We know what B2B means, but C2B is consumer-to-business, meaning that the consumer (or customer or even client perhaps) creates or offers something of value to a business, which they then use to turn into a profit or as a key factor into their business decisions.
A retail example would be when a college student sells their used textbooks to a book reseller, who then resells them. However, when it comes to B2B, the value consumers can offer businesses are usually less physically tangible and are in terms of feedback and communication.
Can C2B truly influence and improve B2B marketing? When it comes to terms of providing value, Yes.
Below are some of the ways where C2B can help B2B marketing strategy, product development, and online presence.
This is probably the easiest and most obvious way that C2B helps B2B. When your customer leaves you a review on Yelp, Google+, Angie’s List, or some other online review site, they are offering you a valuable piece of data, whether it’s positive or not.
If it’s negative, then your team can use it as a feedback for further campaigns or products. While no company wants negative feedback about their company online out of fear too many potential customers will read it and decide not to patronize that organization, it’s not always a bad thing.
Oftentimes, users who are reading online reviews are just as skeptical of review profiles that have all 5 out of 5 stars, with no outlined areas to improve. This could mean that the company was paying for reviews or giving perks to users who left good reviews.
When it comes down to it, a healthy mix of constructive and positive reviews is the ideal situation for any company. Customers also appreciate when companies take the time to respond to negative or constructive reviews, which is another C2B opportunity organizations have to be more visible in front of potential customers.
This is different from online reviews in that it’s usually general buzz about the B2B company’s products and services as a whole, instead of reviewing a specific experience as a consumer, from one individual’s perspective.
Examples of great online buzz include:
- Press coverage of new products, launches, etc
- Event coverage: This can lead to exposure to potential clients, especially if they are in the audience or regularly read the publication covering the event.
- Regular mentions of the brand on message boards, in social media, through email, etc.
While a lot of these instances are hard to track from a marketing perspective if they aren’t published publicly online, they do have an impact on your B2B marketing success, as they contribute to the overall “buzz” of what people are saying about your brand online.
To find out what’s been said about your brand and products publicly, try these resources:
There are several other additional options out there, I’ve just personally had good results with the above and have no affiliation with any of them, other than BuzzSumo giving me a free account in exchange for participation in an interview series.
Focus and Test Groups
If you have an engaged social media following or active email audience, using your followers as a test or focus group is a great way to implement the C2B mentality into your B2B marketing efforts. When developing a new product, ask what features would be best to add, if it’s a later model of an additional product.
You could also ask your online audience for their opinion on specific features for the overall experience of dealing with your company, like whether or not free shipping would entice them to order more frequently.
Whatever products or services you offer, harness the power of the captive audience you already have. People love sharing their opinions, especially when they are actually used to create a better customer experience.
Whether you are using C2B contributions to gather reviews, feedback about product improvements, or to track what buzz about your brand online, B2B marketing can benefit greatly from all that their customers and clients have to say.
Photos via Pixabay.