Business to consumer marketing is perhaps the most important method of gaining new customers, so it needs to be done right. Without effective marketing, most businesses will end up failing.
Marketing to consumers is quite different from marketing to other businesses. The average consumer is far more emotional in making purchase decisions and will have drastically different motives for everything they do than a business customer. In order to tap into this market, you’ll need a specific marketing campaign to target it.
Motivate Them to Buy
B2C marketing campaigns need to encourage individuals to become customers, but how do you do this? Giving people a reason to purchase, apart from the fact that they need your product or service, is the best choice. There are a number of ways to do this:
People love to save money, especially in today’s economy, so offering them a way to get your product for cheaper is going to encourage them to buy.
Offer something extra in return for a sale. A good example would be a bottle of lotion with every facial or back massage purchased at a spa.
A discount that is specifically for previous customers can increase repeat sales. You can also offer special discounts or sales according to the season, such as a Mother’s Day sale, for example. Consider offering exclusive savings for email or social media subscribers.
Build Trust Through Communication
Any company that actually interacts with its clients is going to have a better reputation than one that is aloof and doesn’t respond to customers. There are many ways to build trust, but communication is the best method and there are several ways to go about talking with your potential clients, as well.
- Email newsletters
- Social Media
All of these offer the opportunity for customers to communicate with your business and it’s important to respond to them. Whether it’s a simple mention on Twitter or a comment left on the company blog, responding to these assures people that there are human beings running the company and that you are paying attention to them.
Social media and blogging are also excellent venues for reputation management. When someone complains about you on their blog or social media accounts, you should be able to reach out to them and resolve the situation quickly. This can turn a potentially negative issue into an opportunity to show everyone that you are paying attention. The increased trust will help them buy from you again and again.
Encourage Word of Mouth Advertising
The most powerful type of marketing is simply having someone recommend your company to a friend. People trust their friends to steer them toward excellent companies and so they will be more likely to buy if someone they know has had good experiences. It’s possible to encourage word of mouth advertising if you know how to go about it.
Offering freebies to bloggers and those who are very active on social media is a good method of getting them to talk about your products. This is a method used by many companies and while you may need to pay a fee in some cases for the review, many bloggers will happily take free product.
Another good method of getting people to discuss your products or services is to offer a giveaway. Have people gain extra entries by blogging, tweeting or sharing the giveaway on social media sites to gain extra publicity. While this is not strictly a recommendation, it can be a good, cost effective method of getting people’s attention and increasing the visibility of your brand.
Make It All About Them
The customer is the one who needs to be impressed enough to buy, so make sure they understand what you can do for them. Many businesses talk about their offerings and features, but the best marketing campaigns discuss the client, what he or she needs and then offer a solution to the problem the customer is facing. It’s not about the business at all, but rather what the client will benefit from hiring your or purchasing a product.
When you are able to start interacting with clients and marketing to them in this manner, you should see an increase in sales. People are innately selfish and they could care less about what your business does . . . they want to know what they can get out of it. When a marketing campaign directed at consumers focuses on this, it is almost always a success.
Go Where the Clients Are
If you’re advertising in a barely read magazine for clients, chances are you won’t be too successful. It’s important to know your target audience and make sure you meet them where they’re at. Many people are online these days, but not everyone is on social media sites, so if you are targeting an audience that barely uses Twitter though tweeting, you’ll have little success.
Take the time to do some market research and learn a bit more about your future clients, then make sure you’re advertising where they are paying attention, online or offline.
Marketing can seem like a hit and miss endeavor at times, but when you know how to get the most out of your B2C campaigns, you’ll see better results almost every time.