The digital age changed everything and 2016 has been all about customer-centricity, customer experience, customer journeys, customer mapping, and trying to figure out what customers want.
“What consumers truly value can be difficult to pin down and psychologically complicated.” – Harvard Business Review, September 2016. The authors describe ‘30’ “elements of value” that meet four kinds of needs – functional, emotional, life changing and social impact – and when optimally combined, increase loyalty and revenue growth.
Companies commonly tout values such as, innovative, creative, passionate, original, collaborative and results-oriented. But is that what customers are really looking for?
Seemingly not. Only 29% of business-to-business (B2B) customers are fully engaged, and their remaining 60% of customers are indifferent or actively disengaged (11%). Success with business-to-consumer (B2C) is higher, averaging between 65-85%. – Gallup, August 2016.
So what are B2C companies doing differently? Optimized, segmented and digitized technology processes with online and mobile apps, provide speed and less hassle for daily activities, such as, personal banking, food delivery, shopping, restaurant deals, local services, hotel bookings, travel and just about everything.
B2C provides practical values, such as, easy-to-use, saves time, offers variety and provides less hassle, as opposed to B2B’s theoretical values.
What B2B buyers truly value is knowledge and trust. “74% of readers trust educational content from brands as long as it doesn’t push a sale.” Contently, May 2016.
B2B buyers gather insight from industry thought leaders, analysts and peers, and go to LinkedIn and Twitter feeds to read success stories from others facing similar challenges. “The more trusted an individual is, the greater their sales effectiveness.” Salesforce, July 2016.
When evaluating general content types, 90% of respondents prefer prescriptive content (“how-to’s”, “tips”), infographics, case studies, blog posts, and content that helps benchmark their strategies with interactive presentations and ROI calculators. – DemandGen 2016 Content Preferences Study.
For B2B and B2C content marketers the most important metrics are the same, in this order: quality of sales leads, sales, higher conversion rates, sales lead quality, website traffic, brand lift, SEO ranking, customer renewal rates, purchaser intent and subscribed content.