Manufacturing has always been a competitive business, and now it’s competitive in a new way. What was a competitive advantage before, say pricing, has dropped as a differentiation, and now customer experience has replaced it. And, a whopping 86 percent of manufacturers agree that the ability to provide best-in-class customer experiences is a key competitive differentiator in the industry today. For manufacturers that embrace the B2B2C business model, the customer experience is even more intrinsic to the company’s success. Unlike traditional B2B manufacturers, B2B2C manufacturers have a complete view of the customer lifecycle. These insights create opportunities—and a responsibility—for manufacturers to drive continuous improvements to the customer experience.
For B2B2C manufacturers to harness customer insights effectively, manufacturers first need to undergo a fundamental mindset shift about what role they can and should play in the customer lifecycle. B2B2C manufacturers need to rid themselves of their B2B-based ways of thinking, as these legacy mindsets tend to deemphasize connections to customers and lead manufacturers to believe they have little ability to influence the marketplace. Instead, B2B2C manufacturers must lean into and embrace the more varied and more direct ways that they can interact with customers. Let’s explore three key concepts that every B2B2C manufacturer should understand to optimally serve its customers and address their needs:
Push and pull marketing
One of the main differentiators between the traditional B2B mindset and a B2B2C mindset is the ability to use both “push” and “pull” marketing strategies to drive customer demand for manufacturing products. In a traditional B2B manufacturing organization, the company primarily “pushes” its products onto the next party in the distribution chain; the company’s goal is simply to convince a retailer or a wholesaler to stock their products. Although a B2B2C manufacturer also engages in “push” marketing, the B2B2C manufacturer simultaneously can market its products directly to the customer—in effect, “pulling” the retailer or wholesaler along. The end result is that B2B2C manufacturers essentially can take advantage of…
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