If all (or indeed any) of your business comes from consumers, you need to have a clear B2C marketing strategy.
This is a hectic and demanding space, with countless brands and businesses vying for the attention of consumers who are becoming increasingly intolerant of traditional marketing and advertising techniques.
Developing a focused, data-driven plan that reflects the unique characteristics and needs of your target audience is vital if you want to gain satisfactory ROI from your B2C marketing.
Here are four strategic approaches that can help you drive engagement, earn loyalty and ultimately generate revenue for the business:
1. Prioritize personalization
Effective personalization of your marketing content is a hugely valuable capability in the B2C space. It helps you form close connections with consumers by demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of them as individuals.
However, you need to be confident that you can get personalization right before going down this route because getting it wrong can damage your customer relationships.
According to Gartner, personalization efforts must emphasize actually helping customers, with messaging designed in a way that provides genuinely valuable assistance or support.
Successful personalization relies on:
- Collection and analysis of data to improve your understanding of customer habits, behaviors, and needs, which helps you create relevant, compelling content
- Identification and creation of focused, high-quality content that will resonate with particular audience segments
- Commitment to personalizing every aspect of the consumer experience, from emails and social media to website content and mobile apps
2. Engagement via email
In an era of real-time social media engagement and cutting-edge customer service technologies like chatbots, email might seem quaint and even outdated, but evidence suggests this channel still offers huge potential to connect with consumers.
More than half (54%) of B2C digital marketers questioned for a survey by SmarterHQ, Cheetah Digital, Liveclicker and MailCharts ranked email as the top ROI-driving channel. This was largely because of its affordability and good track record for generating engagement.
One pitfall to be wary of is sending too many messages, with research suggesting that millennials only want to receive up to three emails a month, but many brands send between eight and ten.
There are some striking examples of how email and personalization can be cleverly combined, such as this reminder email from Nissan, which is based on customer data management and segmentation:
3. Membership and loyalty
A membership program can be a hugely powerful tool for earning loyalty, maintaining audience engagement with your brand and giving something back to your long-term customers.
One of the reasons why this approach works is because it adds an element of gamification to your marketing. Consumers can earn rewards and move up membership levels based on how much they interact with your site or how frequently they buy from you.
There are many examples of membership and loyalty programs that have become huge successes and had an immeasurable impact on their companies' bottom lines, such as Starbucks Rewards and Amazon Prime.
Luxury cosmetics retailer Sephora has enjoyed success with its Beauty Insider program, which is free to join and offers various benefits and incentives for members. Customers whose annual spending crosses certain thresholds receive exclusive rewards like free custom makeovers and invitations to events.
4. Leverage social media
It’ll come as no surprise to any marketer that social media needs to be placed right at the heart of your B2C marketing strategy.
However, you should take the time to consider exactly how you want to approach social media to make the most of its considerable potential. This has become such a vast, diverse and busy sector of the B2C marketing landscape that adopting a 'one-size-fits-all' strategy across various channels is simply not good enough.
Your social marketing should be based on a detailed plan including elements such as:
- Audience research and insights to help you make decisions like which channels to use and how often to post
- SMART goals that make sense for your business and its wider objectives
- Success metrics and KPIs
- Competitor analysis
- Content creation and curation strategy
Used in the right way, social channels can be one of the best routes to achieving a common goal in the B2C space: cutting through all the noise of modern marketing and delivering genuinely valuable, worthwhile content that makes consumers value your brand.