It’s no secret that B2C marketing tactics have a way of ascending to the B2B industry over time. Whether you’re targeting a consumer or another business, you’re still tasked with forming a human connection and creating a need for your offering, after all. Most recently and according to McKinsey1, the adoption of multi-channel marketing in B2B from B2C is impacting sales and marketing in a big way and the holiday season is no exception. Contextually, it’s among the heaviest marketing time of the year, with advertisements saturating online searches, promotional displays infiltrating storefronts and cheery commercials peppering popular T.V. spots. Of course, not every B2C holiday marketing method applies to B2B, but there are key tactics that can be utilized.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how three of the most adaptable B2C marketing strategies can be applied to the B2B market. Use these tips to get your brand in front of fellow business owners’ busy eyes during the holiday season to kick-start sales in 2018.
- ‘Tis The Season For Sales and Specials
There’s no better time for B2C marketing than the holidays; potential consumers have been eyeing products for most of the year and compiling ideas for their loved ones’ want lists. Businesses have been behaving in a similar way – researching and budgeting for products, software and professional services they plan to implement in the upcoming year.
For most B2B companies, a software as a service (SaaS) or product as a service (PaaS) is a large investment that takes careful time and consideration. If a business that’s familiar with your offering, has been hesitant to purchase your product or service during the regular season, the approaching New Year – supported by infectious holiday cheer – can lead to converted sales. Many strategic purchases are decided on in the fourth quarter and carried out in the New Year.
Taking advantage of the holiday purchasing frenzy typically reserved for consumers, also applies to businesses; a business near the end of their buyer’s journey with your product or service can be encouraged to sign on the dotted line by timing your decision-stage marketing efforts with the holidays. A few potential ways to market B2B products and services for the holidays include:
- Holiday Cards Containing a “Special Gift”
- Email Blasts Sent With an Incentive
- Cheery Calls To Action on Your Collateral
A well-timed holiday card or email from your company wishing potential and existing customers a happy holiday, while also offering a sale or special on your most popular good or service, is a solid technique to get sales flowing during the busy holiday season. Try unique designs, color schemes or holiday messages to separate your card or email from regular marketing tactics as well as to stand out from the abundance of promotional material already in your prospect’s mailbox.
Consider your target demographic as well. Traditional or formal businesses might consider a holiday card more personal and generate brand trust, while a tech startup might prefer a witty email with a call to action at the bottom. Always take your demographic into consideration before spending your holiday marketing budget on remarketing tactics; the last thing you’d want is for your holiday card to end up as a coaster or for your unwanted email to land your company on a permanent spam list.
- A Cheery Social Media Presence
The holidays are a time when potential clients take time off from their busy, professional lives to be with their families and friends (and overeat, of course). Another guarantee – most of them will be viewing social media at some point during their vacation, providing marketers a valuable chance to get their sales and specials in front of consumers’ eyes.
Draw consumers to your social media profiles by using seasonally appropriate posts; the holidays are a great time to demonstrate the more human side of your company. Don’t be afraid to post photos of your staff at holiday parties, participating in charitable initiatives or showing off their office-décor with a few words of holiday cheer. Your customers will see the human element of your organization, letting them put a face to the product or service you’re offering them.
An important reminder: make sure your holiday party photos are appropriate! While it may seem harmless to post a picture of “Amy from Accounting” dancing on the buffet table, overstepping the line of comfort can instill an air of unprofessionalism and unreliability in the minds of your potential customer base, permanently turning them off from your brand. (Disclaimer, we have nothing against “Amy’s” who work in accounting departments – in fact she sounds really fun).
- Tweak Your Online Ads And NAP
One of the most important and often overlooked steps to take in preparation for the uptick in online traffic during the holiday season is to add pertinent company details to your search engine results or website. Remember to update your NAP: Name, Address and Phone Number across any and all areas where they’ll be displayed on the web. Not only can uniformity of your information drive your business’s search rankings, but it will guarantee that consumers trying to contact or research your company are receiving the correct information. Be sure to broadcast any holiday hours or holiday specials too.
It also pays to tweak your Adwords advertisements with holiday appropriate keywords. Adding phrases such as “Free Shipping All Season Long” or “Best Holiday Deals Available Now” will help your ads standout. It also couples any sales search terms with contextually unique holiday phrases that B2B consumers may be searching for. Don’t go crazy though; adding too much holiday flare to your existing ads can make them look spammy and subsequently cause them to be removed by search engine moderators.
In short, don’t be afraid to celebrate the holidays in your B2B marketing efforts, just don’t go overboard. By executing marketing best practices with a touch of holiday cheer and style, your B2B company can benefit from the tried and true marketing techniques of B2C marketers.