Traditionally, Lead Nurturing has been a B2B approach. Marketers seem to believe that B2C customers are more impulsive and less rational, but it can hurt you to underestimate buyers’ analytical skills and hunger for knowledge. As well as they want a simple and intuitive procedure and navigation, they need information and arguments that will help them make the best choice – especially that the market is huge. Learn why you should invest in B2C Lead Nurturing and how to do it with Marketing Automation to drive sales, not just relationships.
1. Blurring lines between B2B and B2C customers
Writes Louis Foong, “The buyer, in general, whether in the B2B or B2C space, is increasingly self-educating through online research, peer opinions and social media”. B2B marketers, who used to focus on delivering knowledge, discover the power of emotional connection, while B2C marketers observed that their audience wants more than just a mood a low prices: they seek information on product details, learn and compare.
Shopping became less frivolous and more considerate, what stems not only from financial reasons and experience of crisis, but rather from global rise in amount of goods available.
2. Plague of plenty
Today there are too many products on the market for a human to know. Choosing the right product, from ketchup to laptop, becomes a job requiring a serious study and research. In the long run that prosperity backfires both on producers (too many choices can lead to fewer sales) and on buyers. According to Consumer Reports National Research Center (report concerned food industry), almost 80 percent of the participants said they’d found an especially wide range of choices in the previous month, and 36 percent of those said they were overwhelmed by the information they had to process to make a buying decision. Between 1975 and 2008, the number of products in the average supermarket swelled from an average of 8,948 to almost 47,000, according to the Food Marketing . Analogous processes take place in all industries.
Customers need some help with that confusing abundance. They need reasons: “Why should I choose that particular product?” That’s what Lead Nurturing does, by describing the market, showing possible uses, providing data so customers don’t have to search them on their own. Simply put, you do research for them.
3. Being different
Lead Nurturing shows that you care about more than sales: you want to educate, share your knowledge, build relationships (and sell). It also helps customers make well-informed decisions and feel better about the purchase.
For example, Lead Nurturing can be a good way to share your values and story. If you produce handmade, high-quality, tell about it, educate your customers about materials, teach them about the difference between good a poor material quality or secret family recipes. Combining telling your story with education helps you stand out, show your uniqueness.
As Jon Miller says, Lead Nurturing is about sharing love. It’s contrary to traditional approach, when marketers reach out to our customers only to ask for money, like teenagers talking to parents only when in financial need.
Lead Nurturing helps you go beyond archaic, egoistic, teenager – style marketing and give customers what they really want: sense of being treated in unique way, being cared of.
What about sales? 4-1-1 rule
Some sceptics might ask: “OK, that’s cool, love, stories, emotions, knowledge, but last time I’ve checked love didn’t pay the bills. What about sales?”. Here we come to crucial problem of marketing in general: balance. How to find right proportion of educational and promoting content?
Start with Joe Pulizzi’s 4-1-1 rule. It means that for every 6 messages:
- 4 should be non-promotional: educational or fun,
- 1 should be “soft promotion”,
- 1 should be “hard promotion”.
It also enables you to send messages more frequently, because your content is varied.
Note: originally the 4-1-1 rule applied to Twitter posts, but it’s pretty universal and can be adopted to Lead Nurturing.
Shortly – our tips
- Don’t underestimate B2C buyers’ need for solid data and education,
- In the age of plenty, confused customers need to constantly do their research. So relieve them and do that task for them. That’s the purpose Lead Nurturing serves,
- Show that you are an expert and a passionate who cares and offers useful information.