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The Ultimate Guide for Creating Diversity-Friendly Ads

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The Ultimate Guide for Creating Diversity-Friendly Ads

1670699106 411 The Ultimate Guide for Creating Diversity Friendly Ads

Introduction

We live in the most diverse and multicultural times in the history of the world. Technology has helped people migrate from different countries with much more ease than ever before. In the United States alone, it is estimated that by 2044 the sum population of all minorities will surpass the population of white Americans.

Any savvy businessman or marketer knows that this means their brand needs to adapt fast or be prepared to get left behind.

We hope, with this article, to help your business transition its online advertising into a more diversified one.

Diversity in Ad Campaigns is a No-brainer

Diversity in Population is Growing Fast

According to Maryville University, current data shows that growth among racial and ethnic minority groups is outpacing that of Caucasians, indicating that America is becoming more diverse.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, nearly four out of every ten Americans identify as belonging to a racial or ethnic group other than white, implying that the white population will have decreased for the first time in the country’s history during the 2010-2020 decade. Furthermore, another U.S. Census Bureau mentions that more than half of Americans will belong to minority groups by 2044.

Minority Consumers Relate With Brands That Understand Them

In a recent survey held among American Muslim consumers, 400 out of 400 respondents reacted to the statement “(a) I am a Muslim and (b) my choice of a brand or product is influenced by how Muslim-friendly it is”, with a “yes” for both “(a)” and “(b)”. Furthermore, in another survey, “Up to 83% of people pointed to better representing modern society as the reason marketing campaigns were impactful in a positive way”. Also, 70% of Gen Z consumers trust brands that show diversity in their advertisements.

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Businesses have no choice but to update their promotional assets from a marketing standpoint. Since advertisements are at the forefront of brand efforts, diversity must be represented correctly in ad material. The only way for brands to remain relatable is to provide diverse content for diverse audiences in a way that accurately represents modern society.

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Diversity in Marketing Creates Significant New Revenue Streams

Entering new markets makes it easier to generate new revenue. More diversity and inclusion contribute to a more cohesive society and allow businesses to target new markets and increase response rates with relatable content, benefiting their bottom lines.

According to Heat, a Deloitte-owned research firm, brands with the most representative advertisements saw an average stock gain of 44% during the seven-quarter period that ended in 2018. Consumers preferred brands with the highest diversity ratings by an 83% margin.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Advertising has shown that more inclusive ads have seen 23% more “purchase intent” from Gen Z consumers. Alongside this, 64% of consumers, in a Think With Google poll, said they took action after seeing an advertisement they thought was inclusive or diverse.

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How to Add Diversity and Inclusion to Your Marketing

In a very detailed article by Muslim Ad Network, you can read the step-by-step process of creating diversity and inclusion in your marketing campaign. We mention that it all starts with your internal environment: your team, your business culture, and your mentality. Before we go specifically into diversity in your ads, let’s look at some highlights from this article.

Adapting Your Message to the Market

For effective diversity marketing, you must adapt the message to the market rather than adapt the market to the message. So, if you want to communicate with minority consumers, make sure your message does not contradict their values.

Your inclusion marketing campaign must begin with a consideration of the multicultural context. You will need to research not only purchasing habits, but also values, ideals, perceptions, and communication methods.

The Right Knowledge and Combination of People in Your Team

Although your marketing team may not require members from every minority group, you should actively recruit talent from diverse backgrounds or work with external consultants and agencies.

If your marketing team is made up of like-minded individuals who decide that an ad campaign looks good to them without consulting members of the minority group you are targeting, your company is making a big mistake.

Even having members of a minority group on your marketing team may not be sufficient. Aside from soccer rivalries, Latin America, for example, is full of complex relationships. Consider Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. They compete over who makes the best plantain. Imagine making a campaign for Hispanics in general and then mentioning how Dominican plantains are the best in the world.

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Connecting to minority consumer groups in real life will also help you gain more knowledge of their preferences. Even more importantly, your brand will gain a reputation and establish connections between your business and community leaders.

Diversity and Inclusion Marketing Audit

For the best results, you must audit your entire marketing infrastructure to see if there are sufficient elements of diversity and inclusion pertaining to:

  1. Marketing teams
  2. Marketing reach
  3. Website images and language
  4. Representation in collateral
  5. Decision-making processes
  6. Content approval
  7. Audience research
  8. Learnings from previous research
  9. Processes of challenging stereotypes
  10. The relatability of stories
  11. Working with communities
  12. Working with influencers

How to Create Diversity-Friendly Ads

Once you’ve optimized as much of your marketing infrastructure as possible for diversity and inclusion, you can begin creating ads that reflect this. Let us now look at how to create ads that promote diversity:

What Your Ads Must Avoid at All Costs

UNICEF Report

The information below is based on UNICEF’s Promoting diversity and inclusion in advertising: a
UNICEF playbook
.

