Visitors use Google to find solutions many times a day. Search engines seek the answers. When a person enters a question, the search bot responds with answers they located. Search engines seek content that provides relevant, helpful answers to online questions. Quality SEO content is what Google wants.
When you can’t find answers
I recently had to take on the challenges of helping an aging parent relocate. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t something she wanted. But the family, her doctors, and her rehabilitation facility all agreed that at 97, Assisted Living was essential for quality of life.
After some serious research, I found a place about 20 minutes from my home that I felt suited her. She’s not the resort crowd. Instead, family is her core trigger. Getting her relocated, I learned, was only step one. Now I had to reconnect her with an entire team of doctors.
Most medical offices focus on existing patients. As a result, their websites don’t have much online information about what new patients they may accept.
Google became my search buddy. “Doctors accepting new patients in city/state.”
I quickly learned I had to look for entry dates. But, unfortunately, they were not something easily accessible. And if you did find information, there was no way to tell how old it was.
The details of the information I needed were just NOT available online. So that left the old-fashioned method, phone calls.
After several, “Yes, we are accepting patients. But no, we aren’t accepting medicare patients,” I realized the problem was more complex.
The pandemic has left many doctors burned out. Many who had considered retirement did just that. If they weren’t happy with their location, they decided now was the time to take a break and look elsewhere.
That left an elderly senior with significant health conditions 80 miles from her existing doctor. I needed to find someone—soon.
I tried one clinic, but she had two messed-up appointments. Both visits sent her home without being seen. That made it hard to trust them to provide quality care.
So, she is on a waiting list and dependent on a “walk-in” medical center for now. If there is something better out there, Google doesn’t know about it—maybe the answers aren’t online.
Missing information is common
In my experience as both a consumer and a content consultant, I frequently see where information is missing. Have you ever noticed how many businesses don’t have their location above the fold? Ever had to hunt for a way to ask questions?
Maybe you wanted to do something, but Google only found limited options. For example, I needed to find a Citi bank branch so I could deposit a check. Unfortunately, there were lots of ATMs but no branches in my area. In addition, most ATMs did not clearly describe transactions handled.
We need to make sure websites can answer all the questions prospective visitors may ask Google. If we don’t, marketing efforts work under a handicap.
We need to ensure our content is current, helpful, and answers all the potential Google questions to be effective and search engine optimized.
Don’t miss this tip
An adage says, “the winner is the company who can pay the most to reach their prospects.” However, that only works if the content provides what the searcher is after. And if the search engine can’t identify the answer, it doesn’t share it.
It’s essential to use SEO techniques in all content, whether you want to draw traffic organically or boost it with paid ads, including positioning.
3 techniques to enhance content with SEO
It’s paramount that we recognize the optimizing for SEO has changed dramatically over the past 15 years. In the past, techniques were more manipulative, smoke and mirrors. Those techniques won’t work anymore.
Google and other search engines have evolved, and AI has become more sophisticated. So instead, focus on your goals, what your visitors are searching for, and is mobile-friendly. In today’s world, users want their search to work equally well on all devices.
Identify your goals
It’s essential to know what your objectives are. For example, some businesses focus on Google rankings. Others prioritize increasing web traffic. A third group is looking for more leads and sales.
If you don’t have clear objectives, it’s much harder to achieve them. So take time to clarify and prioritize what you want to accomplish with your marketing.
Identify searchers intent
It’s important to know what the person you’re trying to reach is thinking.
Who or what are they looking for?
What are their goals?
Where do they want to go or what do they want to do?
We know they are searching. The answer to discover is the intent behind the search. Then we can make sure to include those answers in our content in a manner that will make the search engine act on it.
Smartphones have changed the way we get information. Now we want answers no matter where we are or what type of device we happen to be using. That makes it essential for every business to make sure their website is easily accessible.
Good web hosts can make sure your pages load quickly and are friendly to phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
Blending these techniques with top-quality content that is fresh, relevant, and SEO optimized can maximize long-term organic growth and enhance paid advertising.
When I work with clients
We first identify their marketing goals. Then we evaluate their site for accomplishing them with SEO techniques. Finally, we look for issues with the technical and creative aspects of content that may impact SEO results.
The face of marketing to B2B buyers is rapidly changing, and there is a lot of somewhat confusing information out there. After sifting through mountains of information, I found three keys B2B buyers desire when looking for a solution.
