We’re a little late to coming across this great MarketingProfs interpretation of Ascend2’s study, but better late than never.
Not surprisingly, there are differences between business and consumer marketers. Tellingly, both have email marketing at the top of their “Most Effective Tools” list.
After that, though, things go in entirely different directions. Content creation and lead management round out the top three for B2B marketers while B2C marketers find organic and paid search to be their best tools behind email marketing.
This makes sense when you think about the differences between typical B2B and B2C transactions. There are very few purchases that consumers make – vehicles are perhaps the best example – that require the same kind of due diligence that a great many B2B transactions require.
Yes, businesses do buy their fair share of paper clips and other inexpensive consumables. But far more of their purchases are not just bigger ticket items, they are items for which it is very difficult to effectively compare options directly against one another. There’s no spec chart, or even weighing, say, one car’s better gas mileage against another’s stronger safety ratings. Evaluating options requires more qualitative analysis. Success, in many cases, can also hinge on how well personalities mesh between organizations.
So it makes sense that content generation and lead management (read: relationship management) would matter more – and be more productive – for B2B marketers. Consumers are more likely to be ready to make a purchase right now if they can find the right color, size, etc. at the right price, putting the not-so-simple act of getting found at a premium.
Obviously, it’s easy to know whether you’re in a B2B or B2C market, but be sure to give deeper thought to what your audience’s expectations are and how those expectations change as they move through the buying cycle. Generating content that meets those expectations (if you’re a B2B marketer) is your best bet for strengthening your relationship to the point that you convert your prospect to a customer.