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BtoB

B2B Companies Can Teach B2C a Thing or Two About Marketing

How Simple URLs and Landing Pages Can Go a Long Way

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While we always seem to hear how b-to-b companies are following in the footsteps of b-to-c companies and this "consumerization of the enterprise" notion, B-to-C companies are missing a key opportunity by not having custom landing pages with friendly URLs.

For consumer companies spending millions on TV commercials, you would think they'd want a way to monetize their ad spend. Displaying a simple custom URL at the end of a commercial is a smart marketing tactic that helps generate inbound traffic to a brand's web properties where they can convert that viewer into a customer or deepen the loyalty with an existing customer through exclusive offers, demos, free trials, event registration, contest and newsletter forms.

We took a look at the commercials that aired during the Super Bowl and only two companies/commercials (of at least 56 different commercials) created friendly URLs with custom landing pages: Radio Shack and Chevy. And while nearly every sponsoring company displayed a custom hashtag in its commercial to spur conversation and chatter, they regrettably forgot to include a custom URL in their ads.

Brand conversations on social channels do help to gauge sentiment and response, but driving a consumer to a friendly URL and converting him through a short form on a custom landing page can translate into a sale.

Based on Insight Marketing Benchmarks, the likelihood of a website visitor becoming a lead is 8%, while a Twitter follower becoming a lead is 2.2%. These figures clearly support the b-to-b tactic of displaying a friendly URL and should be leveraged more by b-to-c companies in their commercial ads.

The takeaway here might seem an obvious one, but it extends well beyond any one event or TV broadcast: Today's b-to-c vendors have much to learn from their b-to-b peers, and would do well to follow their example when it comes to their ad spend and efforts at brand awareness.

Webinars, for instance, have long proven a reliable tactic for lead generation and outreach in the b-to-b space, in many ways doing the work of late-night infomercials (speaking to potential buyers en masse, and allowing for real-time participation and engagement). They're typically gated, and require attendees to fill out registration forms, which organizers can then use to build out their subscriber lists; and these lists, as any b-to-b vendor will tell you, can count for a lot. In fact, for b-to-b businesses, they can drive as much as 30% to 50% of all revenue generated.

The possibilities, really, are endless, but the fact remains that there's a lot that today's b-to-c companies can learn from B-to-B businesses, and a lot they may do differently where revenue and growth are concerned. A friendly URL with TV ad here, a webinar there – these all add up to tremendous advantages in the long term, and can help shake us loose from tired and stagnant practices.

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