If you are a CEO or VP at an industrial, technical, or B2B firm it would seem logical that you would want a B2B marketing expert. It seems simple enough. Consumers and businesses have different purchasing criteria, right? If you are in the B2B world you already know this. However, too many B2B firms end up hiring consumer or B2C marketers to take care of their digital marketing. How do I know this? Because, I often fix issues left behind by B2C digital marketing agencies. Many of these ‘big name’ digital marketing firms fool their B2B customers into choosing them. They say things like, “all purchasing is human” or, “we’re experts at digital marketing so B2C or B2B buyers don’t make a difference.” That’s what they say. They’re dead wrong. But, that’s what they say.
If you read my other blog post on some differences between the B2B and B2C purchasing process you have a few reasons already. Here are some more.
Industrial buyer criteria = The psychology and criteria of the industrial buyer is drastically different than the consumer buyer.
Strict Match = Let’s consider a consumer product like an Apple computer. Do you think Apple knows their customers pretty well? Duh. Yeah, they didn’t become one of the world’s richest companies by accident. They clearly have a firm grasp on who their ‘tribe’ is and who it isn’t. Let’s say just as an example that Apple’s primary target market is a 25-38 year old female with a college education, who owns a home, and has income of $50 – $110k/year. Let’s also say that there are another dozen criteria Apple identified for this ideal customer. Now, let me ask you something – can you imagine people from outside this neat little demographic buying Apple’s products? Uh, yeah. It happens every day. So what does that matter when talking about B2B buyers?
It matters a ton!
You see, with industrial type products or B2B products and services you aren’t going to just attract some random buyer who happens to be shopping for their grandchildren. No sir. Your offerings need to mach very strictly with the customer. Because of that, you must define with crystal clarity who your customer is, and as we shall see, who your customer is Not. Otherwise, you will waste a ton of advertising dollars and sales efforts spinning wheels on those prospects who do not fit with what you offer. And that is why so many B2B firms fail to grow. They can’t find their ideal customer and they can’t articulate what value that ideal customer will derive from acquiring their product or service.
Negative Matches = Just as the B2B firm is looking for a strict match or ideal customer, the smart firms are also looking for elimination cues. What does that mean? It means you need to know those things which will eliminate a prospect from consideration. Otherwise, you are wasting your valuable time, and theirs. B2C marketing firms have no clue about this when it comes to B2B!
To give just one example of how this relates to digital marketing, consider keyword matches. With keywords in SEO, or Google Ads for example, you need to ‘load up’ on those terms that do not fit your business. If you don’t, you end up spending a fortune on wasted ad dollars.
In my experience B2C firms (even Google Ads team directly) have zero experience on how to properly structure digital marketing for B2B since they do not fully understand what I explained in this post.