Ready to take your business up a notch? Whether you’re in eCommerce, the B2B market, or are selling Fast-Moving-Consumer Goods (FMCGs) directly to the consumer, having a well polished and actionable marketing framework in-house is key.
Why? While we agree there are elements to marketing that can seem like a trial-and-error- process, a well refined framework removes the guesswork and helps you better define your target audience, exactly how you will connect with them, and follow up measures to highlight if your messages are hitting the mark.
Interested in learning more about digital marketing frameworks and the key differences between working in B2B and B2C markets? Read on. We’ve summarised the basic need-to-knows, the common differences in marketing strategies between consumer markets, and how you can deep-dive into creating an actionable, and measurable, plan for your marketing efforts today.
Marketing Strategy Framework 101
At its simplest, a marketing strategy framework helps you decide how you will action your marketing strategies. At its best, a framework will give definition to your planned marketing efforts so they are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time sensitive. (Like SMART goals!)
Instead of throwing caution to the wind and hoping that your updated brand messaging works, a marketing framework offers a specific, step-by-step roadmap to roll out marketing strategies that will better connect with your audience and walk them down the marketing funnel.
Wondering if there are differences in framework solutions that vary based on your end-consumer market? With most sales teams divided at a to-level by B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) levels, how you approach your customers will likely differ by platform, messaging, and call-to-action. Fortunately, the approach to designing an actionable framework doesn’t have to differ among teams–simply put, the plan content is what will change to reflect your end goals.
Read on to learn more about the key differences between designing a framework for B2B and B2C digital marketing tactics.
Designing a B2C or B2B Marketing Strategy Framework
At a top level, digital marketing efforts will be ideated and organised to reflect different sales funnels and end consumers in your business. This means, the marketing messages, marketing channels and platforms used, and the desired call-to-action will differ based on the end consumer. Much the same can be said for different end consumers in the same market (differentiated by demographics or product-market fit, for example) as they can for different markets (B2B versus B2C).
If you’re strategising for B2C/B2B efforts and wondering how the action plan for reaching both can be differentiated in your framework, we’ve summarised a few of the common considerations that will differ between the two below.
The Differences Between a B2C and B2B Marketing Framework
In short, a marketing framework will detail how your digital marketing campaigns will be actioned to reach the business goals for your targeted consumer market. What differs between your two frameworks will be the content–not the formation of the plan itself. Confused? Among the most common first steps for designing top-level marketing strategies, digital marketers will define:
- Market Positioning: “how” they want the brand to be perceived in the marketplace.
- Demographics, Psychographics (Segmentation): by creating a customer persona for your targeted customer through a process called segmentation. From geographic location and lifestyle factors to budgets, complementary interests, and factors that influence their purchase decisions, segmenting your audience helps to get to know them at a deeper level and direct how and where you find potential customers and support them through the sales cycle.
- Pain Points: what makes your ideal customer tick? What is their problem that your business or brand can solve?
- Call-to-Action (CTA): what you want the customer to “do”. From building brand awareness and community engagement to closing a sales cycle and becoming a repeat customer, CTAs traditionally sit in every level of the marketing funnel guiding consumers from one point to the next.
The above information is critical to understanding your consumer, why they go looking for a solution to their problem, and how you can connect with them to offer a solution. The process, within reason, will stay the same regardless of which consumer market you’re in–meaning, B2C and B2B markets will be analysed and understood the same way.
So how does the marketing framework differ between consumer markets? In short, the framework further defines how the business will act on the above in realistic, measurable ways.
- The Platforms and Digital Channels
The framework will identify which marketing platforms and digital channels to use to best find, connect with, and guide their consumers through the marketing funnel. While the act of analysing and deciding which channels will best help you engage with potential consumers, the key difference between most B2B or B2C plans lies in the platform choice itself.
A great example of this is LinkedIn. While LinkedIn may be an excellent professional networking tool to connect with B2B consumers, more information social networking platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest may help your team find and connect with B2C buyers.
- The Messaging
Ultimately, the messaging used to connect with and convert your customers will differ (potentially, drastically) between your B2B and B2C consumers. How so?
Thinking back to the top level analysis completed for all potential buyer markets, the pain points identified are one of the first considerations digital marketers will define in their messaging. By accurately identifying the problem faced by the consumer–and defining why your product, brand, or service can help alleviate their “pain”–the messaging between B2B consumers and household B2C consumers will likely differ.
A good example of this is smart water systems. With the opportunity to sell to B2B consumers outfitting an office and B2C consumers who are concerned about the quality of their drinking water at home, the end product stays the same–but their reason for finding and purchasing the product will likely differ. Further to that, the messaging that will best connect with both audiences–based on their consumer profile and psychographics–will differ again.
