Without marketing, your products won’t sell, and no one will use your services. Marketing is necessary, and it costs time and money to do. Having a good general understanding of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing will help you avoid expensive mistakes and maximize returns on your investment.
In this short article, you’ll discover the basics of B2C marketing, the terminology, and B2C marketing tips developed by successful marketers that will help you do well in the new digital age of online marketing.
What Is B2C Marketing?
B2C marketing creates, advertises, and sells products and services used in daily life directly to customers.
In the past, B2C marketers used interruptive advertising to attract attention and spark an emotional response in consumers to increase sales. Today, most successful B2C sellers have changed to using content to engage people’s emotions while educating them and building brand awareness.
B2C Marketing Tips
B2C marketing has been around long enough to work out established, successful practices that will help increase sales. Knowing to whom you’re selling is the first step.
Know Your Customers
Creating customer profiles for each group or type of customer lets you send those people the material they will respond to best. Discover more about grouping customers in the section below about segmenting.
When building a customer group to profile, look for things they have in common that you can use to attract their interest. If you’re selling hiking boots, customers might come from all age groups but share common interests in nature and hiking problems. You can create articles and videos about hiking trails in your area, common remedies for blisters, and boosting energy while hiking. Customers who read your blog will come to your brand for solutions to their problems and begin to place their trust in you.
Map Your Customer Journey
Understanding how customers move through your sales process lets you see their journey to buying what you’re selling. This helps you present the best content at each stage to move them to the next step.
The four stages customers go through are:
Awareness — customers discover you through advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, or word-of-mouth
Engagement — customers come to your store, signs up for your email list, or interact on social media
Transaction — you make the sale
Retention — customers like your brand and become repeat customers
Your customer map details how you will accomplish each stage in your customers’ journey.
Use Content Marketing
Content marketing is different from traditional advertising. It’s more subtle and educational while being less intrusive.
You can establish your brand as the go-to expert and stay in people’s minds as the best solution to their problems by creating and sharing articles, images, videos, social media posts, and other media. A piece of content may not even mention your brand. It may seek only to build awareness that will create interest.
Apple’s Shot On iPhone campaign is an excellent example of content marketing versus traditional advertising. Instead of displaying ads saying, “Buy an iPhone,” the focus was on glorious photos taken with iPhones that appeared on billboards and social media. The distinction is subtle but appreciated by today’s ad-fatigued customers.
Ninety-two percent of businesses saw content as an asset in 2021. Modern consumers want to be entertained, educated, and delighted on any device they use. They are no longer interested in being interrupted by ads because they have the power to click away instantly. Building brand awareness with killer content has become a necessity.
Build an Email List
People like getting emails. Seventy-two percent of customers say email is their favorite way to get business communications. Email is a quick, cheap, and reliable way to keep your brand in customers’ minds.
Use Social Media
When you build your customer profiles, find out where they hang out on social and what type of content works best on that platform. For Facebook posts, use text, images, short videos, and infographics. On Twitter, you have a concise 280 text characters to get your message across. Use images for Pinterest and Instagram and produce great videos for YouTube.
Getting a person’s first name early on lets you use it to personalize all future communication. Customers feel like you care about them when you do. Dividing your customers into segments or groups lets you take personalization to the next level by addressing group interests and pain points.
B2C Marketing Terms
Here are some frequently used terms in B2C marketing.
A/B Testing means creating two or more versions of headlines or ads and displaying them to segments of the same group to see which version performs best.
Analytics measures how traffic moves through your site and what actions visitors take. Google Analytics is helpful.
Application Programming Interface (API) is a piece of code that you easily add to your site, which enables it to interact with software. PayPal and MailChimp are examples of valuable services for online B2C marketers that use API to connect to websites.
Blogging enables you to create content to communicate with your customers.
Email Marketing means growing and selling to a list of email addresses you work with using an ESP (email service provider) like MailChimp. Email is so effective that 89% of marketers use it for lead generation.
Organic Search is free advertising. People find your content on Google by searching for specific keywords.
Paid Search ads appear above, below, and sometimes on the right side of organic search results.
PPC Pay-per-click ads are the most common form of internet advertising. You pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Prices range from a few cents to $430 for highly competitive keywords.
PPI Pay-per-impression ads are popular on mobile devices. You pay for the number of times your ad is displayed based on units of 1000.
Pain Points Finding customer pain points means understanding their problem from their point of view. Then you can position what you’re selling as the solution.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is excellent for getting found by customers. Google is king.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) creates content around keywords and builds links to your content. Typical SEO content is blog posts, YouTube videos, and pages on your website.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) works well to grow brand awareness and word-of-mouth on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
While B2C marketers usually aim at single shoppers, B2B (business-to-business) marketers are more interested in selling to companies with bigger budgets. Let’s explore some more differences. You know about Nike, North Face, and Samsung. But have you heard of MailChimp, Royal Brinkman, or eWorldtrade?
That’s because the first group is all B2C companies selling to the public — directly to the people who use their products. They advertise to large market groups (segments) who use personal items like clothing, food, and toiletries.
The second group is all B2B marketers selling to other businesses. They focus on generating leads and building personal relationships to make significant sales that they can repeat. Product examples include industrial printers, accounting software, and communications apps like Zoom.
Another critical difference is emotional versus logical sales presentations. B2C marketers usually need to make a large number of sales. Because amounts are small, the individual buyers often make impulsive decisions based on emotion. You get the sale if the consumer feels good because they like and are familiar with your marketing content.
B2B sellers often focus on making fewer sales of higher-priced items. Because the dollar amounts are higher and more decision-makers are involved, B2B builds a logical case based on price, quality, problem-solving, and service. Developing close, trusted personal connections with decision-makers is often critical for success in B2B marketing.
Business-to-consumer means selling your products or services to the end-user or consumer. Examples of B2C are restaurants, retailers, convenience stores, and providers of consumer services like hotels, public transport, health care, and financial services.
In marketing, segmentation means dividing your customers into groups because different people respond to different types of content. People who like to skim through a blog post quickly won’t take the time to watch a video, while still others prefer an image or an infographic.
You’ll also find different groups on all of the social media platforms. Segmenting is all about being able to show the best-performing content on a platform for a particular group of customers.
In B2C marketing, seven types of segmenting are effective. Understanding and using them increases your ad and content marketing profits. Facebook Ads has excellent tools. Here are the top segmentation buckets:
Geographic is about where people are. The Google Local Business function does an excellent job matching queries with nearby businesses.
Demographics are about individual traits like age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, and job type.
Psychographics are lifestyles, hobbies, and beliefs.
Behavioral is about your customers’ spending, purchasing, and browsing habits, loyalty to, and interactions with your brand.
Generational grouping separates baby boomers and generations X, Y, and Z into four groups.
Life stage refers to marital status, number and ages of children, and homeownership status.
Transactional means what other interactions they’ve had with your business.
Goals With B2C Marketing
The main goal of B2C marketing is to get more consumers to buy your products and services. To increase sales, be aware of how to use these four lesser goals:
Raise brand awareness by having the same brand voice everywhere.
Increase engagement through interactive, shareable content.
Create customer evangelists — word-of-mouth is the most effective advertising.
Boost customer loyalty because it’s easier and cheaper to sell to existing customers than to find new ones.
If this feels like a lot to do, the professionals at Scorpion can help you anytime with marketing services and ensure that your business navigates B2C marketing with ease. See what they can do for you today!