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The Fundamental Differences of Marketing B2B and B2C

Posted by Liz Papagni in Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

b2b and b2c marketing “Marketing” is such a broad term, isn’t it? Just the word itself brings to mind thoughts of TV commercials, social media accounts, blogs, pay-per-click and display ads, print marketing, and a million other ways to get your brand and products in front of buyers. With so many different options available, you might be tempted to run after the latest trends in an effort to reach as many people as possible. The problem is that Snapchat and Instagram may not be where your buyers are. In fact, you may discover that all of your latest marketing techniques aren’t gaining traction for one very important reason: you’re reaching for the wrong audience. When marketing to businesses, you’ll use different tactics than when marketing to consumers. Those trendy techniques you’re trying fall on deaf ears before no one’s there to hear you. Let’s take a look at the differences between marketing to businesses and consumers so you’ll know where to find your buyers.

Finding Your Audience

Because 79% of all internet users are on Facebook, it’s silly to say that you won’t find B2B buyers on social media. Of course they’re on social media. However, they’re not looking to engage with brands for their business when they’re online. You might spark a bit of brand recognition with an ad on Facebook or Twitter, but those buyers certainly aren’t going to interrupt their personal social time to go make a purchase for their company. No, these buyers are more likely to find your brand after careful research. That’s why good search engine optimization and incredible content on your website is so important for marketing to other businesses. Your B2B customers must be assured of your authority within your field before they’ll consider making a purchase. If you are looking for customers on social networks, those with a more professional tone are more likely filled with potential leads. The most popular, of course, is LinkedIn. Marketing to consumers, however, is different. An ad for makeup, running shoes, or clothing on social media very well could spark a purchase right in the middle of the browsing session. You just have to know where that audience will be on social media. Are your buyers mostly on Facebook or Twitter, or will your ads reach more on Snapchat or Instagram?

Emotions in Purchasing

Some might assume that B2B buyers don’t react based on emotion, but that’s not necessarily the truth. However, the emotions that do prompt a purchase for business buyers will most likely be different than those that inspire consumer purchases. For instance, frustration, fear, relief—these are emotions that might prompt the purchase for a business buyer. After, of course, weeks or even months of research. Everyday consumers, however, are the ones who’ll stop a Facebook session to make a purchase based on an ad they just watched. Some of the same emotions are tapped, specifically fear—as in fear of missing out—while other emotions like humor, vanity, anger, and warmth could come into play.

Buyer’s Journey

The B2B will usually take a longer route between want and buy. These purchasers need time to research everything, send their acquired information up the chain of command, receive permission to make a purchase, and then to complete the sale. The process can take weeks or even months. Compare that to the relatively short consumers’ journey, which could take a matter of moments, depending on their need for the product and the effectiveness of the marketing. For products and services a buyer has used before, the journey becomes even shorter. They’re more likely to keep making the same purchase again and again, until they’re disappointed for some reason or a new brand manages to catch their eyes.

The Lifetime Value

B2B sales take weeks or months to complete because they’re usually purchases worth thousands of dollars or more. That kind of money can’t be simply thrown around. That’s why relationships, loyalty, and providing value is such an important part of building your brand for B2B marketing. You really want those buyers to come back again and again, preferably with bigger orders each time. And remember, it costs less to keep a customer than it does to find a new one. Everyday consumers, however, have a much lower lifetime value. You may have repeat purchases, but they’re not likely to cost thousands of dollars. Excellent service and product value can increase your chances for repeat purchases, which does, in turn, increase the LTV of those buyers. However, marketing is more often focused on acquiring new customers than keeping current ones. Understanding the key differences between marketing to businesses and consumers will help shape your marketing strategies. If you’ve been throwing everything at the wall to see what will stick, it’s time to give us a call. We will help you refine your strategy so that you’ll effectively reach the right audience every time.  

Marketing Initiative Worx Certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise

Posted by Liz Papagni in News and Announcements | 0 comments

WBENC announcement
We're so proud to announce that Marketing Initiative Worx has been recognized by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Women's Business Enterprise. WBENC’s national standard of certification is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women. Owned by Liz Papagni, Marketing Initiative Worx is the very picture of a Women's Business Enterprise. "I'm honored to be part of such an incredible organization," Liz says. "I'm so proud of what the WBENC stands for." By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs. They also benefit from the certified company's connections to other woman-owned businesses throughout the country. As excited as we are to be certified by the WBENC, this doesn't change anything about the service and expertise you've come to expect from Marketing Initiative Worx. We'll just be able to share that service and expertise with a wider range of clientele. WBE Seal CMYK_WBE_09.07.16_v1

Managing Your Brand Across Multiple Platforms

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Management | 0 comments

manage your brand Today’s consumers use a staggering amount of screens. In fact, it’s estimated that Millennials use three screens at any given time, and Generation Z spends time on five or more screens. In other words, if you want your message heard and seen, you must figure out how to reach these buyers on tablets, phones, televisions, laptops, and desktops.