In one sentence—B2B buyers want their experience to mirror their B2C personal shopping experiences.
My own experience as a B2B buyer
One of the hats I’ve worn was as the buyer for the B2B division of my company. As a distributor, we purchased from the manufacturer and sold to professionals who used the product in their retail businesses.
The twist is that I also handled customer service. So I felt keenly aware of our customer’s pain points and needs. I wasn’t randomly shopping for new items to add to our professional collection. I was only open to things that could seamlessly integrate into our B2B buyer’s needs.
Regularly, I got pitches from all sorts of companies who thought they had the hottest item on the market. Many were duplicates of what we already carried. Others were selling items unrelated to our niche. A third group sold devices only legal for medical professionals to purchase—less than 5% of our buyers.
Many were non-US-based firms wanting us to import their items. They’d gotten our contact information from who knew where and were mass marketing. It was immediately clear from the pitch email the sender knew nothing about our business.
I didn’t know the email sender.
Their spam approach screamed at me.
There had been no attempts to build trust.
It felt like a guy trying to get you to jump into bed at the first meeting. Ick. Turn and sprint away.
The companies I built relationships with were for the long term. We wanted products that our buyers could trust would be there and always meet specific performance standards. They were companies we learned we could depend on.
Trust was a huge factor. Support and accessibility to information, quick customer support, and a willingness to work with us to resolve any challenges.
We’ve done business with one of these firms for well over 20 years. It’s not something the buyer thinks of, but I can’t even guesstimate the CLV of our monthly purchases over that time frame.
B2B Buyers and Marketers have a lot in common.
With years as both a marketer and a B2B buyer, I’ve noticed the two have a lot in common. Both are putting their business, reputations, and jobs on the line with every purchase they make.
Both buyers and marketers are deluged with proposals and pitches. They both have to sort through masses of emails to identify any nugget that might be of real benefit to their business situation.
Recognizing those experiences and the similarities have helped me help my marketing clients. We build the relationship as team partners to discover solutions and create a strong ROI. Perfectly done with a successful marketing campaign or project, it’s a win-win for both.
Here’s a secret to keep in mind…
Stakeholders view things differently—it’s vital to recognize that each person with a stake in the decision views the process a little differently. They come at it from different departments, different needs, and even different goals. As a result, their risk factors may be higher, and decisions more complex.
They may need different types of answers. Communications need to help each person feel comfortable with the decision.
We need to keep in mind, each stakeholder probably feels their reputation and job is on the line. It’s not about our marketing. It’s about their comfort zone. So focus on answering their needs with relevant information, including the know, like, and trust factors. Easily accessible information and answers are the best paths to help them decide to buy.
3 key ways to help your B2B buyer
When we focus on the B2B buyer’s needs, it is all about quickly and efficiently helping them find what they need. Depending on the type of B2B that you work with, this can be very complex.
The higher the ticket price, the more information, details, and data are needed to support the decision—and the more people will be involved. It’s a longer, more complex process with higher stakes.
Content – useable, findable, relevant
Buyers need detailed information designed for quick, easy consumption. They may or may not be the technician or engineer working with a complex piece of equipment. However, they may be responsible for identifying possible solutions and then sharing them for input before making a decision.
Keep in mind B2B buyers want content as quickly readable as when they do their B2C shopping. So make layout and content designed for easy reading and rapid assimilation. Include whitespace, supporting graphics, and bulleted lists.
Offer cross-links and “also relevant” links to help them find additional information.
Be sensitive to what’s happening in the real world. We’ve been through a lot of turmoil in the last 18 months. Now things with a twang of nostalgia offer comfort and a sense of security. However, include nostalgia only if it fits and makes sense.
B2B buyers are looking for instant information. They don’t want to send an email and wait a week for an answer. The best interaction helps them quickly find what they need, now.
AI, chatbots, and the like can fill in an interactive gap. Of course, the better they interact and offer more specific answers, the more valuable they become.
Include all the frequently asked questions your customer service team hears. The more you include, the happier the buyer will be.
Analyze surveys or questions that have come up on social media. These offer tidbits of information the buyer needs.
Make the interaction smooth. Create a feeling of ease that includes transfers across support services. In addition, increased seamlessness increases the buyer satisfaction rate.
Retention saves B2B relationships and dollars.
