Business marketing directly to consumers (B2C) has changed over the years, and it continues to evolve in a techno-centric way that promises massive profits for those who can master it. For instance, in earlier decades, businesses distributed coupon books and flyers via the mail. Although these techniques are primarily antiquated, some struggling companies still rely on them–much to their ongoing detriment.
Businesses now digitally target customers more often with coupons and call to action that appears on cellphones or games as in-game purchases. Commercials are alive and well, but they have transformed from a three-minute interlude in a 30-minute nightly comedy to a six-second plug between two-minute videos. Although businesses adopt some of these newer modes of marketing, business owners must understand that B2C marketing is already transforming beyond these relatively new examples.
Regardless, the ongoing evolution of marketing techniques will not stop. As a result, whatever single strategy you use to reach new customers, recover old ones, and satisfy current ones today is likely not the one you will use tomorrow.
Top 10 B2C trends
1. Immersive Experiences
B2C marketing will be immersive, engaging, and exciting for specific industries. For instance, Realtors connect with potential buyers and sellers via 360-degree videos allowing a complete tour of an agent’s portfolio. However, for other sectors, such as travel, the new trend is that virtual tours will take place on an estate or city scale.
As graphic quality increases and the need for powerful desktop computers decreases, businesses can increasingly connect with customers’ hearts in ways that translate into immediate sales and loyal followers. Theme parks, such as Disney, are also spearheading such technology. However, filmmakers and storytellers also use it to engage and entertain potential customers who can purchase the experience.
2. Attention spans
The growing trend for companies is to limit commercials to less than 30 seconds. Ideally, the best way to reach customers is to create a six- to eight-second video that ultimately plays before such sites as YouTube allows viewers to skip the commercial. Doing so will enable companies to reach customers with a complete message that does not allow short attention spans to disrupt the transmission.
Brief content is also on the rise for many online publishers facing the acronym of TLDR, which translates into “too long didn’t read.” Companies want to reach customers via video; the challenge is to hook viewers with engagingly brief videos. People who eschew this trend might spend a lot of money producing too long content that viewers will never watch.
Regarding AI, chatbots are the upcoming personalities that will help answer customer questions and engage in conversations. Imbued with the increasingly powerful ability to understand language, they can accomplish the following.
- offer impromptu answers
- to anticipate a customer’s related needs
Moreover, digital chatbots are available as 24/7 avatars as coaches, counselors, and friends in specific industries.
The day of one-size-for-all products and services has been waning for a long time, but as 2023 approaches, a company’s ability to customize a product is becoming critical. Everyone has different needs, and digital marketing via websites that allow customers to choose and preview multiple options can positively impact a company’s ability to outcompete established players or newcomers. This trend comes in bespoke products, which are part of many industries.
- tiny homes
- home security
- phone plans
Customization works because it lets customers know–or feel–that they are unique.
5. Service versus obligation
One of the best trends for customers is how a company is dedicated to serving customers rather than helping them due to some obligation. For instance, Amazon is the one company that has championed this philosophy. In fact, as a company, Amazon’s drive has always been to be the top customer-service company. As a result, the products Amazon sells are almost secondary in that the company exists to serve. Such dedication to helping customers is something REI is also famous for. This trend is gaining traction among online businesses that offer lifetime warranties, 24/7 customer service, and personalized contacts via social media.
Of course, B2C marketing using in-game purchases works well for game companies. Similarly, it works for so-called in-book or in-movie purchases as well. However, companies that gamify their apps also enjoy higher returns on their advertising campaigns and can convert a surprisingly high number of customers.
Some of the best marketing games come packaged in the form of apps.
- simple shooter games
- , simple sports games
For business owners to digitally connect with consumers, it is essential to understand just how powerful one’s voice can be. For instance, if you publish content online, you will reach a predictable number of people. SEO analytic software can estimate the time people spend on your website and the number of conversions you will likely receive.
However, business owners who engage customers via podcasts, videos, and tutorials can hire a more significant market segment because of how well their personalities and messages connect with listeners.
8. The power of cubicles
Small companies are now learning that employees can create niche websites and YouTube channels that connect with specific market segments. These channels allow a company to crowdsource marketing by having current employees reach out to customers from their cubicles.
In fact, within any department, the interests of employees often overlap with a company’s products, allowing niche channels to serve as reality marketing. In addition to tapping into the interests and connections of employees, companies can be viewed as more personable in that employees–regular people–are the face of the company rather than paid actors.
9. Instant messaging
One of the best ways to reach customers is via messaging. Messaging is effective because of its ability to serve someone’s need for connection and assistance. Additionally, messaging is brief and non-intrusive.
Of course, messaging can be done between phones, but it is just as famous and influential between social sites. For example, customers receiving instant messages via Twitter or Facebook will likely follow up on calls to action.
In an ironic twist, the influx of digital B2C marketing campaigns has inundated consumer phones and screens to the point that certain analog and face-to-face marketing techniques are more effective than ever–as long as they are intermingled with digital calls to action.
For instance, the primary content for years has been text. However, genuinely successful marketing professionals have long adopted multimedia to deliver various branding and product messages to consumers who process information differently. Similarly, in-person digital marketing seeks to connect with customers via the proverbial handshake while accompanying them home or to the office via a phone app or call to action.
This type of hybrid digital marketing that mixes real-world marketing and customer assistance alongside digital service can reach the so-called Generation Z. For instance, 38 percent of customers born after the year 2000 want immediate access to digital assistance when in-store service is inadequate. Conversely, 28 percent of this market values in-store contact with a service representative. Therefore, companies must adopt a hybrid digital-in-person marketing approach for maximum traffic conversion in this increasingly important market.
Top 10 B2C statistics
Video streaming is replacing network television, but commercials are still ideal for companies to reach customers. For example, a percentage of customers stated that commercials on tv or video streaming are the primary influencing factor regarding how a potential customer views a company.
2. Generation Z: the digital generation
Since 2017, Generation Z has outpaced the buying power of previous generations, such as the so-called Baby Boomers. This trend will continue to increase because this segment spends 15 hours daily online in one fashion or another.
3. Top activity
Of movies and other online entertainment, gaming is the single most significant activity in which millennials engage, with 66 percent playing video games.
4. Online video
To reach millennials, you need brief video commercials on sites like YouTube. In fact, of the 80,000,000 millennials, 77 percent of them regularly watch online videos. This translates into 67,760,000 regular viewers across all business industries.
Throughout 2023, the pandemic is predicted to be a critical component for B2C marketers. In fact, in 2019, teleconferencing customers topped out at 10,000,000. By 2023, this number is projected to reach just over 300,000,000.
The e-commerce industry is projected to reach trillions. Specifically, it will get $6,400,000,000,000.
Although messaging is rising, e-mail newsletters remain practical marketing tools for older customers. Regarding reaching more senior markets, the newsletter is the top performer in terms of ROI compared to social media, organic traffic, and search conversion.
Implementing a personalized e-mail marketing campaign is difficult, but it successfully engages 62 percent of recipients once it is in place.
Throughout 2023, the gamification marketing industry will grow to a projected size of $40,000,000,000 within the next few years.
Messaging is slated to increase by 40 percent by 2023 as it is one of the best ways to serve customers throughout the pandemic.