A colleague from our Client Success team sent this article to me recently. In it, Morag Cuddeford-Jones interviews experts on the topic of customer experiences and what B2B companies can learn from B2C companies:
B2C Marketing has traditionally been perceived as more cutting edge than B2B. As B2B buyers engage with providers ever later in the buying process B2B Marketing continues to grow in importance and sophistication, shifting the balance. So B2C practitioners are increasingly looking at what they can learn from their enterprise colleagues.
One of the key points Morag and the interviewees make is that B2B customers are also customers in the B2C world and expect those same seamless experiences.
Blake Cahill (Senior VP & Head of Digital Marketing & Media at Philips), had it spot on, B2B buyers are not only bringing their experiences as a consumer to the table - but also bring their expertise in their roles. A radiologist providing input around which devices should be purchased for a hospital brings her experience as a consumer at places like Amazon, but also her expertise as a radiologist.
Expert buyers set the bar higher for B2B marketers, they have to satisfy the "consumer" expectations and the "expert" needs. This sentiment is backed up by what Tim Buchannan from Hiscox said and as both a direct insurer (B2C) and traditional, broker-based model (B2B) he's well placed to comment.
"B2C companies could learn a lot about segmentation and personalisation of user journeys [from B2B brands]"
I've worked with both the Hiscox and Philips marketing teams before and recently many purely B2C focussed companies who struggle to engage with their customers in a cohesive manner across all the different channels. Looking at B2B then, at initiatives like ABM & customer journey mapping, it's clear that B2C has some learnings to take away.
I've referenced this video from Angus Heslop at Deloitte before and it's relevant here again, as it illustrates how B2B marketers are meeting that high bar and setting a new standard for authentic and effective marketing- perhaps even a standard that B2C marketers should try to match.
“B2B customers are still customers, so they expect the same frictionless experiences they would receive as a B2C customer, so it’s in Philips’ best interests to maintain customer experience standards,” he explains. “The biggest challenge is providing a consistent experience across the many business lines and audiences we engage with. Understanding the needs of a radiologist, or MRI technician, say, compared to a chief information officer, drives various customer journeys and outcomes,” Cahill says.