Having a great experience and a trusting relationship make the buyer’s next purchasing decision more straightforward. If there is plenty of retention-focused TLC, you become their trusted resource.
Trust is imperative to keep the buyer coming back. Help them feel valued, respected and that you are there as a team partner to solve problems.
The results? A higher customer lifetime value and wins for both buyers and marketers.
Judith Culp Pearson is a result-oriented relationship-building and empathy-based marketer specializing in B2B wellness and information. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customer experience enhancers create more loyalty, repeat sales, and profitability. The pandemic disrupted the traditional shopping model forcing people to go online. It stuck.
People often now use a blend between the two. The lines between online and a physical store are becoming blurred. More than ever, it’s about what this blend feels like before buying, while making a purchase, and afterward.
A true story of enhancing the customer experience
One of the companies I work with shared how changing a tiny detail made a huge difference. They have an e-commerce store selling both consumer products and professional-only products. But about 95% of their business is professional sales.
To enhance the buying experience for professionals, they set up a drop-down system to validate they were eligible to buy the professional products. The drop-down streamlined the shopping process as they didn’t have to take the time to set up an account.
The shipping manager received an email from a regular customer:
Why is there a note that pops up that says I’m not ordering XXXXX? That’s the only product I ever order?
The manager quickly responded, explained why they had the drop-down process. She also thanked the customer for bringing it to her attention. Then, she told the client she was going to see if they could change the default.
This one tiny change, altering a default, reduced the number of questions the shipping manager got and made her life much easier. It also made 95% of the customer’s lives easier because they now don’t have to change the default.
The company still does random checking to validate that the customers are qualified professionals. But it was an easy fix and win-win change.
Customer Experience Enhancers work.
Enhancing the customer experience is the top proven technique to reduce churn, retain customers and increase profits. The longer you can keep a customer loyal, the lower your acquisition cost. It also raises the Lifetime Customer Value exponentially.
It’s five to seven times more expensive to find a new customer than to keep them. And you’ll increase sales.
The odds of a new prospect purchasing are between 5 and 20%. But with an existing customer, the odds of another sale jump to 60-70%. Retention is smart for business.
I’ve seen this over and over in my businesses and working with clients. Every little detail that makes the customer’s experience better is a significant positive.
Little things are big experience enhancers.
Some changes may be significant, and others, like in the example, are small technical things. However, they all make a difference in the customer’s experience and overall happiness rating.
For maximum success, the entire brand team needs to communicate, share, and look for ways to be better. The team that interacts directly with shoppers often has overlooked information. Keep them in the loop. Listen to them. Empower them to facilitate and stimulate changes that make shopper’s lives easier.
The Three E’s of customer experience enhancers
More than ever before, customers turn to the internet for information. And they are using a blended model of shopping in person and online. If in your store and thinking of a purchase, they may compare prices online. Or check customer reviews.
The experience you offer needs to be seamless and supportive throughout their buying journey.
As they experience your content, your customer support, and your social media connectivity, they form an emotional reaction to doing business with you. Positive, negative, or neutral.
Those businesses that focus on enhancing positive experiences will see the greatest success.
Experience enhance content
Often businesses in the past had more of an online brochure rather than a customer-focused shopping experience. That model doesn’t work today. Your website needs to feature lots of fresh, helpful content and an easy way to find it. They want positive experience content.
The underlying theme of content is how this product or service will make their life easier, better, more fulfilling, and fun. Emotional connectedness. Then the supporting information validates why this is so. They want the proof: reviews, testimonials, scientific studies, what experts say, and more.
They want all of this in an easy-to-access format that makes shopping a pleasure.
Today’s consumer doesn’t want to have to call to get help or find what they need. They want more of a self-service experience. They don’t want to wait days or weeks to get an email response. The longer they have to wait to get answers, the more likely they’ll go elsewhere.
It’s like when you need a service or repair person, and no one calls you back. You go from enthusiastic to neutral to frustrated.
Help shoppers get to know you.
Shoppers want easy access to learning about you and your products—and what makes you unique. They want
Answers to all the frequently asked questions.
To read your blogs about how you developed a product or service.
To understand how you are helping the planet and being socially responsible
Easy access to resource pages, blogs, articles and to learn about your products and services.
To know you and your team as individuals rather than just a company.
