Select up any “introduction to marketing” textbook, and it will describe the difference between business-to-business (B2B) marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing.
It’ll note that, generally, the sales procedure is simpler. Conversion paths are short. Fewer individuals take part in the purchase decision. And once the sale procedure is finished, the relationship between buyer and vendor is minimal.
In contrast, the sales procedure is more complex. Conversion paths are extended. Individuals are included in the purchase decision. And vendor and the buyer stay connected through implementation, service and possible future sales.
Of course, just like any marketing “rule,” there are exceptions. And after managing PPC account for a number of post-secondary institutions, I can tell you that in several ways, PPC marketing for universities has more in common with B2B marketing than B2C advertising — although universities promote to consumers (i.e., potential students) instead of different companies.
Within the following report, I detail five similarities (and a couple of differences) so that you may take advantage of this knowledge to notify your own college PPC campaigns.
5: Similarities between college PPC along with B2B PPC
Technically, college marketing is B2C — yet it shares several similarities with marketing.
1. Length of transformation period
Perhaps because picking a college or university is a momentous, life-changing choice is a match. No student (or parent) is going to make a decision based on one click or one advertisement — that is likewise the case in B2B marketing.
Instead, students may take weeks or even decades to convert. The initial click is the first step in a succession of micro-conversions that (finally) leads to the closing “sale,” i.e., student enrollment.
PPC entrepreneurs at the college vertical have to program for this very long conversion procedure. Be sure you and/or your customer procedures set up and have the service that is mandatory post-click.
When it comes to launching campaigns, you will need to plan weeks or years maybe weeks.
2. Call to activity
As a consequence of this longer conversion route, calls to actions (CTAs) in college attempts have more in common with B2B than B2C.
In B2C marketing, CTAs are generally “Buy now” or even “Buy now.” But these CTAs make little feel for universities or B2Bs. A B2B CTA is more likely “Download our white paper” or even “Request a consultation.”
Here, the CTA is meant to begin a conversation, not near the deal.
Similarly, universities might use “Sign up for our open house” or even “Request a data package,” instead of “Register now.”
3. Distinct target markets
In marketing, it is not unusual to promote multiple audiences because of the nature of purchase decisions. Decision-makers (and influencers) can live anywhere within a business, including procurement, IT, other business units and executive suites. You have to figure out the way to appeal to each one of these audiences.
Similarly, in college marketing, it’s easy to make the error of students. But often, the pupil’s parents also hold power. This can present a challenge as parents and pupils might have questions that are different and value different things.
You need to experiment with landing pages and CTAs to appeal to the two groups.
4. Low search quantity struggles
In college and B2B PPC, we’ve discovered that clients are excited to use keywords with reduced search volumes.
In B2B, by way of example, we’ve been asked to run advertisements for technical webinar topics which no one is looking for.
Similarly, with universities, we’ve had clients wish to run advertisements promoting professors that are newly acquired. However, let us face that, even though professors might be highly respected within their fields, potential undergraduate students are unlikely to have heard of them (or even to hunt for them).
We frequently come up with this issue with course offerings and open houses as well.
The solution? We rely on advertisement extensions (especially sitelinks) to market these very low search volume items.
5. Ongoing post-sale relationships
On sellers for implementation and ongoing service after the purchase, buyers will rely in B2B marketing if the item or service is technical.
Students also tend to have close, ongoing relationships with their college of choice. These relationships can extend throughout the pupils’ graduate, undergrad and post-graduate decades. And they might even persist as alumni.
3 Differences between college PPC along with B2B PPC
Some differences remain, while B2B marketing and college marketing share many similarities.
1. Personal bets
While education isn’t cheap, it doesn’t (hopefully!) Run into the hundreds of thousands and/or millions of dollars that describe B2B sales. Therefore, you might conclude that B2B sales are greater stakes than education decisions.
But I would assert that they aren’t.
Why? Families and students pay for education out of their own pockets. They’re spending their own hard-earned money. And it is a decision that will influence them, personally, for the rest of their lives.
As a college PPC marketer, then you need to be prepared to answer every question and deal with every concern. There is no fast sell.
2. Marketing to existing clients
In marketing, the very first sale marks the beginning of efforts. There are endless opportunities to advertise service services, add-ons and so forth, when a business has bought a sophisticated service or product.
Consequently there is always the hope of nurturing existing clients into megaclients.
But with universities, it is possible to only enroll 1 student “body” at a time, so the dream of developing an present client into a megaclient is a lot more dull.
There are opportunities for remarketing with universities (such as marketing graduate applications to present undergraduate students), however, strategies can fluctuate from B2B.
3. Targeting options
AdWords are possibly the clearest differentiator between college marketing and advertising.
In AdWords, university entrepreneurs have choices that are targeting that are cool contrary to B2B marketers. It is possible to target universities as “places of interest” from AdWords and employ a variety of modifiers, as the AdWords help file clarifies (screen shot below).
Because it allows us to zero in on university students we’ve used this targeting choice to promote graduate university applications.
I do not foresee a option for marketers.
Some rules are made to be broken
While marketing “rules” are useful, it is never wise to embrace them without issue. (And I think most marketing text authors would concur.)
But instead than tossing your advertising and marketing textbooks in the trash, use your college PPC campaigns to be taken by these contrarian tips to another level.
Some opinions expressed within this report may be those of a guest writer and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.