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Stairway To B2C Strategies

Dear B2B, You’re not Ready for B2C Strategy

It’s clear the lines between B2B and B2C are blurring more with each day. While not nearly as widespread as in the B2C space, approaches like personalization, customer centricity, and buyer enablement are becoming more common in B2B practices. Despite this gap slowly closing, B2B organizations are still struggling to make a clear connection between B2C strategies and what they directly solve for their buyers. 


The pressure to adopt these tactics stems from B2B buyers expecting the same level of service and convenience they enjoy in their personal lives, as well as simply wanting a decent experience. They’re tired of overly complicated checkouts, inaccurate pricing, and shipping options — to name a few. However, B2B companies are not ready for this change. 


Before attempting to incorporate any B2C strategies, organizations need to address the underlying issues within their operations and acknowledge the fundamental differences between B2B and B2C. Only then can B2B companies begin the process of integrating and tailoring B2C strategies.


Spot the Difference 

Making B2C tactics work in a B2B world requires companies to recognize each sector’s unique characteristics. B2C companies are consistently dynamic, dedicated to innovation, and eager to embrace the newest technologies. The majority of B2C purchases are quick, impulsive transactions often based on factors like emotion, price, or convenience. 


On the other hand, many B2B companies are slow, if not completely resistant, when it comes to adopting new processes and technologies. Although this is gradually shifting, it’s common for B2B companies to have a “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” mentality. This attitude is driven by the assumption that their buyers have nowhere else to go for the products or services they need. While this belief may be true in some circumstances, it often isn’t the case and results in customers turning to competitors. 


B2B sales is inherently more complex as well, with products often having numerous variations and buyers needing to meet a very particular set of specifications. Not to mention, B2B buyers are often purchasing large, bulk orders. The buying process is also much longer, requiring a period of in-depth research and the approval of several individuals before a purchase can be completed. Yet, these layers of complexity aren’t stopping B2B buyers from demanding better experiences.


The Elephant in the Room

Before adopting any B2C strategies, it’s critical you address any longstanding challenges or problems that your organization is already facing. If you fail to resolve these issues, the performance of your B2C tactics will be directly affected. Issues like incomplete data and outdated technology solutions will not only hold your enterprise back in the long run, but also prevent you from successfully implementing new strategies, B2C or otherwise. For instance, a recent survey of 1,000 companies found that 75% of B2B buyers who purchase online cited concerns about accurate pricing, web page load times, and customer support. Solving these issues first will position your enterprise for long-term success by creating a strong foundation for future strategies and improving your overall customer experience. 


Tackling these challenges will require a shift in organizational mindset. B2B businesses will need to fundamentally change the way they work in order to take advantage of the benefits new strategies and technologies can deliver. This can include having a more proactive approach to technology as well as fostering alignment and collaboration across departments and teams. Recognizing the need for this change, many B2B companies are taking action, with one survey finding 79% of executives are aggressively investing in technologies that enable a better customer experience. While making this type of investment is a necessary step, it must be part of a sustained effort with continuous commitment from the entire organization to foster innovation in both their processes and people. 


Don’t Copy & Paste

A deep understanding of your customers is essential to applying B2C strategies. They key to unlocking detailed, customer insights? High-quality data. A strong, centralized, data strategy that can provide a comprehensive view of your customer journey will be paramount in pinpointing where B2C strategies can deliver the most value to your customers. Achieving this will require the participation of multiple departments.


Your enterprise may be operating in formidable silos where this level of engagement may feel impossible. In this case, you’ll need a leader or team to champion a more holistic approach to customer experience. If you’re still unsure who should spearhead this change, connect with our experts. TMG has extensive experience leading the charge and aligning organizations towards an improved customer experience. 


How do you tailor B2C strategies to your buyers? TMG’s SVP of Experience, Paul McAleer, stresses conducting qualitative – including generative –  and quantitative research. This process will inform not only your customer experience strategy, but product development as well. By determining how and where to invest your time and resources, in-depth research ensures you choose the B2C strategies that will yield the best results. 


Navigating the opportunities B2C strategies offer begins with B2B companies cultivating a mindset that embraces change and innovation. Without this shift, new strategies and technologies will always be met with hesitation, keeping your enterprise frozen in place while the rest of your industry moves forward. The success of B2C strategies also hinges on having a nuanced understanding of your customers and their journey, informed by data and research. 


Applying B2C strategies within a B2B context is more intricate than it may have originally seemed, but consider it a wake-up call. Priming your organization for B2C strategies will provide you with the tools to achieve growth: data and research backed insights, a more engaged organization, and newfound commitment to digital agility and adaptability. These three areas also happen to be our strong suits. For a strategic roadmap and expert advice in building a foundation for sustainable success, consider partnering with TMG

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Cameron Beltran
Cameron Beltran
July 11, 20246 minute read
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