Consider offering books, e-books, reports, guides, video how-tos, and other valuable resources.
Customer service is always an experience. All too often, it is a frustrating, time-consuming process. It needs to be friendly, knowledgeable, supportive. Phone connections are great, but if they are searching on their phone and can do a live chat, that works.
Experience enhance service
For many consumers, a common complaint is the lack of staffing. Lack of staffing might have been a valid excuse during the early days of the pandemic, but it doesn’t fly anymore.
AI is getting more intelligent, and the interactions with it are more favorable. It just needs to be helpful and able to quickly move the shopper to live chat or a phone connection if the AI can’t solve the problem.
Communicate with customers where they hang out. Often this is social media. Use social as a way to stimulate interaction with customers and potential customers. Invite them to ask questions and respond promptly.
Look for ways to reward customers. It doesn’t always need to be a discount. For example, a free guide on having the best experience with your product would be of high value to a new client.
Develop a customer reward program that makes them feel positive about being loyal to your brand. People love to be part of a group, especially an exclusive group. So invite them to be part of your brand. Treat them like an online family.
Then take the online experience offline. Send new customers or those who have referred new clients a physical thank-you note. Send a reward to be used on a future purchase. When everything now comes to inboxes, something in the mail we view as unique, special.
Blend the experience to connect with them online, offline, and back online seamlessly.
Be sure to give them ample time to use any rewards.
Avoid rewards with a short use timeframe. For example, if you just purchased a printer that touts it has a year’s worth of ink in it, why would you respond to an offer to buy more ink now?
Amazon gives credits when you buy a kindle book, but they are very short-lived. If you don’t use them in a week, they’re gone. That’s not very buyer-friendly.
Experience Enhance Connections
These are all the points where consumers interact with your brand. Website, social media, email, print ads, radio, or even television. Using the formats that make sense for your business, look for ways to enhance the experience.
If you offer AI or live chats, evaluate how well that is working. What does your customer service team hear from customers?
Integrate with the service team to identify and smooth out rough spots in the buying process.
Is your team/system available enough to be helpful? We have a three-hour time difference across the continental US. Consider where your customers are calling from? Can they easily reach you?
Stand in your customer’s place. How would you feel about the service if you were in their location? Think outside the box to find a way to smooth and improve this experience. Consider more online self-support information, so they aren’t dependent on phone calls.
Social posting connections
Social posts need to be fun, friendly, and seeking to engage. Get them to smile, inspire them, show them success.
The most successful posting is frequent and regular. People pay attention to what they see repeatedly. That’s why paid ads pop up after you’ve looked at something. Whatever caught your eye and you looked at is now popping up everywhere you go on the internet. It’s reminding you to look again.
Email personalized experience
With so much in our inboxes, generic transactional emails quickly get filed or deleted. Instead, emails personalized by interest get more attention. Tone and engagement are essential.
When doing a marketing assessment, I look at it from the shopper’s viewpoint. I look for things to smooth, enhance and increase engagement. In today’s world, it’s all about experience enhancers to grow business. www.jculpcreativecopy.com
Empathy engagement is key to relationship building. It’s the marketing path to creating long-term loyal fans and relationships.
But you won’t find what you need in a ream of demographics. Numbers and statistics don’t tell you what their thinking, feeling, or how they are responding to you.
Before I moved into full-time copywriting marketing, I worked in the beauty industry. I helped thousands of women feel better, more confident, and happier because I solved problems for them.
I offered cosmetic and medical skin pigmentation, tattooing. Women with missing brow hair or busy lives loved eyebrows and eyeliner—makeup that stayed put.
However, the clients I engaged the deepest with were recovering from breast cancer.
I knew exactly how it felt to go through the trauma of diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, and reconstruction. I had been there myself. There is no going back; there is only moving forward.
They’d tell me their story. Each was unique. Then they often wanted to know mine. We engaged.
And then we started their journey to healing. The addition of 3-D color to a bare mound profoundly impacts how you see yourself in the mirror. The result offered liberation from the physical and psychological angst they had gone through.
It is tough to truly understand what’s going on inside your client’s head if you haven’t “walked in their shoes.”
Empathy marketing will increase your success.
Physically having had your prospects’ problem is powerful. Fortunately, there are ways around it. And even in a group of people who share a common problem, they don’t react the same way.
