There are always trends and speculations about the difference between marketing for B2B and B2C. But the reality we need to spread is that they’re not all that different. Behind all B2B brands, are people marketing to other people interested in information, your brand story, and what opportunities working together can create. There are a plethora of myths attached to the design and redesign of a website to accurately and effectively reflect your product or service. Now it’s time to debunk some of these myths.
B2B websites sometimes get a reputation of being the more boring and drab sibling to B2C sites and brands. Au contraire, my friends: if you’re seeing drab B2B sites, it’s probably because they are outdated or immersed in the false idea that their site is “good enough.” B2B sites are far from dull!
Here are some of our favorite (Sköna designed and developed) B2B sites: MariaDB, Telavox, and Punch.
Here are the top seven myths about B2B websites and marketing:
Myth #1: B2B marketing should be directed towards businesses – not people
Websites should always be directed towards people. How can your site appeal to your audience? Don’t angle towards a company solely but understand that there are always people interacting with you behind a product. In the end, even B2B companies are selling to real people.
Create a site that appeals to people, specifically decision-makers. By designing a site with the intention to reach this audience and creating an experience that resonates with them, you are far more likely to pique their interest and hopefully, gain a loyal customer.
Myth #2: Sales aren’t really made through B2B websites
So false – your website is your first impression. B2B websites need to intrigue and inform just as much as B2C. We live in the age of the internet. Fast wifi brings joy. Good websites means conversions. Long gone are the days of cold calling – a good B2B site is full of transactional cues.
Including ways to seamlessly book a demo, set up meetings and hook potential customers with free trials are crucial to sales. All of these are ways to create a positive experience for potential customers and positively sway their intent to enter your sales funnel.
A good website allows the consumer to move through the decision process faster than any other way. A good sale is supported or led by the quality of your website and is a reflection of working with your brand. With Forrester predicting US B2B eCommerce will hit $1.8 trillion in sales and account for 17% of B2B sales in the US by 2023 – it’s good to remember your site is where these sales can happen.
Myth #3: Sales are the only objective of a B2B site
Sales are an objective but not the only one. If you don’t care for the bigger picture, you will lose out on sales, loyal customers, and marketing opportunities. A B2B site needs to curate a story, create chemistry and establish an emotional connection with the visitor just as much as a B2C site.
Your B2B site is also a prime marketing tool. By sharing not just your product, but also your people, story, values and more – you’re shaping a visitor to become an advocate and friend. These people are your biggest supporters and word-of-mouth allies to spread the word of your business and create long-term customer relationships. Your site is also a top marketing tool for future talent to join your team. An appealing site also reads as an appealing place to work.
Myth #4: Your website needs to reflect Silicon Valley standards to succeed
This would be true if you’re interested in blending in. Don’t conform to this vague idea that all B2B sites need to be designed a certain way or like Silicon Valley unicorns to be successful. Some feel that B2B marketing and therefore, websites, need to be formal, to the point and often, pretty boring.
Be bold. Share your story. Be you. Even if your brand is similar to others, they’re not the same and it’s okay to let your personality shine through.
Myth #5: Redesigning a website is too expensive to be worth it
To be noted, a redesign is not free. The resources needed to redesign a website cost money and time. This is true. But it is worth it.
An investment in your design is like maintaining your car, home, or yourself. Care for the maintenance and your site will be able to grow smoothly with your brand. For a total redesign, an update to your website could be the difference between maintaining traction or fading off as your site cannot support the standards of consumers.
Myth #6: Fun B2C marketing has no place in the B2B world
The idea that B2C is typically fun and customer-centric while B2B is boring or stiff is frustrating. It’s a made-up divide that no one needs. Your B2B site can be fun, engaging, creative, bold or whatever you like – just like B2C counterparts! We are all people looking to be entertained and informed through the sites we visit.
This myth weaves together with myth #4 but that’s okay. The takeaway here is that you don’t need to box yourself in a standard and you shouldn’t – let your personality shine and creativity flourish. Consumers can see the authenticity in what you create and also sense inauthenticity through design and copy easily.
Myth #7: We know our clientele – we don’t need to research
You may know some of your clientele but you don’t know all of your users or what they may think about you and your website currently.
You need research to understand your customer’s and user’s needs, goals, and perceptions. You also need to know how they are interacting with you. For example, assuming that users will primarily interact via computers would be a negative assumption. With our more remote society and mobile addiction, your site needs to be optimized for all major devices. Assuming otherwise would be a grave mistake. By researching you are able to understand how they visit your site and design a website support that.
What does it all mean?
In short, do your research and don’t fear to let your brand shine. Textbooks and dated trends don’t need to dictate your design. Create a website that creatively showcases your brand to be memorable – there’s no need to be mediocre because of assumptions and myths.