Defining “what” platforms will help you find your audience and “how” you will speak to them are both integral parts of your marketing framework. Some teams will further quantify their efforts by testing out different messages through A/B testing, quick email marketing campaigns, paid advertising, and the like. In turn, these help add the ‘measurable’ qualifier back into your digital marketing goals.
- The CTAs (Calls-to-Action)
Thinking back to our smart water example above, you can begin to see how the messaging between both the B2B and B2C consumer would differ–as would the follow-on request.
While calls-to-action can differ from direct sale requests through to brand engagement and community building, the ideal outcome at every point in the sales and digital marketing process would ask the consumer to take one specific action. Similarly, while the act of deciding on which step the consumer will take is the same, the step (or CTA) itself will likely differ between consumer markets.
Why? Because the sales process for B2B and B2C consumers can differ greatly. Thinking back to our smart water example, a larger Enterprise–level buyer outfitting a corporate office could be assigned a Sales Account Manager, enquire about wholesale orders when buying in bulk, and need to discuss multiple points of delivery and installation. On the other hand, the B2C household consumer will likely be interested in fewer products and expect a different sales process to get from first consideration through to purchase, delivery and receipt.
The Most Common Types of Digital Marketing Strategy Frameworks
Intrigued? Like we said–the how can make all the difference when connecting with different customer segments and guiding them down the right sales path. Fortunately, step one detailed above (top level marketing strategies) can help you deeply understand your different consumers and make defining the how much easier.
Wondering if there are different types of frameworks to rely on? Over the years, industry experts have designed different digital marketing strategy framework models that different in their approach to organising, detailing, executing, tracking, and measuring specific marketing plans. Among the most common there are:
- The RACE Model
In short–the Reach, Act, Convert, Engage model. Each element of the RACE model helps you connect with different types of customers who are at different points of their customer journey with your brand. In short:
- Reach helps you connect with new customers and build brand awareness;
- Act identifies the actions (CTAs) you want the consumer to take;
- Convert is converting a lead to a new customer
- Engage is building an authentic relationship with customers to transform them from everyday buyers into brand loyalists and fans.
A simple approach, the RACE model can help you identify which marketing strategies are best actioned, and how, at different points of the customer journey. Knowing some platforms are better for building overall brand awareness while others speak directly to the consumer (and are better for converting leads to sales) a well defined RACE model can help you maximise your ROI on each marketing effort.
- The 7 Ps
At its simplest, The 7 Ps are a traditional marketing framework that detail:
- Product: Clearly defining the sale on offer.
- Price: Its cost per consumer market.
- Place: Identifying where and how consumers will buy it.
- Promotion: How you will share your product message with potential buyers.
- People: Who will be involved from sales, marketing, end consumers, to distribution.
- Process: How will buyers ‘get’ the product. (Delivery, installation.)
- Physical Evidence: Considers the tangible aspects of the sales process from the in-store experience to the product packaging.
A tried and true marketing framework, this model identifies a number of different stakeholders in the business and consumer market that will influence the overall sales process and digital marketing plan.
- Pirate Metrics (AARRR)
A more modern approach to understanding the everyday consumer, Pirate Metrics are an often talked about framework in tech and startups. Why? Because they consider new customer journey metrics often relied on by the tech community. These include:
- Acquisition: identifying how your prospects will find you. This could include driving website traffic and building brand awareness.
- Activation: identifying (and defining) how the new lead first became directly involved with your brand. (This could include sign-ups, product trials, or joining the email list.)
- Retention: measuring how, where, and why consumers return to your brand–the work in this segment will focus on increasing the return and retention rate for new customers or leads.
- Revenue: defining exactly how you’ll track the revenue earned from each and which metrics are most important to your brand. Commonly referred to stats include LTV (customer lifetime value) and conversion rates.
- Referral: Throwing back to the above, happy, engaged, and loyal customers refer their favourite products and brands on. The referral stage is the ultimate goal for many startups–word-of-mouth marketing from a direct referral can go very far. Getting customers into the stage is a win for both new leads and the brand.
Building Your Marketing Strategy Framework for Social Media Marketing
Ready to get to know your customers better and achieve a better ROI on your marketing spend? An effective digital marketing strategy framework will help you generate leads, understand the entire sales process, and help you get customers over the sales line.
Helping entire in-house teams understand their role in the company and how it results in loyal, engaged customers, the right digital marketing plan for your brand will likely differ based on company size, resources, years you’ve been in the market, business growth cycle, and more.
Wondering where to begin? Edge Marketing details the ins, outs, and highlights of the digital marketing stratosphere to help our community better understand social media marketing, digital marketing strategies, email marketing, content marketing, search engine optimisation, and how to better build your brand.
You can check out this article detailing the best search engine optimisation efforts for eCommerce brands to deep dive into the complementary ways modern marketing teams are helping to find, connect, and engage your audience and how you can start building your brand.