I had to learn to quickly spot how each client was coping and adapt my strategies to help them. It’s the same with our marketing. We have to take into account the different segments within our prospects.
Messages have to shift based on where the prospect is in their journey. You need to determine their level of awareness.
Those messages also have to be adapted based on their beliefs, biases, and personal experiences. But it all starts with research.
I didn’t develop this, but I did learn from an expert. The absolute master of empathy marketing was Eugene Schwartz, and he shares his secrets in a book called “Breakthrough Advertising.” (It’s available through Titans Marketing, LLC.)
It’s not a quick read. The book is intense and requires rereading and study, but the secrets are there to unfold.
One secret—you can’t fake it.
There are many marketers who “think” they know the client and charge off to create their marketing. The resulting response and sales will be lower than if research were completed.
It’s like trying to put a puzzle together with some of the pieces missing. Your prospect sees the holes.
Holes in your marketing puzzle weaken or break trust. And this loss of trust is apt to cause disengagement, loss of the sale, and loss of lifetime customer value.
Three steps to discover and employ empathy engagement
Research is where it starts. You have to dive into both your prospective buyer’s mind and into what you are offering—product or service.
With completed research you have the tools to employ emotion, empathy, and your message.
Research your prospect
All human desires can be placed into one of three categories. They fall into better health, increased wealth, and relationships. But we can’t stop with this superficial analysis.
What part of health do they want to improve? Why? What have they tried before? What were the results? The list of whats, whys, and hows can be extensive. It’s easy to stop too soon.
Keep in mind they are people and unique, but it is possible to find common denominators.
You want to discover what they will tell you about their need. Then seek out the underlying what they won’t tell you. Go deeper to get to the emotional what they can’t tell you. Now you understand their core motivator—something they have so locked away in their brain it may be a secret even to them.
Next analyze your product or service.
You’ll also do an analysis of the features and benefits of what you are selling. The features describe the physical product. You’ll want to create a detailed list.
Then dive into the benefits. Benefits are how it helps the buyer. “What it does.” That’s what people buy. They want the results.
You’ll want to know the USP—what makes this a unique solution, why and how. You’ll need to know its competition and gather proof and credibility.
What do your customers say about your product? LIkes, dislikes, questions, suggestions are all valuable.
Empathy engagement employs emotion and feelings.
Now that you know both your prospect and your product, you can start matching. You build connections or bridges between their needs and your solution.
Match the prospect’s desires and the product benefits/performances. Paint them pictures of how it’s going to make their life better. Whether in copy or content format, you help them discover why your product is the solution.
We all have the same emotions. Use words and images to make them smile, laugh, cry, feel joy or pain. Those emotions create experiences to inspire, connect and motivate them with our messages.
Look for ways to employ emotions and feelings to help them experience the benefits and results of the product. Through persuasive techniques, you move them along their journey until they have to buy. Then nurture and support them.
Ready to attract new buyers, increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? You need empathy-engaging content and copywriting. Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.
Personalization is something companies like Amazon, Sephora, and Nike have trained us to expect. It’s no longer enough to be customer-centric. We want experiences— a positive customer experience. That goes beyond personalization.
In this time of massive upheaval and uncertainty, we’re looking for easy. Things that simplify our lives. People want easier, healthier, safer, more rewarding, and help us get things done.
While we’re happy with our experiences in some areas, we continue to feel neglected and frustrated in others.
Follow the trend that’s working
We don’t need to reinvent or recreate the wheel in our marketing. Just look at what’s already earning companies like Amazon and Sophora millions.
These companies and many more are investing and involving more AI and analytic data to improve the customer experience. Amazon has been a leader in this.
When you look for something, Amazon includes what other people who searched for the same item also considered. They show you what people who bought this item also purchased. Subtle, helpful, and boosting the value of your order with add-ons.
Sephora hasn’t become the worlds leading specialty beauty retailer by accident. They started incorporating AI in the early 2000s. Using various tech tools, they personalize everything from their choices for you to their 1:1 loyalty rewards.
The long-term goal for Sephora is to continue to enhance the virtual and in-store customer experiences. Not only will they help you shop virtually, but you can also try the makeup on virtually.
Nike has innovated, so you can now design your own sneaker. They have a 3D platform that allows you to create a sneaker that fits perfectly and matches your unique style. Fans love the option.
