Marketers have long believed that consumers and business buyers' paths to purchase are inherently different.
B2C vs. B2B
Consumers, the thinking goes, want to forge personal connections with brands through a series of connection points, typically consulting with friends and family for second (or third) opinions. Their path to purchase looks less like a straight line and more like a circular pattern of touchpoints.
B2B buyers, as the term implies, are all business, the thinking goes. Rather than let emotion drive their purchases, they're more swayed by the facts, putting major stock in research and specifications. As opposed to gathering opinions from friends and family, they follow a formal procurement process, which involves cross-departmental communication and collaboration.
Thanks to the digital revolution, however, the distinctions between the two groups are beginning to blur. We're witnessing the consumerization of the business buyer, who's no longer satisfied with one-size-fits-all content offerings. B2B customers desire a new level of personalization.
For marketers, that means a clear shift in strategy.
Enter account-based marketing (ABM), which narrows your marketing funnel and allows you to specifically target high-value accounts' prospects in a way that appeals to the consumer within them.
Three Steps for Implementing a Successful Account-Based Effort