – make the right decision and you could get promoted, but get it wrong and you could be out of a job. This demonstrates the importance of harnessing emotion through creativity, especially important in business. B2B brands are much more likely to capture the buyer’s attention using emotional messaging, and as a result, deliver greater long-term growth through effective brand building.
But emotional messaging need not be multi-layered and over complicated. Business is complicated enough. B2B brands need to remember to keep it simple. Messaging that’s single-minded, clear and concise will be more easily understood, and more likely to be remembered. As Steve Jobs said: "Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."
This has always been the case in B2C, and B2B is no different.
Likewise, if the message is consistent across all B2B touchpoints, the higher the chance it will stick. Every customer interaction must reflect the brand’s core values, with a consistent personality, voice and behaviours. This ensures not only good CX (Customer Experience), but good BX (Brand Experience) too.
We’ve explored these principles as part of our quest at Agency Inc to aggregate and analyse the most influential in B2B research. We’ve combined this with our own first hand experiences, to present our top eight observations in Agency Inc’s B2B Marketing Trends for 2020 guide.
In a time of rapid convergence of B2C and B2B practices, business marketers need as much order and clarity as possible to stay ahead of the curve.
Agency Inc is an award-winning marketing agency, specialising in B2B. They partner with global clients to deliver strategic and creative solutions across brand, campaigns and content. They make the complicated simple. Download Agency Inc’s B2B Marketing Trends Guide