To B2B or not to B2B?
Most probably, you are here because in the process of changing your market strategy you faced so many obstacles and questions, that by now you are asking your-self “do I really need to do it? Why?” You don’t need to, but you probably will benefit from it a lot. But the main question remains “How to move from B2C to B2B?”.
It is a great time to change from B2C to B2B because the market for business-to-business is rapidly changing and growing. Why so? Initially B2B was growing slow, due to the slow adoption of eCommerce, but now it due to eCommerce growth, the segment for business-to-business model grows faster than business-to-customer. So you have set the goal at the right time!
Difference between B2B and B2C
Before diving into the lifehacks of how to B2B I must mention some of the main differences between two market strategies. One of the main differences is that for B2B business is crucial to have a good relationship with their customer for a long-term business. It helps to build your brand. Business based on B2B survive by having repeated and referral sales, thus having a great relationship with a customer is a big deal! On the other hand, B2C business surviving on the fast flow of the consumers. “Time is money”- slogan of business-to-customer companies. Surely, the relationship is transactional and not “personal”.
Another important difference between two market strategies is the decision-making process. In the B2B business the decision is more transparent, with both parties involved in the discussion of preferences and disfavors. For B2C the decision-making process should not be so complex. By simplifying this process marketers ensure that they keep appealing and giving to consumers what they are looking for. Consumers are more flexible than in B2B when it comes of actually looking for the product they want to buy.
How to move From B2C to B2B?
After briefly talking about the differences between market strategies, and I want to emphasize the word “briefly”, because there are more difference between B2B and B2C, some are more obvious and some are not, and I could dedicate the whole blog post only for them, but this post is about how to transition from B2C to B2B, so lets start talk about that, shall we?
First of all, you have to understand that to change from one market strategy to another, you have to do much more than to just make another website. It is about implementing another approach of making a business and even restructuring the whole business model.
You need to remember the key element of B2B business, that we continently know by now, the relationships with your customer. Start to rely on partnerships and good relationships in order to expand to a new markets.
The consumer’s decision-making process is much more complex in the strategy of B2B. It is influenced not only by emotions, preferences and influence, but also by desired business results, such as reducing costs, increasing performance and etc. So be ready to have a long decision-making process.
You also have to be ready for the challenge of understanding the needs of your costumer. It is harder to gather the data from a business. And even if you found it, it usually dominated by numbers of sales, sales activity data, market trends etc. What you will hardly see there is qualitative information, such as what really drives our customers to buy, for example.
Why is it that hard to change from B2C to B2B?
Yes and no. Of course, nobody said that to change the whole market strategy of the company will be easy, but there are some factors that are similar, that might help you to ease the pain of the change.
No matter who is their end consumers businesses should pay attention to the world trend. And of course, I am talking about innovations. A business-related blog post without mentioning “innovation”-is not a nice post you might think. We hear everywhere about innovations and the need of companies to hop on trend fast, but it is true! Digital marketing should be on point for both B2B and B2C. Social medias, SEO, web presence should all work together to insure the desired goal reaching process.
How to keep up with COVID-19 reality in B2B business
Recently Deloitte publish article oriented to B2B business and how they can survive in the world where sad reality is PCR tests before traveling and mandatory use of masks on the beach. This part of the post is inspired by this article (feel free to check the original Deloitte article.
Based on everything mentioned above about the specifics of B2B business we can determine some of the key factors, that will help you to survive not only in COVID-19 world, but futureproof company in general.
One of the feature of COVID-19 business making reality is online working trends. More and more people are involved in decision-making process. And those people are looking for the information about the product online. B2B businesses should have good presence in digital channels-meet your potential clients where they are looking for a product.
Making your strategy client-centric rather than product-centric might also have a great positive impact on the performance of your company. Be more driven to gather information on what your client need and what obstacles they need to overcome, rather than paying a lot of attention on the features, capabilities and facts about your product.
As I have mentioned already-technology innovations are the key, and keeping up with them also will give you advantages and opportunity to perform well. Costumers change behaviors quickly in respond of current would situation. Having a customer-centric strategy it is key to keep up with these changes, so data gathering and analyzing is very important.
What have we learn today and what we need to learn in the future.
If you decided to change from B2C to B2B-Great! Will it be easy? No! But you have to remember that it is a great time to do so, don’t lose your chance. You may think “okey! I will change now, but it is one thing to manage to change and another to be successful in changed business.” I completely agree, but the success will depend on how good you understand the difference between two market segments. Understanding what your customers really want and putting relationships with them above everything else are the key to successful transition from one market strategy to another.