They also love the experience in the personalized NikePlus loyalty program. Fans get personalized benefits, product recommendations, and the ability to check and see if their favorite styles, colors, and sizes are available.
The clock is ticking.
Customers used to make buying decisions based on loyalty or price. Those things are changing. More and more make those decisions based on the experience you offer them.
In a recent survey by SuperOffice, they asked 1920 business professionals what their number one business priority is for the next five years. By a distinct margin over product or product, customer experience came in at 45.9%.
Thought leaders say businesses who have unsatisfactory experiences are headed for trouble. They will start to see their client base erode if they don’t make the technical changes to improve it.
What you need to keep in mind
The level of stress doesn’t look to be dropping anytime soon. Stressed shoppers are less friction tolerant. If your buying experience is complicated, if your customer support is lackluster—you have challenges to solve.
More than ever before, buyers don’t want transactions that are company sales-centric. It makes them feel like you’re just after their money.
Now I know you need their purchases to run your business, but the experience shouldn’t feel that way. Feelings are pure emotion. You want to keep those feelings positive if you want to earn their trust, purchases, and loyalty.
Three ways to enhance customer experience
Companies with the most significant growth and success embrace the customer experience from the top down. Everyone on the team needs to understand and have the power to improve it. For some businesses, it may be outside-the-box thinking. It may involve more work and initial expense. But if you look at the potential future revenues, it’s well worth the effort.
Think from the customer point of view
Start by thinking from the customer’s point of view. Sometimes we are so close to the process that we can’t see the problems an outsider sees.
Ask your customers, “what could we do better?” “How could we make shopping easier?” In essence, how can you help them?
If you have a customer service team, ask them. The marketing and management teams need to know what customer service is hearing. What the customers need and want that they aren’t getting.
Customers’ questions and their problems provide the answers to improving your sales.
Enhance customer service
Lousy customer service is a pet peeve of mine when I’m shopping online or in-person. I understand company limitations but I also handle customer service for one of my clients. I get the challenges, but I know the value. I’ve gotten those evening and weekend calls where I’ve rescued a customer and solved their issue.
We recently went to Best Buy to find a laptop. The store was busy. The staff was few and far between. We found something suitable, but without the ability to get questions answered, they lost the sale.
When we checked out, we mentioned the lack of staff to our checker. His reply, Best Buy just let another 500 people go. Team members are going to be in short supply for the foreseeable future. In the end, Best Buy will lose its status as a provider of excellent customer care, and they will lose money.
Both brick and mortar and eCommerce businesses need to step up their customer service. With all the options out there, companies need to find a way to expand the routes and time frame where people can get help.
Look for ways to provide support beyond a few business hours. Many times companies on the east and west coast ignore the three-hour time difference. So if I’m on the west coast, I’d better not need anything after 2 PM local time.
Expand your FAQ. Add an AI help option. Outsource or give someone a part-time job, so you are more accessible. Make sure your website is easily searchable so I can find what I need. If your competition is more available, it will cost you money.
Analytics and AI
The most successful businesses are making use of technology to track shopping patterns and offer recommendations. Per 2020 research by Gartner, we conduct about 85% of all purchases without assistance.
That means there is a significant 15% opportunity to increase revenues by helping shoppers solve those issues.
Companies have many new ways to allow their customer support team to automate repetitive or straightforward tasks using artificial intelligence. Automation enables them to reduce costs and empower shoppers to solve their issues. Learn about your options and employ them.
It is essential to do this in a transparent way to maintain trust and credibility.
Chatbots or voice-enabled chatbots are a top choice for businesses. Their effectiveness ties directly to the quality and comprehensiveness of the dialogue provided to the bot.
My final tip is to make sure your system works on all channels across all types of devices. More and more people are switching back and forth from phones to tablets to laptops and computers. Your system needs to deliver in all.
Looking to increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.
Many companies are marketing both to wholesale and consumer customers. In reality, for marketing, B2B and B2C are unique businesses. Trying to mix them on a single website can send the wrong message and cost you money.
You can do anything if you keep it simple.
Someone told me that once at a trade show. That fellow was right. For years, I had a beauty boutique that had so many divisions it was a marketing nightmare.
I started with skincare—esthetics. The boutique I was renting space in was struggling, and I was thriving. I offered to Help. I could pick up a couple of lines of women’s tops if she wanted her choices augmented. She did. I did, and I did well. Too well.
