What Can B2B Learn From B2C?
B2B companies should implement inbound strategies like B2C companies.
Let me explain:
How does a restaurant (B2C) do their marketing?
First, they make local people aware that they exist.
Then they communicate certain pieces of information:
- what type of restaurant they are (Georgian, Chinese, French, etc),
- what it looks like inside the restaurant (the vibe),
- what their menu is + prices,
- reviews from customers, ideally good ones.
And then they just wait for people to show up at the restaurant or call them up for a reservation.
So, it’s 1. building awareness, and 2. educating people about their offer.
If their menu, prices, and reviews are good enough, people show up. If not, they don’t.
B2B companies don’t do that.
They chase their prospects.
Let me demonstrate what it would look like if the restaurant would take a standard B2B lead gen approach:
They’d put out their information and track who engages with it.
For example, they’d track when Tobi downloaded their menu, and they’d send him an email to say, “Hey Tobi, I saw you downloaded our menu. Should we set up a time with you tomorrow?”
Tobi doesn’t reply.
3 days later, they follow up again, “Hey Tobi! Here’s another menu with our drinks. Would you like to come now?”
Then they call him the next day and say, “Hey Tobi, other people who downloaded our menu were interested in eating at our restaurant. How about a table for two at 6 PM tomorrow?”
Tobi would get enraged. Why?
Because Tobi knows fully well how to call up a restaurant to book a table. he's not an idiot.
Just because he downloaded your menu doesn’t mean he wants to eat at your place.
- he wasn’t sure what food you offer and he actually doesn’t like French cuisine.
- your prices are too high for him.
- he runs his own restaurant and wanted to see what the competition does.
- he’s getting married in 8 months and is currently scouting for possible wedding locations.
- he accidentally downloaded your menu because a friend sent him the wrong link.
But that's what most B2B companies do.
Instead, they should Learn from the restaurant.
1. Make people aware you exist (through ads, Linkedin content, a podcast, even a cold email - but one or two cold emails, not 57)
2. Put out information about your company, your offer, prices, features, approach, customer reviews, etc.
You want to create awareness by giving value to your audience through educational, insightful content (so you build trust and credibility simultaneously).
Then wait for inbound.
Wait for someone to go to your website *on their own*, press “Request a Demo”, and then engage with them.
This approach is common in B2C, but people don’t do that in B2B because they believe it only works for $20 meals, not for a $200,000 software solution.
But that’s not true in a remote-first world.
Most of our customers come through inbound for our €30,000 offer.
And it’s how people prefer to buy.