By Jake Meador | 15 Oct 2020
Different businesses have different marketing challenges and needs. B2C marketing is a very different thing from B2B marketing. Moreover, different products entail different risks for the customer—and the relative degree of risk with purchasing will necessarily shape the way you go about marketing.
In this post, we will explain the thought process you should go through when considering what marketing channels to use to grow your business.
First, you need to identify who your customers are.
If you are a company that sells primarily to other businesses (B2B), then you are likely to need a far more targeted marketing approach built around narrowly focusing on your best potential customers and targeting the spaces where they are most active.
So an advertising campaign on TV likely would not make sense for your business. Even Facebook ads are probably not your best option. Rather, you’d want to build a marketing strategy around SEO (which targets the people searching particular keywords), Google advertising, and lengthy educational campaigns via email marketing.
Would texting make sense for your business? For some specific uses, it might. For example, if your sales team routinely travels to trade shows and conferences to meet potential customers, texting can be a great way to facilitate communication with attendees at the conference. Why? Because if you are at the event and 30 potential customers are at the event, texting is a great way to give them immediately actionable information, such as when your talk begins or where they can find your booth.
If you are a company that sells to individual consumers (B2C), then your approach is likely to be more broad-based than for B2B companies. Why? Because consumers are everywhere. True, there is likely still some value in more targeted marketing strategies, but supposing you are a restaurant, you might buy a billboard along an arterial street in your community because you can be reasonably confident that virtually everyone who sees that ad could become a customer.
Can texting work for a B2C company? Again, the answer is “it depends,” but many businesses have had success using texting as a way to manage customer loyalty programs and alert known customers to special deals you are offering or events you will be hosting.
A second question to consider is the relative risk a customer takes when purchasing your product. Every purchase we make has an element of risk, of course, but there is a significant difference between an apartment lease and a burrito. The amount of risk is going to shape the way a customer makes a purchasing decision. For low risk purchases, the customer is likely to do little to no research before buying. Their decision will be driven by convenience, price, past experience, and so on. With high risk purchases, consumers will often do a significant amount of research in order to protect themselves from making a bad decision.
How does texting fit into this?
SMS marketing can be a viable marketing channel for either purchase type. But the best ways of using it will vary a great deal depending on the situation.
For lower risk purchases, it is best to use SMS as a tool for helping past customers become repeat customers. According to one source, repeat customers only make up 8% of the average business’s customer base but they provide 41% of the business’s revenue. So if you can use marketing channels, such as texting, to help people return to your store again and again, that’s a massive victory.
On the other hand, for more risky purchases, texting is a way of building trust, helping someone feel comfortable working with you, and making sure that they are confident in their decision when it comes time to buy. This sort of texting will necessarily be more customized to the individual. For example, if you were leasing apartments, you might use texting to confirm an appointment to tour an apartment or you might text someone relevant information about the apartment they toured later in the day in order to stay front-of-mind with the prospect.
In other cases, you might use texting to provide potential customers with educational materials meant to help them make a sound, informed purchasing decision.
SMS marketing is for businesses and marketers who have a firm handle on their product, who their best customers are, and who have the ability to think creatively about how to best use each marketing channel. In other words, SMS marketing is not a silver bullet. It won’t solve all of your marketing or sales problems. What it can do, when used intelligently and in concert with other marketing channels and sales techniques, is provide you with the necessary tool to help a potential customer move closer to buying or to help bring a past customer back to your store. But you should never forget that SMS marketing is a tool. And like all tools, it’s only as good as the person wielding it.
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