Remember the last time you logged into your Facebook account and was greeted with a product that you had just viewed on Amazon? Well, wonder no more, because that is what B2C digital marketing is in a nutshell.
However, with so much going on in the background, it would be a good idea to go over some few facts before you can fully understand and appreciate B2C digital marketing.
Over the years, marketing has experienced a rapid evolution. Traditional forms of marketing like print, telephone, direct mail, and broadcast have all been revamped to embrace technology more than ever.
Trends have come and gone, and now, a new dawn of digital marketing has arrived. Despite the existence of traditional marketing methods, digital marketing is becoming an essential part of the future. This makes it paramount.
But What is B2C?
For starters, B2C is an acronym for Business to Consumer. Your relationship with Amazon, for instance, is of B2C type. That’s because you act as the consumer who wants a certain product, and Amazon works as a Business that gives you the product.
Therefore, B2C marketing ideally refers to the promotion of a business’s goods and services to potential consumers. With that in mind, you can already guess that companies use B2C digital methods of marketing to reach out to you, the consumer. Since B2C digital marketing greatly relies on technology, businesses now have a wide variety of channels to use to reach out to their potential markets.
The most traditional channels usually depend on the demographics of the potential market, but currently, the web remains as the most appropriate channel. This is because up to 1/3 of customers between the age of 18 and 39 turn to the web when searching for information on local businesses. On the other hand, up to 26% of older adults do the same when looking for relevant information about business.
Why You Should Care About B2C Digital Marketing Now More Than Ever
Before we even explore some of the reasons why B2C digital marketing is what your business needs, let us review some few stats. There are currently over 3.26 billion internet users today, and this is approximately over 40% of the world population. Of this figure, it is also worth noting that Facebook boasts with over 1.79 billion monthly active users on their platform. If that was not enough to show the real impact of the digital world, then perhaps you should know that in 2015 alone, digital interactions led to retail sales of up to $2.2 trillion. The bottom line is that digitally has potential, and a lot of it.
The first reason why you should embrace B2C digital marketing is that it gives your business unlimited exposure. If you decide to go with social media, for instance, you could potentially reach up to 1.79 billion people especially if you wanted your business to be known globally. However, since doing that would be extremely costly, it is better to select target markets that will result in high-profit margins.
Other than unlimited exposure, you can expect reduced marketing costs. Traditional B2C marketing methods were costly since they required lots of physical elements. Digital B2C marketing reduced these costs by offering all the aspects of marketing without using the physical features. Reduction in costs means that your profit margin will be bigger.
The B2C digital market also goes a long way into building your brand. The thing about B2C digital marketing is that it always goes hand in hand with social media and an online presence. As such, all B2C marketing leads will always take a customer to your site. In turn, they will end up relating the quality of your products/services to your brand.
The Secrets to a Successful B2C Digital Marketing
For the B2C digital marketing to be successful, the business has to think about the customer in three dimensions:
- Target size
A successful B2C digital marketing strategy needs to capture and meet the needs of a customer the first moment he/she is exposed to an ad. A good example of a company that considers this in its marketing strategy is Coca-Cola since it always links its products to sensations of happiness.
These purchases should also be executed in a relatively short time. Good B2C digital marketing strategies should explain why a consumer needs a certain product/service in split seconds so that the consumer will not debate as to why he/she needs that product or service.
While B2C digital marketers are aware of the above trends and develop strategies that are in line with the consumer mindset, they shouldn’t forget about the target size. This is because the business should be, at all times, capable of meeting the needs of their customers. Thus, it is easy to see that through B2C digital marketing, it is vital that the B2C digital marketing strategies be able to quickly and conveniently convert the shopper into a buyer.
Yes, Target Markets Do Matter
Consumer, in the context of, B2C refers to individual customers of a service or product. A single product is not able to appeal to all users, and therefore, B2C digital marketing breaks them down into target segments, for example, 39 to 52-year-old, widowed females. The main aim of such a division is to enable the business to market the largest section with the message it wants to get out since different segments of the market will react differently to the same message.
B2C is usually effective with individuals who had used the product before and had a positive experience. Satisfied customers are likely to buy the product again and refer other people. Repeat business, is, therefore, the cornerstone of building a successful business, and this is what B2C digital marketing is working to achieve, building customer loyalty.
