Winning Marketing Strategies for your B2B, B2C, or Non-profit
by Karianna Haasch
We know that marketing is a critical component of any business growth strategy. But do you know the difference between B2B and B2C marketing? What about marketing for a non-profit? If you’re scratching your head right now, keep reading – it’ll be clear by the end of this article!
Marketing Tips for B2C Businesses
Business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses sell products directly to the consumer and target individuals with marketing. Powerhouse brands like Starbucks, Nike, and Apple are well known for their effective B2C marketing tactics. But what should B2C businesses consider when it comes to marketing?
Appeal to emotions
The biggest brands in the world have one thing in common: they all foster emotional connections with their customers. People are more loyal to brands with which they feel an emotional connection. Greater loyalty = more purchases. Think beyond the benefits of your product or service – what emotional impact can your brand make on the consumer?
Make it easy to buy
Is there anything more frustrating than jumping through hoops to buy a product? If a customer is willing and ready to purchase your offering, make the process clear and easy for them. A convoluted check-out process (especially in this age of e-commerce!) creates a barrier to purchase and will ultimately lose sales.
Do you really know who your customer is? Not just their demographic data – but where do they go? Who do they spend time with? What are their hobbies? If your answer is no, you are missing a critical component of defining your target audience, and it’s likely hurting your overall marketing strategy. The lifestyle of your customer is just as important (if not more so!) than their age or income.
Marketing Tips for B2B Businesses
When it comes to a business-to-business (B2B) organization, marketing can be a little trickier. Depending on your offering, you may be marketing to an entrepreneur, or you could be targeting a huge corporation. Understanding the size and structure of your ideal business customers is a good first step. Here are a few more suggestions to make your B2B marketing strategy more successful.
Businesses hire other businesses to solve problems. Business owners want solutions, and they typically want them as efficiently as possible. Focus on presenting how your product or service will benefit your business customers – how are you making it easier for them to run their business? Is your product a critical piece of equipment the business needs to operate? Will your service streamline a process and save the business time and money? Keep these factors in mind as you craft your messaging strategy.
Multiple decision-makers are often involved
If your offerings are targeted at businesses, keep in mind that purchase decisions may not be the sole responsibility of a single individual. Many businesses are structured with buying centers that jointly make purchase decisions. Clear, concise messaging and pricing are key to ensure you quickly get all members of a buying center onboard to purchase your offering.
The buying process may take longer
Because of the joint purchase decision, the buying process may take much longer in B2B scenarios. Often, purchases go through a lengthy approval process, so make sure you are prepared with a strategy to keep in contact with your customer through every step of their purchase process.
Marketing Tips for Non-profits
Non-profit organizations can be especially challenging when it comes to marketing because it takes a 3-pronged approach. First, you need to market your offerings to the people you serve. Next, you must persuade individuals to donate money to your cause, rather than purchasing a product or service. Third, you must appeal to businesses to gain large-scale support. While the tips above for B2C and B2B marketing may also apply to your non-profit, here are a few more considerations.
Appeal to needs and values
As a non-profit, you are not always selling a product – you are selling a mission. How are you conveying that mission to the world, and how are you reaching the people who need your services? Connect with these people and make it easy for them to understand how you can help them. In addition, you are likely marketing to individuals for donations, but also to businesses and other organizations for support and corporate sponsorships. People donate to causes they feel aligned with, so make sure your marketing is speaking to the values of your supporters.
If I donate to your non-profit, how will my money be used? It’s a common question – so answer it before potential donors have a chance to ask it! Equating dollars to a specific program or component of your non-profit helps your target audience to understand the impact that their donations will make.
Collaboration and community are key
Non-profits thrive when the community rallies around them. How are you speaking to your community? What other organizations can you collaborate with? Making these connections will propel your mission forward and help your non-profit grow.
Keep in mind that the only successful marketing strategy is the one that works for YOUR business and speaks to YOUR customers. Whether your business is a non-profit, B2B, or B2C, hopefully these tips sparked your strategy!
Still feeling stumped? Talk to us! KDD works with a variety of businesses – B2C, B2B, and non-profits – across multiple industries. Our team of experts can help you develop a fully customized marketing plan that reaches your ideal customers.
Karianna Haasch is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Katy Dwyer Design. Karianna has over 10 years of experience in business strategy, brand development, and integrated marketing communications.