As we all know, B2B marketing content is the best vehicle to show thought leadership, build trust and ultimately inform prospects and leads. But what if the decision-makers and buyers are only actually middle-men between your organisation and the end-users? Before this gets too complicated, let’s simplify it. For example, a company makes hot water tanks for domestic properties. However, they supply their products to installers and plumbers (who then fit these tanks into people’s homes). A traditional marketing approach would dictate that the water tank company should be marketing their products to the installers and plumbers in the hope of securing them as repeat customers. But is this the only marketing solution? Certainly not.
It may sound oxymoronic, but some of the best B2B marketing results can be achieved by targeting consumers.
B2B marketing in today’s modern world is all about the multi-channel approach - contacting the prospects via multiple channels and measuring them individually to determine their ROI. For this reason, it’s important to highlight that this blog is not suggesting that B2B marketers stop marketing to businesses, it’s merely suggesting to add another techniques to the mix and further improve results.
Using the hot water tank company example from above, they are marketing to installers, plumbers and even merchants, and they are generating fairly good results. However, they then decide to also market their products directly to the end-user, with one key call to action – contact your local installer or plumber for more details. The benefit to this approach is that by informing homeowners (end-users) about their need for well-maintained heating tanks, they have driven up interest in their products which homeowners are now asking their plumbers/installers for directly.
Placing the consumer in this influencer role improves sales in many ways. The key point is that consumer knowledge is now affecting the products that plumbers install and is therefore crossing into the B2B market. It also means that the installers, plumbers and merchants (the original targets) will also increase their purchases because they know the products are becoming more sought after from informed customers.
This technique of marketing to influencers in order to increase purchases from decision-makers is not a new prospect for B2B marketers; it’s an approach that’s been in use for years. However, targeting end-users (consumers) to improve B2B sales is a technique that’s not so well known. Through our own personal experience we know it works as long as there is one key change to the content – it must be consumer-targeted. Approaching end-users means different pain points, different concerns, different tone of voice and even different formats of content. Only once this has been taken into account and bespoke content has been created, can this type of marketing succeed.
It is worth noting that this B2C approach to B2B marketing only works for organisations whose typical buyers have consumers to sell to. For these organisations though, this technique can be the difference between good marketing results and great marketing results.
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