How is marketing to a business different from marketing to consumers? The basics are the same. You are looking for people who need a problem solved, a problem YOUR product, service, or idea can fix.
In both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) the advertising formula goes like this:
1. Here is a problem you have.
2. If you don’t act now, your problem will get worse.
3. Our product will fix your problem (or make it better.)
4. Here’s how wonderful your life will be when your problem is solved.
Some observant scholars have likened the American ad to a religious experience. The customer is in Hell, then though a miracle (your product) she is delivered into Heaven where life is idyllic. Think of TV commercials where the actor looks pained in the beginning, tries the product, then looks ecstatic. The actor behaves like discovering the product was the most important event in their lifetime.
That formula works for online ads, for TV commercials, for full-page magazine ads — you name it. It’s the primary ad strategy today, was the main ad strategy back in 1930, and I have no doubt whatsoever it will STILL be number one in 2050.
Most of the ads we see are designed for consumers. Yet the amount of money spent to reach businesses is staggering.
* Business buyers need what you are selling RIGHT NOW. They have a problem that is inhibiting their profits and adding to their expenses.
* Consumers can often wait longer. They may see your product or service as a nice thing to have, but don’t absolutely need it today. That is why extending your marketing campaign over time is vitally important.
* Business buyers are generally more knowledgeable. Give them the facts, figures, and technical reports they want. Often you can skip the general discussion of your product and get right to specifics.
* Consumers are in a hurry and won’t read long marketing copy. Business buyers take more time and want all the information you can give them.
In other words, keep your B2C ads short. Save your long page copy for B2B. Or better yet, give B2B short copy to start with the option to read longer copy. Give B2C lots of photos and video. The same can work for B2B, but a thorough discussion is most important.
Let consumers see what other consumers have said about your product. The same goes for businesses. Give businesses an easy way to contact you for further, specialized information and discussion.