It’s that time of year again – a time when the consumers and sellers rejoice!. After the Labor Day sales, the journey of discounted prices continues setting the stage for sellers to get their special offers ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While there still is some lingering uncertainty this year due to supply chain challenges, when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, one can rest assured that it’s going to be huge. In fact, as per Adobe Analytics, the online spending levels are poised to top the $200 billion mark for the very first time this festive season. And that’s just the B2C eCommerce spending number. Digital commerce will also significantly impact the B2B buyer behaviour as they try to outmatch their counterparts thanks to the emergence of digital self-service.
65% of leaders in a recent Mckinsey survey confirmed that they believe that the current remote model is as efficient as their pre-COVID model and is here to stay: the study shared how mobile-app ordering grew by 250%; inclination towards digital orders increased by 30%; Live chat was the most effective channel for the B2B buyers when researching suppliers. With growing emphasis on consumer data, personalizing of the buyer journey, & use of online marketing channels, the B2B market space is now akin to B2C. This makes Black Friday (& Cyber Monday) – an event traditionally associated with B2C a huge opportunity for B2B sellers as well. This set me thinking, and I have put down my ideas on how B2B Businesses can prepare for Black Friday by leveraging:
Top 3 B2B Marketing Trends Around Black Friday –
At some point in time, every business will have to unlearn what they know and hold dear. B2B space was very different from B2C, but after 2020 as all connections became digital, a buyer in retail or in business started to expect and behave similarly. The nature of business and the customer base you have might vary, but the underlying shift in buying behaviours in general is undeniable and perhaps permanent for many companies. Therefore, businesses are wholeheartedly accepting this new B2B Marketing trend around Black Friday.
B2B Marketing budgets often go through strict scrutiny and are hotly contested against their ROI. It makes Email offers a relatively inexpensive and highly efficient way to reach your audience in a shorter period. For this reason, having “Email Exclusive” offers/discounts on top of the regular offers for Black Friday is highly effective. It not only gives exclusivity to your prospect/buyer, but also improves your engagement with them, strengthening your relationship for the long run. Black Friday or not, it is always a brilliant idea to make your email subscribers feel exclusive. Their consent to market to them holds enormous value to your business.
Cost Vs Responsibility
Price sensitivity holds an entirely different meaning when it comes to B2B. Being cheap/lowest-priced doesn’t always attract the buyer when you are in the B2B market. Therefore when making an offer/a discount, make sure it helps you gain the trust first, then attention. Your products/services should be adding value to your buyer rather than just saving a few bucks. In the post-COVID-19 world, the consumers are more inclined towards upgrades rather than a straight-up discount. As a business, your offers/discounts should give the consumer long-term gains instead of instant gratification.
Top-up The Existing Offers and Discounts
If you are not ready to go all-out with new offers & discounts, it’s a potent practice to tweak your current offers and discounts. It will add a breeze of freshness in the interest of your B2B partners and might even attract a few new ones that you have been planning to work with. You can tweak the campaign message to make it relevant to Black Friday, and it can be perceived as a newly launched campaign altogether. You can even add some new freebies to go with them. It will keep your campaign up to date for Black Friday.
Top 3 Beneficial Channels for B2B Promotions
It’s never a bad idea to look at the B2C Space for marketing inspiration, especially in the post-COVID-19 world where “online” remains the predominant mode of purchase. Black Friday sales online rose to around 22% YoY to $9 billion in 2020 (Adobe via CNBC, 2020); the year 2021 is nicely poised to surpass that number.
So, here are 3 of the most beneficial channels that can help you achieve the numbers you have envisaged in your B2B sales.
Website Popups and Lightboxes
In B2B, popups are often associated with newsletter signup or company updates, but if you have a purpose-driven idea you want to associate with the customer journey, don’t be afraid. It’s OK to build a transactional relationship through popups. As an additional measure, you can give your prospect a choice between “News” and “Promotions” when showing the popup/lightbox. It works incredibly well and helps the contact self-segment.
For a B2B Website, using the good old “shopping cart abandonment” or remarketing technique might seem complicated, especially when you do not have a shopping cart on the website. But even the most complex B2B sales can leverage remarketing by simply defining consumer behaviour or persona for your website.
Some of the pages that you can use to build consumer behaviour include
- Pricing/Service/Product Pages
- Case studies/Whitepapers/Brochures Etc.
- Company performance/About Us
Depending upon your business, you might have other pages on your website as well. Take those pages into consideration and use remarketing to capture potential leads/consumers.
Leveraging your social media presence for performance marketing is one of the most effective B2B marketing techniques. Using Lookalike (LAL) audiences on Facebook and LinkedIn. Targeting prospects who resemble your clients (1-3% LAL audience reaching a recent purchaser) can yield tremendous benefits. To have an effective performance marketing campaign, you need to have all the attribution points you can get. Some important ones include
- Website Data – Clicks, Touchpoints, Engagement Etc
- Identity – Designation, Company Type, Company Size, Etc.
Sales Planning & Discounts –
When planning your sales & discounts for the festive season, you must make sure that you are adaptive in your approach. Unlike the B2C market where one deal/discount can attract all, in the B2B space, it’s always better to segment your customers and create specific discounts and offers based on their personas. Your deals for every segment of your prospects should cater to their needs and add value to their business in the long run.
In addition, bundle offer is a smart way to lure your prospects towards your service/product offerings and is an excellent way to engage your existing customers with a new offering. However, when bundling the discounts or products, make sure that the offers in the bundle complement each other. Redundancy in your bundled offer could hamper your campaign significantly. Based on your customer segments, you can create unique bundles catering to each segment based on their geography, industry type, or even business size.
To sum up…
Black Friday (or even Cyber Monday) is an excellent opportunity for B2C and B2B businesses. Businesses should use the event more to build long-lasting businesses relationships and less to earn quick rewards. So, regardless of your business type, revenue size, or nature of business, Black Friday is the time to invest in relationships with your clients/customers and reap the benefits in the future.