What B2B Food Ingredient Marketers Can Learn from the B2C Marketing Space

Tips for B2B food ingredient marketersWhat was the last ad you remember seeing that really left an impression on you? Was it a B2B ad or a B2C ad? Odds are it was probably a B2C ad and it left you wishing you could do something for your B2B business that evoked a similar response from your customers.

Far too often B2B advertising gets unfairly dismissed as being stiffer and stuffier than its B2C counterpart. While there are a lot of mediocre B2B ads, there are also several excellent ones that stand out because their targeted messages and creative approaches are successful in creating engagement and (ultimately) motivating an audience to take action. B2B food ingredient marketers can use strategies from the B2C space to better reach and engage with customers.

Know what your audience REALLY, TRULY wants

It may seem like I’m stating the obvious here, but a lot of companies assume they fully understand their customers’ needs. However, assumptions and reality don’t always line up, leading to incorrect strategies. And starting with the wrong strategy is not a recipe for marketing success. IKEA, Apple, and Trader Joe’s all have very loyal customers because they understand what their target audiences want and build their marketing strategies around those needs.

Ask yourself what is motivating your B2B customers. Is it a need to guarantee quality or a need to make operations more efficient? Whatever it is, it’s important to identify the need and craft a strategy that answers how your products or services deliver the best solution.

Put emotion into motion

It’s also important to remember that our customers — food and beverage manufacturers — are making products that we share with those closest to us — at family meals, parties, restaurants, holiday gatherings and more. Food brings us all together. It has sentimental value and it helps enhance our overall wellbeing.

Whether it’s through humor, empathy or excitement, successful B2C marketers know how to use emotional ties to develop meaningful communications with their target audiences. B2B food ingredient marketers can apply this thinking to communicate their company’s passion through effective messaging that pulls at their audience’s heartstrings. The most effective ads don’t look or sound like ads; they work harder by tapping into our emotions to draw us in.

Time is of the essence

We’re bombarded with hundreds of messages each day. Smart marketers know they have only a few seconds — if that — to capture their audience’s attention and make an impression. For example, think of a McDonald’s billboard or ad you’ve seen lately — it probably had very short copy with a bright red background, simple imagery, a logo and a tagline. These components made it highly effective and efficient in communicating a message. Similarly, it’s important for food ingredient marketers to craft messages that quickly and easily resonate with their customers.

Because there are so many ways to connect with people today, food ingredient marketers need to remember that one single tactic won’t address all marketing needs. Spread your product story out across several tactics (via an integrated strategic marketing plan) and keep your messages concise so that your time-strapped customers aren’t overwhelmed. Your print copy doesn’t need to be a mile long. It just needs to pique someone’s curiosity and motivate him/her to act. Likewise, social media channels are great for sharing bite-sized insights with your followers and positioning your company as a thought leader. Detailed information that requires more time to absorb can be communicated through videos, white papers or other downloadable content that also helps with lead generation.

Over time, all these tactics working together will help you communicate your product story and drive the engagement you want for your B2B business. For more information on B2B food ingredient marketing, please contact us.