Racial Stereotypes: Black people excel at sports and dance, while Asians excel in STEM subjects.

Ethnic Stereotypes: Jewish people are extremely knowledgeable about finance and Indigenous people dislike wearing clothes.

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Cultural Stereotypes: Muslim girls are always oppressed and accents from Europe are appealing, while accents from other parts of the world are amusing.

Cultural Appropriation: In the above-mentioned publication UNICEF describes cultural appropriations as:

“Adoption of icons, rituals, aesthetic standards and behavior from one culture by another. Culture is often appropriated by a dominant group from a minority or subordinate group in terms of social, political, and/or economic status. In this process, significant artifacts and beliefs are
used/exploited without understanding or respecting their original meaning”.

ASA Report

In February 2022, the ASA summary report on tackling harmful racial and ethnic stereotyping in advertising came out. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) UK’s independent advertising regulator explains:

“We have published the findings of a major project which looked at the extent to which portrayal of race or ethnicity in UK ads might give rise to harm or serious offense, including by reinforcing adverse stereotypes”.

The following came to light:

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Reinforcement of Existing Stereotypes: The repetition of certain portrayals has the potential to reinforce society’s perceptions of people from minority groups.

Creating new stereotypes: Portrayals of people from BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) groups have emerged that can paint a one-dimensional picture of them, particularly in the depiction of family life, relationships, and appearance.

Perpetuating or reinforcing racist attitudes and behaviors: Past trauma related to race or ethnicity could be evoked by advertisements depicting racist behavior or other elements, even when the advertiser was contesting negative stereotypes.

How to Get Your Ads Right

The Ultimate Guide for Creating Diversity Friendly AdsThe Ultimate Guide for Creating Diversity Friendly Ads

Your ads must reflect what we talked about earlier in the article in the chapter “How to Add Diversity and Inclusion to Your Marketing”. Without the proper internal audit, proper knowledge, hiring the right mix of diverse individuals, and working with external agencies it is going to be very difficult to create ads that speak to minorities. However, once this is established you can use the below checklist to create diversity-friendly ads:

  1. List the minority groups that may relate to your products and those that don’t. It makes no sense to create an ad about your online gambling services and feature Native American characters when they 1) own independent casinos within their reservations and 2) have a higher rate of gambling addiction than the average rate in the general population.
  2. For the minority groups that relate to your products, study their subgroups thoroughly and understand what appeals to the majority of them as you cannot please everybody. For example, if you are a vegan or meat alternative business, find out what speaks to most of the Muslims within the different subgroups.
  3. Just the fact that your product is permissible (halal) for them to consume, may not be enough.
    Staying on the meat alternative example, you would create an ad that depicts family gatherings and cooking together for the Hispanic or Asian community, showing that a great extended family feast is also possible with meat alternatives. Don’t always just do a typical white family (mom, dad, and a kid) type of ad if you want to speak to the minority masses.
  4. Get real native actors and have them speak in their native language too. Whatever you do, don’t use actors from Pakistan, for example, to depict a family from India, even if there is no dialogue in the ad. It is incredible how people from minority groups instinctively know when they are being taken for a ride when it comes to misrepresentation.
  5. If you can afford it make sure you use authentic imagery. The risk of using stock images is that you will be inheriting stereotypes, misrepresentations, and other flaws from them. Original images make for better branding anyway.
  6. Set up an approval process that includes advertisement sensitivity readers. As part of the final process of approval, sensitivity readers – always people with lived experience of prejudice in a minority group – will help you tweak your ad so that it is ready to be published. In extreme cases, they will help you avoid backlashes from the very minority group you want to support and represent in your ads.
  7. If the concept of having a review committee is unrealistic for your company, at the very least have a panel every quarter to give their opinion on the type of ads you will be running for that quarter. Needless to say, it must be made up of enough people from minority groups.
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Conclusion

It’s crunch time for brands. We are in a historical moment of make or break. It’s quite simple, brands that embrace diversity and inclusion in their marketing and advertising will stay relevant and prosper, with all things equal. Brands that do not embrace diversity and inclusion in their marketing and advertising will have a hard time doing well, the stats don’t lie.

However, you can’t just start spitting out diversity and inclusion in your marketing and advertising. You need the right people, knowledge, frameworks, and infrastructure to do it right. Starting with diversity and inclusion in your marketing and advertising in the wrong way can be worse than not starting at all.

We hope that after reading this article you will be able to make the right choices when it comes to diversity and inclusion for your marketing and advertising campaigns.

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BIO

Alwi Suleiman has been in marketing since 2006 and has helped several businesses build their marketing strategies. He is the Lead Marketer at Muslim Ad Network, co-author of the Muslim Consumer Guide, and the owner of Content Market King. He is passionate about helping small businesses thrive through online marketing strategies.


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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.

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To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

1713626764 529 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626764 529 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.

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Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

1713626764 197 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626764 197 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.

Reflections

The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.

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So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.


