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Marketing Strategies to Consider When Transitioning from B2B to B2C

Transitioning from a traditional B2B business model, where your primary customers are retailers, distributors, and other partners, to include individual consumers, presents a myriad of opportunities and challenges. This transition requires careful planning, particularly in the realm of marketing, to ensure both segments are properly supported. This article will cover key strategies for communicating with existing B2B customers, developing a go-to-market strategy for the new B2C business, identifying the right marketing channels, and monitoring crucial KPIs to track business health.

 

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1. Communication Strategy with Existing B2B Customers

 

Understanding Concerns

The good news is that since there is a general trend of B2B shifting to B2C, many businesses will already be familiar with this strategy. This familiarity does not, however, alleviate B2B customers worrying about competition and losing their customers to the new B2C channel. Addressing these concerns transparently is essential to maintain strong relationships. 


Strategies to Alleviate Concerns

Exclusive Deals and Offers: Provide exclusive deals or offers for B2B customers to maintain their loyalty. B2B customers need to be reminded of the value and benefits of being your customer.

  • Partnership Opportunities: Explore partnership opportunities where B2B customers can benefit from the B2C transition. One idea here is an improved “buy from a retail partner near you” or similar functionality on your website.
  • Clear Differentiation: Clearly differentiate between the B2B and B2C offerings to minimize direct competition. For example, product customizations or bundles may only be available to B2B customers.
  • Communication Plan: Develop a robust communication plan to keep B2B customers informed and engaged. Now is the time to step up the communication channels and strengthen the relationships with your customer sales teams.


Go-to-Market Strategy for the New B2C Business


Website Strategy


New vs. Enhanced Website:

Many traditional B2B websites are in need of updating. If your website hasn’t been updated in the past 3 years, it is probably losing its competitive edge. B2B customers are younger and used to ecommerce experiences on big brand B2C sites. They are expecting a comparable experience in their B2B purchasing. The good news is that transitioning to B2C provides opportunities to refresh and revise the customer experience on the B2B site. The key decision here is whether to create a new, separate B2C site or to modify the existing B2B site to accommodate both types of customers. This is an important strategic decision that should be determined by company stakeholders and consultation with your web and marketing partners. Here is a short list of pros and cons. 


Creating a "New Co” for the B2C market

Pros Cons
Utilize latest ecommerce frameworks Starting from scratch without SEO or brand recognition built up by B2B
Site will be 100% B2C focused Expense to build and maintain and market 2 websites
Extend brand with a consumer site Still need to clearly communicate intentions to B2B customers
Less impactful on existing B2B customers  

 

Modifying your B2B platform to include B2C

Pros Cons
Can build on existing infrastructure Strategy on how to clearly separate B2B and B2C offerings on one website
Can build on existing B2B traffic and search engine ranking Modify social and marketing channels to accommodate both customer types
Opportunity to refresh branding and marketing  
Simplifies site management   

 

Marketing channels to aid in transition

With this type of transition, marketing channels are critical to support the business change and communicate clearly with all customer types. Here is a short list of which channels should be considered and how they can be used.

  • Email Marketing: Utilize email marketing for personalized communication and promotions. On the B2B side, emphasize the benefits of being a partner. The new B2C email strategy will be to build and segment email lists.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Invest in PPC campaigns to establish brand visibility and to drive immediate traffic and sales.
    Social Media: Leverage social media platforms for brand awareness, engagement, and direct sales. Determine if separate channels are required for each customer audience.
  • Content Marketing: Create valuable content that resonates with the B2C audience and drives organic traffic.
    Influencer Marketing: Partner with influencers to reach a broader audience and build credibility. This is probably more important in the B2C space but B2B customers can be utilized to help provide content.
  • SEO: Optimize the website for search engines to attract organic traffic. Customer journeys, especially if you are combining multiple customer types, are important to track and monitor.
     

Key Considerations and Watchouts

 Brand Consistency: Maintain brand consistency across B2B and B2C channels.

Customer Support: Ensure robust customer support to handle inquiries and issues from both B2B and B2C customers.

Data Analytics: Use data analytics to track performance, understand customer behavior, and make informed decisions.

Legal and Compliance: Be aware of legal and compliance issues related to selling directly to consumers. For example, more focus needs to be placed on ADA compliance.

 

Analytics and KPIs to Pay Attention To

Regularly monitoring these KPIs and conversions will help you ensure the B2B segment remains healthy while driving growth in the B2C segment. This balanced approach will enable you to make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and achieve sustainable business success.

 

For B2B Business:

 

Sales and Revenue Metrics

  1. Total Sales Revenue: Overall revenue generated from B2B transactions.
  2. Average Order Value (AOV): Average revenue per order from B2B customers.
  3. Repeat Purchase Rate: Percentage of customers who make multiple purchases over time.
  4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): Total revenue expected from a customer over their lifetime.

 

Customer Engagement and Retention

  1. Customer Retention Rate: Percentage of customers who continue to purchase over a given period.
  2. Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measure of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

 

For B2C Business:

 

Sales and Revenue Metrics

  1. Total Sales Revenue: Overall revenue generated from B2C transactions.
  2. Average Order Value (AOV): Average revenue per order from B2C customers.
  3. Conversion Rate: Percentage of website visitors who make a purchase.
  4. Revenue Growth Rate: Rate at which B2C revenue is growing over time. 

 

Customer Acquisition and Engagement

  1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Cost incurred to acquire a new customer.
  2. Customer Retention Rate: Percentage of B2C customers who make repeat purchases.
  3. Email Open and Click-Through Rates: Engagement metrics for email marketing campaigns.
  4. Social Media Engagement: Likes, shares, comments, and follower growth on social platforms. 

 

Website and E-commerce Performance

  1. Website Traffic: Number of visitors to the B2C website.
  2. Cart Abandonment Rate: Percentage of customers who add items to their cart but do not complete the purchase.
  3. Bounce Rate: Percentage of visitors who leave the website after viewing only one page.

 

Cross-Segment Metrics:

 

Overall Business Health

  1. Gross Profit Margin: Overall profitability after subtracting the cost of goods sold (COGS) from total revenue.
  2. Operating Expenses Ratio: Comparison of operating expenses to total revenue.
  3. Market Share: Proportion of the market your business occupies compared to competitors. 

 

Customer Feedback and Satisfaction

  1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Overall satisfaction of both B2B and B2C customers.
  2. Product Return Rate: Percentage of products returned by customers.

Know more about Kensium Marketing Strategies

Conclusion

Expanding an existing B2B business into B2C requires a lot of strategy and effort from all levels of an organization but the potential payoff is huge. The competitive landscape is full of businesses adopting these strategies. Kensium’s marketing and business teams are familiar with the many considerations required to make the transition a success. If your organization is considering with the best way to move forward, contact us today for a consultation and see how we can grow your business together. 

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