B2B companies have typically used different marketing tactics compared to the tactics that are used by B2C companies. Now, the “human element” and an emotional connection needs to be a part of all marketing strategies – regardless of whether your brand is B2B or B2C.
When B2B marketers focus on treating their customers more like humans, they will more easily be able to figure out where audiences are in the customer journey, and the best way to speak to them.
We recently sat down with Chris Savage, CEO and co-founder at Wistia, a podcast platform for B2B companies, to discuss why B2B audiences expect more of a “B2C experience” in the content they consume.
What are your general thoughts on the differences between B2B & B2C marketing?
Chris Savage: B2B is about generating value, saving time, getting leverage, with a business reason why someone buys a product. B2C is about building a brand, b2c is about, you know, tapping into someone’s core emotion to help them with their health, help them to meet people, help them to show off status.
Historically, B2B has been rationally driven; “which thing just solves my problem for the best price?” But things have changed dramatically. It’s cheaper and easier than ever to start B2B companies and get people to learn about them. So the way that marketers have to market has changed, and brand matters now. Tapping into people’s emotions matters.
Watch the whole interview in the video above!
As B2B products are not just something that people use, that someone else pays for, but the user is the buyer. It’s forcing marketing to change dramatically, how they’re priced is changing. There’s a reason why product-led growth makes sense today and didn’t make sense 10 years ago, and it’s because you can make the product cheap enough. You can have the distribution be cheap enough.
Why do you think B2B companies need to start viewing themselves as organizations that provide some kind of greater value than their services or products?
CS: So many people are still working from home, and maybe going into the office a little bit, or maybe not going at all. But like work and life have been blended in a way that was just not possible before. So the second that I end this call, and someone is trying to market to me, they’re competing against anything else I could do at that moment in my home, which is take a nap, watch Netflix, go for a run, anything.
No one can see what’s happening. And so I think it’s just really important for B2B marketers to recognize they’ve got to give people something that is going to educate, something that is going to entertain. You have to give them something different. You have to give them a reason to care.
And yes, the reason to care can be your thing is 10 times cheaper, the reason to care can be you’re going to save so much time at work at once do this integration or whatever, that you’re going to grow faster.
I think we often think about B2C marketing as being very personal. But what about the ‘human element’ is important to the B2B market?
CS: If you’re getting really personalized recommendations for things to distract you on your Instagram feed, like why aren’t you also getting things that are super personalized to help you grow your business or grow your career? It is because work and life have become so intertwined.
So you have to you have to tap into their fundamental emotions, their fundamental urges, what are the things they’re going to help you get more done, save more time, stand out amongst your competition, grow faster, and your career look better to the people around you?
Those are the types of emotions that are going to matter.
Imagine a virtual conference. It’s a it’s a day long conference. It’s so slow and monotonous. But you could learn a lot if you really were totally paying attention and like, super determined, you could convince yourself to sit through this thing.
…Or, you could watch a 10-part video series that comes out once a week and every episode, it’s the same content, but every episode is actually entertaining as you watch it. I think most people are gonna choose the entertaining one.
We always used to get this question at Wistia like, how do I make my business not boring? And it’s like, well, basically every B2b business is fundamentally kind of boring until you add a brand to it.
And if you add a brand, the brand has values, and it has a mission, and it has things you care about, and it has things that you can deliver on that are not your product.
Suddenly, things go from being boring to being interesting. But you’re inherently going to turn some people off when you have a brand, when you share your values. There will be people who disagree. But there’s usually so many more people that will agree that it is ends up being a worthwhile investment to make.
What are the ways that B2B companies can deliver an experience that’s a little more like B2C?
CS: The downside of B2C is like, it can seem irrational why certain things take off and other things don’t. With B2B, you look at it, and you’re like, Alright, if people use Wistia, as an example, like, they should get way more leverage on their time, they should better understand how people are engaging with their videos, they should figure out how to better tell stories, this is ultimately gonna make hopefully, the production get more value of every video they produce.
We have a concrete anchor that we can look to for what we’re going to build our brand around and what our stories are going to be and how we want to entertain folks.
I think about it is almost as simple as, think of what your mission is, as a business. And if the mission is broad enough, and it is bold enough, then usually your product can only solve a small percentage of the mission.
All you need to do is solve the other percentage of the mission, with content, with events, with talks, with what however you think you can communicate with your customers.
And then it’s more of a process of figuring out what your audience actually wants. Like, is your audience really busy? And they’re only going to listen to podcasts? Will they do other things? Is your audience a type that wants to sit down and watch as your audience, the type that wants to scan and read? Or do you want all three, which is actually what most want.
And then it’s just figuring out how to continue to deliver on that mission over and over and over.