Consumer marketing is selling goods or services to individuals for their personal use and promoting these goods and services through various marketing strategies, including using consumer data for personalized experiences.
● A consumer is someone who buys things for a non-commercial purpose, either for themselves or for others.
● Consumer brands — or B2C brands — tend to be more emotional in their marketing approach than business to business brands — or B2B brands. Consumer brand messaging needs to make customers feel good about their purchase, instead of focusing on return on investment (ROI), which is the main focus for B2B customers.
● Business owners and marketing teams will need to adapt to a cookieless future by shifting to a consent-based model for gathering customer data. It’s up to the brand to convince end users that sharing their data will make their experiences more valuable.
Juan Sebastian Caicedo is a portfolio marketing leader at Adobe. As an experienced marketer, he specializes in digital marketing strategy, marketing analytics, customer research, and campaign orchestration.
Q: What is consumer marketing?
A: A consumer is someone who buys things for a non-commercial purpose, either for themselves or for others. Companies use consumer marketing campaigns to sell to consumers. Campaign messaging focuses on both acquiring potential customers and retaining current customers. Marketers need to bring in new customers and increase customer loyalty. They can do this in a variety of ways, including using first- and third-party consumer data — typically captured through cookies — to personalize brand experiences for current and potential customers.
Q: What is the difference between consumer marketing and business marketing?
A: The first major difference between business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) marketing is scale. Consumer brands have an almost infinite number of potential customers. But with B2B marketing, there’s a finite set of businesses operating in a target market and demographic for your product or service.
Another difference is who makes the final buying decision. In consumer marketing, marketers are typically speaking directly to a single decision-maker, who will decide whether or not to purchase the product or service. In B2B marketing, a sales team usually deals with a group of people with varying roles and responsibilities within the company which may or may not include the ultimate decision maker.
A third distinction between B2B and B2C marketing is messaging. Consumer brands tend to be more emotional in their marketing approach because they’re appealing to a broader human audience rather than a specific company role or team. Messaging needs to make customers feel good about their purchase instead of focusing on return on investment (ROI), which is the main focus for B2B customers.
Q: What are some effective consumer marketing strategies?
A: A good B2C marketing strategy builds customer relationships by personalizing interactions and identifying the moments that matter most in the marketing life cycle. By unifying data, you can paint a picture of who your customers are and respond to them accordingly.
Your consumer marketing strategy can include both traditional channels like TV and newer platforms like social media, YouTube, streaming services, email, and mobile apps. Consumer brands can also use industry events to reach their target audiences. Whatever channel you use to share your message, remember to balance frequency and reach. How often can you reinforce a positive brand perception to the most people?
It’s important to understand how your brand is already perceived. To that end, your business can conduct something called “brand sentiment analysis.” Using artificial intelligence, marketing teams can crawl through thousands of your brand mentions on social media to paint a picture of the type of emotional resonance your brand has with customers. You can use that market research to build better customer relationships.
Q: Does consumer marketing rely more on data or emotion?
A: There is a false narrative that relying on data dehumanizes consumer marketing. That isn’t the case. Creativity and data go hand-in-hand.
Consumer marketing does rely on emotions more than B2B marketing strategy. Human creativity and design is essential. But it doesn’t matter how good your messaging is if it doesn’t reach the right potential customers. That’s where data comes into play. Using customer data helps you to appeal to your customers’ emotions more, because you understand them more deeply as people and can deliver content they truly care about.
Q: What are some consumer marketing tools?
A: Your brand isn’t what you think it should be, it’s what your customers think about your business… and what they say about it. That’s why consumer marketing starts with considering the millions of interactions that potential customers are having with your brand. While it can seem like your marketing efforts will be stretched thin with so many touchpoints, the right technology can help you personalize each customer experience at scale. Adobe offers some great tools to make this easier:
Adobe Advertising Cloud. Adobe Advertising Cloud is an independent ad platform that unifies and automates media, screens, data, and creativity at scale. It helps marketing teams achieve successful ROI by getting the right messages in front of the right customer segments.
Adobe Experience Manager. Adobe Experience Manager helps you deliver personalized content and experiences by combining digital asset management and content management systems.
Adobe Commerce Cloud. Adobe Commerce Cloud is built with Magento at its core to deliver powerful ecommerce shopping experiences that promote customer loyalty and business growth.
Q: How will consumer marketing evolve in the future?
A: One of the biggest changes coming to consumer marketing is the elimination of cookies, currently the primary method of gaining user data. Consumer brands have been using cookies to track customer behavior online and create personalized experiences for years. Without cookies, gathering the data that enables personalized customer experiences becomes more difficult.
Business owners and marketing teams will need to adapt to a cookieless future. One way is to shift to a consent-based model for gathering customer data. It will be up to the brand to convince end users that sharing their data will make their experiences more valuable.
B2C marketing will continue to evolve toward the ideal of a one-on-one relationship between the brand and the loyal customer that can be scaled and personalized for millions of people. Potential customers are going to expect a higher level of experience in everything they do. Maybe, in the future, choosing a doctor will be as easy as shopping on Amazon.