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The worlds of B2B and B2C are colliding – and the ripple effect is impacting the customer journey, the buyers’ mindset, and customer engagement strategies. Joanne Gore, seasoned B2B marketer and Founder of Joanne Gore Communications, shares how your company can navigate this new territory in the Reimagining Communications podcast, “Where the Worlds of B2B and B2C Collide.”
Catering to Today’s Buying Mindset: “As of 2019, millennials run the gamut between the ages of 23 and 38 years. We often think of them as being younger, but some of them are nearly 40. When we're talking about millennials, it's interesting that over a third expect a business's website to be their most helpful resource. They search, they research, they collaborate, they connect, and they look for reviews. This is pulled straight from their consumer mindset and it's now trickling to their business; how they purchase today as a consumer is how they expect to be able to purchase when they're in the business world. This is impacting expectations, communications, and experience; and one of the major factors that's driving growth in the customer communications market is the need to keep customers engaged through a variety of communications and channels.”
Getting Over the Fear of Print: “Print went away for a while… Digital was so much quicker: just send email campaigns and you can measure it, you can track it. Because of that, many companies were scared when it came to printed direct mail. When they're faced with the reality of what it can do – particularly when it's for causes or nonprofit associations – we’ve seen huge, tremendous lifts. Of course, when it comes to statements, if you can get the message right in the right cycle of a bill or statement and you're not selling the wrong solution at the wrong time, you can really push that purchase and that journey… I think there's more of a willingness to embrace different channels and methods of communication that extend beyond digital for B2B. Finding a print and digital balance is really where we're going to see the blurring of the lines between B2C and B2B.”
Communicating Value, Not Just Cost: “As a consumer, your bill is very personal; it's your money and it matters. You're going to pay attention to everything that's on that statement. Smart companies are going to make sure that the information that's presented matters to the person who's reading the statement. When it comes to marketing strategies, the ability to give that personal and customized experience is lost truthfully in B2B invoices… Imagine if you targeted the bills and statements to the actual department that received your services, even if they're not the ones paying the bill, but they get their own form of statement that includes the cost but also what you got out of the deal and how it was measured. Now you have the information because your vendor provided you with a statement that mattered to you, wearing your corporate hat.”
Head-Hitting Messages: “Nurturing comes in different formats, in different sizes, and whether you're trying to nurture somebody in a consumer environment or a B2B environment, it's going to take a different path. You're still going to have to hit somebody over the head a few times with your message before you can get them to actually pay attention to it. From a B2B perspective, it used to be three to five touches; I'd say now it is closer to seven to 10 times because we're so inundated. That's why I'm not surprised by that stat of consumers have purchased a new product or service after seeing a message in a bill or statement because they're looking at it. It's their money.”
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