B2B marketing automation software is a powerful tool which has definitely changed the marketers approach. At the same time, there are not as many tools with which B2C marketers can use for their daily tasks.
This is the reason why there are a lot of B2C companies which are trying to use a traditional B2B marketing automation software approach for their B2C marketing needs. The key problem is that all of these tools were created for a variety of business processes and needs (e.g. lead nurturing, scoring, etc).
A ton of marketers are trying to implement these tools to solve their day to day problems for two reasons:
- They want to automate their routine tasks as much as possible.
- Even if the tool doesn’t fit all of your needs, it’s still better than using varying tools for each aspect of your tasks (e.g. ESP for sending emails, internal database as a CRM, etc).
The difference between B2B and B2C marketer needs.
The key differences lie within the different business processes.
The first big issue is in the process of making the final decision. In the case of the B2B sales cycle, you’ll work with companies who spend a lot of time in order to make the right choice. It usually takes from a few days up to one year to make a decision. In B2C cases, customers spend from a few seconds up to few days to make a decision.
The second big difference is how people will make this decision. In the case of the B2B sales cycle, people usually discuss your offer with their colleagues. That is why you need to prepare a large amount of content and other materials to support this process. Your offer could be wrapped in a big article which describes all of your advantages and detailed descriptions on how your product works. Opposite to B2B, in the B2C scenario, customers will meet your offer and will make a decision within a few moments.
The third big difference is in the communication process. In the B2C sales cycle, you can’t just pull out your phone and call your customer. It’ll be too expensive. All you can do is communicate with your clients over emails, text messages, or through your site. Even if it’s your top 5% of clients. You also cannot get feedback and change your strategy based on your client’s words.
Fourth, some key things are how your clients work with you after their first purchase. In B2B cases, companies usually use account managers to support their clients. In a case where you sell pizza, the second order of your current client is still pretty much the same as the first one, and you can’t use a lot of human resources.
The fifth big difference is in the client’s identification. Let’s say you sell houses (which is a B2C process, but works as a B2B sales cycle). When clients come to your office you have a special manager who knows this client personally. In the case where you sell pizza, you can’t hire dedicated managers for your clients. More than that it’s very difficult to link your pizzeria visitors to their profiles on the internet.
So, what’s the best marketing automation platform for B2C?
There are a few simple ideas on how to improve marketing tools and fit them to the B2C marketer needs.
Choosing the right product.
Traditionally B2C companies use their internal software (such as a website databases like a CRM) or separate tools for separate tasks (e.g. ESP for sending emails) to utilize their marketing strategy. Usually, this approach blends in with the IT department’s problems. Traditionally companies don’t have dedicated developers for marketing tasks. As a result, marketing tasks are last in line to be accomplished.
There still aren’t as many solutions for B2C companies (like it’s for B2B companies). But a few of them still exist.
What is the primary additional value in the customer’s’ decision-making process?
In both the B2C and B2B sales cycle, you cannot achieve wonderful results without a good product. Let’s suppose you already have a great product. So, how can you increase your sales?
Opposite to the B2B sales process where clients prefer to learn everything about your product in details (and this is why the content you produce is so important), the B2C sales cycle clients respond to pretty simple marketing offers (bonus points, discounts, special promotions).
That’s the reason why loyalty programs can be centralized in B2C marketing automation software.
Marketing automation software is about automation.
One of the key reason why marketers want to use MAT is because it helps them to automate their routine tasks. If you will solve your routine tasks you’ll be able to think about next-level things such as strategy, a/b tests, and optimizations.
More than that. In the case of B2B, MAT companies usually just have one process (“first sale”). In the case of B2C, there are a bunch of processes. So, B2C should be very flexible in order to fit and customize to your internal processes.
That’s the reason why all tools (e.g. communication tools, loyalty tools, CRM, etc.) should be integrated with each other.
What you could expect in result
Based on our clients’ results after implementation of a B2C marketing automation software, on average, companies will achieve a 19% increase in ROI for all marketing activities. Particularly great results are with the combination of the right loyalty program and communication strategy.
That’s why you need to try it.