B2C vs. B2B — Martech Challenge & AI (Part 1)

B2C companies have for long led the way in targeting and personalization of customer segments to identify the most high value to the company. The whole genre of social media marketing and the tools around it came about as a way to reach more and more buyers in a targeted manner. However, we are talking volume here as at the end of the day the target pool of customers is a subset of a 6B+ world population!

Customer value is low, cost of retention is high, barriers to entry and exits are correspondingly low – thus then the importance of marketing technology tools, product positioning, social channels to stay top of mind, continuous offers to entice buyers all help the corporation rise above and promote their goods and services.

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The challenge grows manifold with a B2B marketer and the martech solution provider that supports them. The buyer pool is small, gets smaller as you go high up the ARR and company size. From ‘billions’ you now start talking in the ‘hundreds of thousands or in some cases even hundreds’ at the best.

Different Colors of Leaves on the Ground

So the 2 primary differentiators with respect to B2C are:

  • smaller but higher value buyer pool to target and cherry pick from – gave birth to ABM
  • longer buyer journey and sales resourcing adding to the cost – continuous effectiveness and sales and marketing discussion/technology to increase conversions and drive growth

Martech providers that focus on B2B have then adapted or need to adapt their technology to the specific selling cycle of B2B companies. Solution providers and business leaders now need to account for the extra loaded cost by delivering more fine-tuned, effective, scalable and more personalized engagements, else the hope of ROI in B2B digital market will stay nothing more than a myth.

Marketing Automation tools (Marketo, Eloqua, Silverpop etc.) were a first step in this journey made popular from a decade ago. However, with the increase in digital buyer savvy and overload of information these solutions have started showing their weakness in meeting the challenges listed above.

Welcome then to the era of AI solution providers who have started changing the story and educating the progressive marketing and business leaders on both the B2B challenges and the ROI myths. They however, need to move away from a product and feature set story telling to solution selling that solves for thein. pa

The discussion needs to be about ‘Scaling’ AND ‘Humanizing’ at the same time and how the promise of AI is going to get us there. I truly believe that. I will be diving deeper into this in Part 2, so stay tuned.

As the weather hails on us just as we spring into Spring, let the march madness continue to feed that mad scientist in us to make new discoveries as we innovate around our marketing paradigm and continue to solve for the challenges that lie before us.

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