Going from B2B to B2C

An excerpt from my latest blog post on Highly Relevant:

Social media is an extremely important customer acquisition tool for B2C companies, and its importance for B2B is not far behind. According to a recent study, 41% of B2B companies and 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer specifically through Facebook.

While all social networks are important, a few stand out: Facebook, on average, produces 30 times more customers to an ecommerce site than Twitter, and for B2B brands, LinkedIn accounts for 64% of all visits to corporate websites. The numbers speak to the fact that social media has given brands a viable platform to drive traffic to their sites, which brings up another key component of marketing today: ecommerce websites themselves.

B2C companies need a strong e-commerce site to succeed, and in recent years, B2B companies have begun to follow suit. In a global survey of 400 B2B companies, as many as 92% were already online. Due to the increase in activity in the online marketplace, these B2B brands are realizing the importance of search engine marketing and the optimization of their websites, especially for mobile devices.

Why it makes sense to invest in B2C as a B2B

If B2B companies are already investing in a strong web design, SEO, and perhaps even PPC, it makes sense to use those same channels to sell directly to the consumer as well. After all, every B2B customer is also a B2C customer (because businesses are people, too).

By selling directly to consumers and getting their feedback, B2B companies can learn the best strategies for marketing their products and, in turn, selling to large companies via ecommerce marketplaces. Everything from web design to shipping issues can be solved in the B2C space to better optimize the buyer experience in the B2B arena.

Another economic advantage that B2C for a B2B provides is the creation of brand loyalty among consumers through direct interaction. Once a brand has loyal followers, it’s easier to raise prices on the B2C side—something not as easily done on the B2B side. Therefore, there are potentially stronger profits to be made on the B2C side long-term after a strong following amongst consumers has been built.

Expanding to the B2C space is a natural progression for a B2B company that helps them learn the ecommerce space, develop brand loyalty, and create a supplemental revenue flow from a new consumer base.

Check out the full post on why B2B companies should go B2C: http://www.highlyrelevant.com/road-from-b2b-to-b

The Importance of Company Culture

The number one thing that I look for in a company is culture. Personally I’ve always found it depressing that day-in-day out we work the same hours at the same desk. What makes April 14th of this year different from April 14th of next year?  Therefore something has to break this cycle. Company culture offers a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Not everyone is blessed enough to be doing something they love, and even if you love what you’re doing there is inevitably some routine to it all with is boring.

Creating a family in the workplace makes workers feel more socially responsible to everyone in the office, and indirectly feel a closer tie to their work. One could argue themed lunches and company bowling outings are a waste of funds. True, funds are being used, but instead of viewing these funds as “wasted” instead view them as an “investment.” One large important impact that our company outings have had on me is they help retain me. I may have a rough week every now and then where I get tossed a bunch of projects I’m not too fond of, thanks to our company outings I get a chance to remember why I started working here. It’s at those outings I form relationships with coworkers that help me overcome the bad weeks. Employee retention is a strong reason to consider putting more company culture events on your calendar.

If employee retention isn’t reason enough, studies have found that creating a strong company culture has a high financial payoff. In a way aren’t your employees your customers? What they tell their friends about the products or services offered really makes a difference. One of my favorite parts of working at Highly Relevant is that friends are encouraged to come to company happy hours. It really is fun introducing coworkers to friends, we’ve all started finding ourselves taking fitness classes together or going out in a group.

To give you some ideas of company culture boosting activities, here are a few:

  1. Bowling Alleys
  2. Watching Sports Games, on TV or at the game
  3. Pilates Class
  4. Salsa Class
  5. Fantasy Football Leagues
  6. Simply tuning into the same show and discussing it in the office the next day at staff meetings
  7. Holiday themed potlucks
  8. Training sessions with free lunches where everyone teaches each other a unique skill (work or non-work related). You can even use Power Points as content on your company’s website if they are work-related.
  9. Basketball Game
  10. Cooking Class
  11. Company contest to see who can drive the most traffic or sales to a client’s site with a specific promo code