Examples of Businesses that have adopted B2C Marketing
In the race to take B2C as a regular part of business, some companies already got there before the rest. These companies act as models and set a blueprint against which other businesses can work to achieve. Some of these business models include:
Starbucks is an American coffee house, known for its quality coffee. It, therefore, follows that it was one of the first adopters of social media use. Today, it continues to use quality photos, on various social media platforms to attract their customers. They have created a user-friendly platform for their clients through unique features on their Facebook page. Here, their customers can get a store locator, exclusive contests, job links, and international postings. Starbucks further have an app that streamlines the buying process. The app was created to bypass queues and engage the customers in mobile payments. While all brands cannot design an app to suit the needs of the market, Starbucks is an example of how brands can make the consumer’s journey smoother and more convenient.
Think Spotify, think the master of personalization. Through their understanding of a client’s music interest, Spotify can select and send emails to subscribers containing only content that is relevant and rewarding to a listener. Contents of the emails may vary widely, from news of an international concert to a favorite band releasing a new single. Spotify has further extended their efforts through their “discover weekly” platform. This platform gives the listener an opportunity to uncover a customized playlist. As 2015 came to a close, Spotify presented their users with “Year in Music” Microsites, detailing all their music habits of the previous years in a story. The method that Spotify uses highlights the use of more than just email when seeking to give products a personal touch.
• Taco Bell
Taco Bell is a master at using humor to illustrate their brand personality. Take a peek into their Twitter account, and you meet a big collection of GIFS and doodles, expressing different aspects of how it is to run a fast food chain. They have a young audience, and that, coupled with consistent and bold brand name, Taco Bell have gone ahead to become the best at using humor to meet their audience. They have shown a consistency in their use of humor to meet the target audience, making it become something like a trademark. This sends a message for other brands. If you want to be noticed, stand out and be consistent.
Tesco is a British international grocery and source of information for any person in the home that is aiming at running their home smoothly. They have a blog in which shoppers can find how-to-do and easy-to-follow instruction articles that may come in handy especially in the home. The blog also contains useful pictures for the home. The articles are concerned with the family, covering broad topics ranging from summertime crafting ideas for your children to favorite holiday recipes for the home. Tesco has identified the challenges faced by grocery shoppers and is, therefore, helpful, in particular in the inbound marketing ground and provision of an easy to use a platform.
TOMS have always incorporated storytelling as a key point in their marketing endeavors. They share the stories behind their giving model, and in return, they help to gain consumers who are in line with their missions. If you take a closer look, you realize that their social media accounts look more photo-journalistic as compared to marketing. TOMS have used what they do best and pursued it further, visual telemarketing. Through visual telemarketing, TOMS can take their audience on a virtual giving trip. Businesses can borrow a leaf from TOMS. While visual telemarketing may not be your company’s greatest strength, it could be worth identifying your business’s strongest asset and using it to help your brand get noticed.
• Herschel Supply Company
Another company that incorporates visual marketing into its daily activities. If you browse through Herschel’s social media accounts, take the example of Twitter, you will encounter several photos of chaotic city streets and beautiful mountain tops. Even more impressive is the fact that these visual images are primarily from what their customers post through their #WellTravelled hashtag. Through the hashtag, Herschel has been able to create an online presence in an online community that embraces the travel experience. The customers are not just customers, they are a community, and therefore, they value loyalty and have become stakeholders in the company’s marketing and their activities.
Everlane, a famous fashion retailer is well-known for transparency. As a brand, it seeks to attain transparency in their dealings. Everlane achieve their goal by breaking down the how and why for the customers. They make this by various means, for example, through their Instagram account where they feature shots taken at the backstage, depicting their cloth production process. They also achieve this through the use of Snapchat through which the company sends its customers personal and honest messages. Through this approach, Everlane has been able to gain and retain loyalty and trust from their clients.
Threadless is well known for its t-shirt designs but seldom will you find its employees talking about their t-shirt designs on the blog. Instead, you will find illustrators and designers feeling at home and displaying some of the best content with a twist of personality and quirkiness. Threadless posts content from their customers, depicting doodles directly from their clients. Each image on the Threadless blog is packed with thrill and inspiration, just enough to retain their target market and keep them hooked. This shows a company that not only knows, but also understands its audience, which can be a significant start in B2C marketing.
From the above case studies, we can learn that the internet is pivotal for B2C marketing as the present-day audience spends a significant amount of time online. Through social media, a company or marketer can connect with the audience at a personal level hence increasing chances of loyalty. A satisfied consumer is, therefore, the basis for building up and getting more shoppers to turn into buyers.