Out of what must have been jealousy, she told me to move out.
The only space I could find that was in a decent location was bigger than I wanted. So I expanded and brought in hairstylists, manicurists, more cosmetics, and more retail.
It was fun for a while, but each division felt I wasn’t marketing them enough. We’re talking pre-internet. The options were all expensive—television, print, radio. I was working to pay the overhead of having them.
After considering possibilities, I offered classes. The overhead was low with a high return. First, I provided teen confidence building. Later I taught for the community college.
It meant I was a workaholic, but I did well. When I sold that business, I vowed not to repeat the experience.
I share so others can learn.
With over 30 years as an entrepreneur, I’ve had successes. I’ve also made a lot of mistakes, like the one in that short story. Whenever I can, I try to help other business owners avoid the same mistakes.
Today the markets are much busier and more competitive. However, the internet has leveled the playing field for marketing.
Every business can have a webpage and take advantage of social media. They have the opportunity to thrive…if they do it right.
A B2B and B2C secret to keep in mind.
Don’t confuse the buyer. Create separate platforms for wholesale B2B customers from your B2C consumers.
You’re segmenting your audience by interest. Raw ingredient buyers have different needs and interests than retailers who might want to carry your product.
If you are looking for investors plus selling products, those are very different interests and needs. Segmentation will get the right person the right message.
Segmenting B2B and B2C maximizes marketing ROI.
Keep messages clear. Use one brand name as your overarching site. On this site, you can share your mission, goals, etc.
On the home page, have generous sized side by side graphics clearly labeled with the category name: ingredients, retailers, consumers. Have them clickable to take the viewer to the appropriate sub-website or different websites. You want to create clear, simple messages and access.
B2C site focuses on consumers.
Get customer-centric to create a great positive experience to draw them back again. Eliminate stumbling blocks or friction.
Customers are looking for a product and more. They want the information to see that it solves their problem. They are looking for a company they feel safe with and can trust. Transparency, your guarantee, excellent customer support, and easy navigation all play essential roles.
To maximize your ROI, focus on providing your staff with everything they need to help the customer. Answers to FAQs are super valuable to this team. Empowerment to solve problems is equally so.
Many businesses are trying to run with minimal staff to keep their overhead down. The catch-point comes with reduced customer-care and customer-service. Weak customer support is not something any company can afford.
A fantastic customer experience is essential and a key determiner in whether this will be a one-time sale or a long-term precious loyal buyer.
You could have a tab on the B2C website for resellers.
Resellers need access to the consumer information to help them sell your product. Put a gateway in place. Have resellers fill out a form and get accepted to access wholesale pricing and distribution information.
In their private area, be sure to include the benefits of buying from you. You are dealing with a person who is making a significant financial commitment to take on your brand. It requires faith and trust in you and your company.
Resellers need information that will make them comfortable both buying and selling your product. They need to feel you have their back and are there in case they have questions or concerns.
Investors have their own unique needs and need a completely different sales approach.
As a consumer, if I see you’re looking for investors on my retail site, it sends up a yellow flag. It creates questions about your stability and reliability.
The best solution is to create a separate landing page and market to investors uniquely. Join forums in your niche where businesses and investors hang out and share information and opportunities.
Check out opportunities on sites like startupinvesting.com, askforfunding.com, or angelinvestmentnetwork.us. I did a Google search on how to find an investor. I came up with 408 million hits.
It may seem like a no-brainer to put the opportunity on your website. Carefully consider the message you are sending to other readers.
B2B Raw Materials
Like investors, raw materials need to be segmented. They need a different level of information focused on features and specifications. They also like the benefits of the ingredient as it simplifies their marketing of the finished formula.
While the focus is information, you can’t ignore emotion. You are selling to a human being, and he/she puts their job on the line every time they make a purchase. You will need to sell them on the benefits of buying from you.
Quality assurance, how the product is grown, testing done, handling each step of your process needs to be explained and validated.
In my work with clients
It’s been my experience that with clients with a mix of B2B and B2C customers, content is very much king.
This mix needs well-created content. It should include articles, information, case studies and testimonials, videos, FAQs, and more. Once created, it can be tweaked and customized for each segment’s use.
If you need a quick evaluation of your customer mix and methodology, schedule a call or message me. www.jculpcreativecopy.com