Can B2B Teach B2C?
For the most part, business owners/operators see tangible advertising promotions as mainly applying to B2B companies (meaning business-to-business enterprises). When it comes to B2C (business-to-consumer), the perception changes.
Now yes, B2B businesses sell to businesses, and they often have sales reps who regularly contact their targets, those reps and/or their employers are smart, and those contacts involve more than just a phone call or a brochure or flyer leave-behind.
That’s classic B2B selling.
But if you’re running a consumer products store or business, why not sweeten the take-away deal for your customers like your B2B cousins do? Drop an imprinted pen or fridge magnet or coaster in the bag, for a few examples, along the lines of the B2B leave-behinds.
Again, and as I’ve said many times, people love free stuff. And also as I’ve said, dimensional marketing items hang around.
A printed promo insert might get read, but it’ll soon get tossed in the trash can with the bones from your KFC dinner. Tangible dimensional marketing products won’t so easily be garbaged…and once more, those imprinted and practical items are keepable.
Alright, sure. Even the cheapest plastic toothpick isn’t free. The cost comes off your pre-tax gross, yes. But a logo-imprinted toothpick goes home with your customer, while a newspaper ad or flyer just comes and goes with the coffee grounds.
That’s not to downplay or discredit the value of traditional print advertising. Yet in terms of lasting impressions for your store, which has the longer impression life?
And that comes back to the headline of this post.
B2B advertising accepts a longer gestation time for client cultivation. If you’re a retailer, though, you need and want now, not later. Such is the nature of the game. It is what it is.
But why not take a longer look at customer cultivation?
Lots of ways to do this, and they don’t always have to involve a major expenditure. But B2B knows that you have to spend to make. It also knows that you have to give to get.
Let’s say you run a convenience store. Your margins are slim, yes. But you count on repeat patronage…or at least repeat promotion of your store’s name, phone number, etc.
So why not give every customer an imprinted pen from your location? It’s called promotion, not couponing. You’re pushing your name and store, not some give-away. And your “push” goes far beyond the shopper’s experience…because that pen not just stays around but gets passed around again and again and again.
Most B2B advertisers know this. Shouldn’t B2C marketers?