This month, Silverpop got quite some news coverage with data regarding the use of email marketing by B2B and B2C marketers. More specifically: what are the similarities and differences between both “types” of companies regarding email marketing?
This coverage came after the company announced the launch of a new platform that combines Silverpop’s email marketing tools with its marketing automation and lead management apps.
CEO Bill Nussey commented on the launch by saying “ I felt that the solutions supporting BtoC and BtoB marketers should come together into a single, scalable platform that makes the unique tools of each marketing discipline available to all”.
Time for those data about email marketing in B2B and B2C, coming from a Silverpop poll.
The findings by Silverpop regarding this subject, were spread across several media but earlier this month eMarketer, turned them into nice graphs (see and read below).
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According to the poll, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers believe that identifying the most opportune time to send messages is the most effective email marketing tactic.
Seems a bit weird to me, I hope that the decisions regarding “timing” are more based on the customer life cycle and needs.
Both groups also exhibit unison in their opinion regarding the relevance of marketing promotions in transactional messages and about utilizing surveys as a way to gather information about their recipients. Seems obvious.
B2B email marketers and social media: a bit dissapointing
Despite their appeal in B2C segment several other tactics like links to social networking sites, triggered offers and behavioral targeting do not find enthusiastic approval from B2B marketers.
Some differences are due to the different marketing objectives that both B2B and B2C companies have.
While both these company segments reported Silverpop their equal liking in up and cross selling, databases and strengthened analytics, there were more points where the priorities lied elsewhere.
B2B marketers were, for instance, highly inclined towards moving prospects through the sales pipeline where as their B2C colleagues were more inclined towards increasing their customer loyalty.
Incorporating social network links, eMarketer wrote, are probably more popular in B2C because they relate more their customer loyalty goals.
Buyers are people, whatever they buy
And this is what I find rather disappointing in B2B email marketing. First of all, I think it is not right that customer loyalty ranks quite low among B2B marketers.
To me it is a sign that many don’t grasp the importance of word-of-mouth, recommendations and peer advice in this day and age.
The fact that people inform themselves online more often, consult others and seek recommendations, has nothing to do with B2B and B2C: buyers are people.
I don’t seem to be the only one with that opinion if I quote this from the report: “Whether you’re selling cupcakes or copiers, buyers are all individuals who seek out others like themselves for insights and recommendations” and “adding the human element through social networking benefits both B2C and B2B marketing programs.”
What do you think?
Sources: Silverpop and eMarketer. Illustration: obviously eMarketer.
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