Do Equipment & Truck Dealerships Sell to Companies or Consumers | B2B vs. B2C
Sales people have always known there’s a difference between marketing to individuals and marketing to businesses. You need a somewhat different approach for business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) marketing. But your sales and marketing team knows that equipment dealerships actually sell to both types of buyers.
That’s why it’s so important to develop personas to help target your marketing efforts.
It’s not so hard to differentiate your audience if you’re marketing to employees within a large corporation. But some of your targets are owner-operators, so the “distinction” between B2B vs. B2C is blurry at best. Besides, no matter what your product or who your audience, you’re still selling to a person. It’s the motivation that differs.
There is no such thing as an unemotional purchase.
Don’t believe it? Why do you think OEMs talk about how great their newest construction equipment model looks? That has nothing to do with its performance, but everything to do with how your customer feels when he or she sees that equipment on the job. That’s pride, not price.
And why do you think they include cup holders and MP3 players in the cab? Sure, convenience and comfort can help increase an operator’s productivity, but really that’s all about making your customer feel pampered. Cared about. Your OEM is going the extra mile for them, and so are you, and that builds credibility, trust and loyalty.
What’s in it for them?
You already know that the most effective marketing content explains clearly to prospects what they’ll gain by purchasing the equipment you sell, from your dealership. It explains to existing customers what they’ll gain by continuing to do business with your parts and service departments. You’re working to develop long-term loyalty.
Generally speaking, the buying cycle for consumers is short. They’re most influenced by:
- Price – they’ll shop around to find the best price regardless of the source.
- Brand – popular names sell, even if they cost more.
- Their friends – social influence counts.
- Impulsiveness – a special offer or merchandise display.
On the other hand, business buyers can spend considerably more time in your sales funnel. They’re most influenced by:
- Value – product features and benefits that deliver low total cost of ownership.
- Relationships – you’re a working partner for them, a resource rather than just a sales touchpoint.
- Credibility – their influencers are peers but also trade publications and other knowledge-based sources.
And unless your business buyer is in fact an owner-operator, there are probably several people involved in approving the purchasing decision. They all need to “buy off” on your equipment and your dealership.
How do you reach B2C vs. B2B audiences?
The mechanics are essentially the same, it’s the specific content that varies. A welcoming website that’s easy to navigate gets people directly to the information they want, so you don’t lose them. Every landing page has to be crisp and clean – quick and simple to understand, with an obvious next-step call to action.
Contact forms have to be short. That’s especially true for consumers, but even business prospects are wary of divulging too much “personal” information too early in your relationship.
You can attract consumers with special promotions, discounts, Twitter offers, reviews and social sharing. You’ll attract business customers with educational information delivered via your blog, whitepapers, e-books, tip sheets, webinars, and social media, too. You can use email to nurture relationships with both shopper types, but again it’s a building process with business buyers.
Everyone wants to believe they’re being “rational” when they’re shopping, but when it comes to B2C vs. B2B, the rationale is different. Equipment dealerships that understand that can market effectively to both sides of their key personas, with profitable results.