Let’s Get Social

Not only must you become adept at multi-screen marketing, but you also have to determine which channels to use. Your target audience spends time in specific places online, and understanding where they are will help you market efficiently and effectively. For instance, Facebook may very well be considered the universal social media platform, with users from age 18 to well over age 65 calling it home. However, even though 79% of internet users are on Facebook, it doesn’t seem to resonate as strongly with younger audiences. Sure, teens are still on Facebook, but they prefer to share information on disappearing messaging sites like Snapchat, which boasts 79% of teens’ use. Marketers who want to reach teens are more likely to build an audience here than they will where parents see their kids’ activities. If you’re trying to reach women, Pinterest is still the powerhouse. While the social platform may not have as many users as Facebook—only 36% of users between 18 and 29, and 34% of users between ages 30 and 49 use the site—of those users, 45% are women. It’s a good bet that you’ll build a solid female base if you’re marketing through Pinterest.

Crafting Your Message

Knowing who will receive your message on each platform is just half the battle. It’s important that you create messaging according to the audience you will find on each platform. For instance, if you’re posting on Facebook, you want to create content that poses a question. This prompts more engagement, which drives your posts to the top of users’ feeds. Twitter doesn’t work that way. Hashtags are the best way to reach new audiences, but you don’t want to go overboard. This allows users to search by topic, which could lead them straight to your door. Proprietary hashtags are fun, but they’re only useful if you’re popular enough to prompt a search with that hashtag. Consider introducing one across several different tweets to build some recognition, but only in conjunction with more widely used search terms in your industry. If you’re trying to reach a younger audience with Instagram, remember that imagery is your best content strategy here. In fact, you’ll only have a few lines of text visible on each post (though you can include as much as you like—just don’t expect people to read it). Then, of course, there’s Snapchat, which has the shortest number of characters available, so your message should be almost entirely in the image you use. Short, snappy, and to the point is the best option here, considering you’re most likely dealing with an audience that has the shortest attention span to date—eight seconds.

Determining Which Is Best

You should know your brand well enough to understand which platforms work best for reaching your intended audience. Sometimes, however, your potential customer base is just too large to put in tiny baskets. If this is the case, segmenting is your only option. Create specific messages for each platform, with copy that’s crafted to speak to your intended audience there. For instance, if you’re working to reach consumers over the age of forty, then Facebook is probably your best bet. Millennials still love Instagram, so images or short videos with brief captions could help you bring these buyers into the fold. And if you also happen to sell to Generation Z, you know they’re likely on Snapchat. An influencer campaign could help you get the attention of teens. As you can see, the exact same message across all platforms will hit some and miss others. That’s why it’s important to understand your audience and your tools. If you need some help, we’re always here for you.

3 Tips to Amplify Your PPC Marketing

Posted by Liz Papagni in Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

ppc marketing Pay-per-click advertising is just one aspect of the wide range of digital marketing tools available to you, but—in the right hands—it can certainly be one of the most powerful. Unfortunately, PPC marketing can also be one of the most expensive, especially if you make costly mistakes that impact your return on investment. Because PPC is such a powerful tool, many want to jump right in and reap the benefits right away. Google makes starting an AdWords account super easy, which might lead users to believe that creating campaigns will be easy, too. Before you attempt pay-per-click advertising, there are a few things you should know.

The Bidding Process

Ensuring that your company shows up in Google searches requires knowledge of search engine optimization. Remember: your competitors already have AdWords accounts and have been bidding on the keywords associated with your business. If you want to beat them in the bidding war, you have to be thorough. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying top dollar for some keywords when others could bring similar results at a much lower price. First, consider any trademarked words and phrases, as well as any other terms you’ve branded. You’re less likely to experience competition for these terms, but you’ll only receive traffic from searchers who are already familiar with your brand. Next, consider industry-related terms. These are the words and phrases that you’ll compete the most for, so be creative. Long-tail searches are less likely to be bid on by competitors, and they’re also more likely to bring you buyers who are ready to convert. For instance, if you sell shoes, and someone searches for “red patent leather pumps,” that buyer already knows exactly what she’s looking for and probably has her credit card at the ready for when she finds what she needs. Finally, bid on competitor keywords. This is where you’re likely to find some customers who weren’t already familiar with your brand, and then you can win them over with your unique selling proposition. This is a trickier process, so wait until you’re more familiar with PPC before you attempt it.

Investigate Sitelinks

You can set your PPC ads apart from competitors with this tool, which is just an easy-to-add extension for Google AdWords. This is a cost-efficient way to clarify and narrow down your ads for anyone who’s searching for the products you sell. Let’s take a look at the red shoes search from earlier. A query through Google for “women’s red shoes” brings back two ads. The first, from ModCloth, shows four additional links at the bottom, giving the searcher the chance to further refine the search. sitelinks example This is Sitelinks at work.

A/B Test Your Campaigns

Not even the most seasoned PPC marketing experts can predict exactly what will catch a buyer’s eye. What works with one campaign could achieve dismal results with the next. This is because buyers’ needs change, and so do the trends. To always get the best possible results, create two versions of your campaign. They should be identical except for one piece, such as the headline. Run those two ads at the same time for two weeks, and then examine which had better results. If headline B worked better, then use that headline and then change something else, such as the image used or the copy in the body of the ad. You’ll never achieve perfections because, as we said earlier, buyers’ needs are always changing. What you can do is ensure that you’re always presenting the best possible option at that time to your buyers. Pay-per-click can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’d like some help developing powerful and relevant PPC marketing campaigns, give us a call.