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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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By Tinuiti Team

Rapid Media Mix Modeling and Proprietary Tech Transform Brand Performance

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Tinuiti, the largest independent full-funnel performance marketing agency, has been included in a recent Forrester Research report titled, “The Marketing Analytics Landscape, Q2 2024.” This report comprehensively overviews marketing analytics markets, use cases, and capabilities. B2C marketing leaders can use this research by Principal Analyst Tina Moffett to understand the intersection of marketing analytics capabilities and use cases to determine the vendor or service provider best positioned for their analytics and insights needs. Moffett describes the top marketing analytics markets as advertising agencies, marketing dashboards and business intelligence tools, marketing measurement and optimization platforms and service providers, and media analytics tools.

As an advertising agency, we believe Tinuiti is uniquely positioned to manage advertising campaigns for brands including buying, targeting, and measurement. Our proprietary measurement technology, Bliss Point by Tinuiti, allows us to measure the optimal level of investment to maximize impact and efficiency. According to the Forrester report, “only 30% of B2C marketing decision-makers say their organization uses marketing or media mix modeling (MMM),” so having a partner that knows, embraces, and utilizes MMM is important. As Tina astutely explains, data-driven agencies have amplified their marketing analytics competencies with data science expertise; and proprietary tools; and tailored their marketing analytics techniques based on industry, business, and data challenges. 

Our Rapid Media Mix Modeling sets a new standard in the market with its exceptional speed, precision, and transparency. Our patented tech includes Rapid Media Mix Modeling, Always-on Incrementality, Brand Equity, Creative Insights, and Forecasting – it will get you to your Marketing Bliss Point in each channel, across your entire media mix, and your overall brand performance. 

As a marketing leader you may ask yourself: 

  • How much of our marketing budget should we allocate to driving store traffic versus e-commerce traffic?
  • How should we allocate our budget by channel to generate the most traffic and revenue possible?
  • How many customers did we acquire in a specific region with our media spend?
  • What is the impact of seasonality on our media mix?
  • How should we adjust our budget accordingly?
  • What is the optimal marketing channel mix to maximize brand awareness? 

These are just a few of the questions that Bliss Point by Tinuiti can help you answer.

Learn more about our customer-obsessed, product-enabled, and fully integrated approach and how we’ve helped fuel full-funnel outcomes for the world’s most digital-forward brands like Poppi & Toms.

The Landscape report is available online to Forrester customers or for purchase here

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

Understanding convergence 

B2B and B2C ecommerce are two distinct models of online selling. B2B ecommerce is between businesses, such as wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. B2C ecommerce refers to transactions between businesses like retailers and consumer brands, directly to individual shoppers. 

However, in recent years, the boundaries between these two models have started to fade. This is known as the convergence between B2B and B2C ecommerce and how they are becoming more similar and integrated. 

Source: White Paper: The evolution of the B2B Consumer Buyer (ClientPoint, Jan 2024)

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What’s driving this change? 

Ever increasing customer expectations  

Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels.

Forrester, 68% of buyers prefer to research on their own, online . Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels

Technology and omnichannel strategies

Technology enables B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms to offer more features and functionalities, such as mobile optimization, chatbots, AI, and augmented reality. Omnichannel strategies allow B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience across different touchpoints, such as websites, social media, email, and physical stores. 

However, with every great leap forward comes its own set of challenges. The convergence of B2B and B2C markets means increased competition.  Businesses now not only have to compete with their traditional rivals, but also with new entrants and disruptors from different sectors. For example, Amazon Business, a B2B ecommerce platform, has become a major threat to many B2B ecommerce businesses, as it offers a wide range of products, low prices, and fast delivery

“Amazon Business has proven that B2B ecommerce can leverage popular B2C-like functionality” argues Joe Albrecht, CEO / Managing Partner, Xngage. . With features like Subscribe-and-Save (auto-replenishment), one-click buying, and curated assortments by job role or work location, they make it easy for B2B buyers to go to their website and never leave. Plus, with exceptional customer service and promotional incentives like Amazon Business Prime Days, they have created a reinforcing loyalty loop.

And yet, according to Barron’s, Amazon Business is only expected to capture 1.5% of the $5.7 Trillion addressable business market by 2025. If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can compete and win in this fragmented space, too.” 

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If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can also compete and win in this fragmented space

Joe Albrecht
CEO/Managing Partner, XNGAGE

Increasing complexity 

Another challenge is the increased complexity and cost of managing a converging ecommerce business. Businesses have to deal with different customer segments, requirements, and expectations, which may require different strategies, processes, and systems. For instance, B2B ecommerce businesses may have to handle more complex transactions, such as bulk orders, contract negotiations, and invoicing, while B2C ecommerce businesses may have to handle more customer service, returns, and loyalty programs. Moreover, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses must invest in technology and infrastructure to support their convergence efforts, which may increase their operational and maintenance costs. 

How to win

Here are a few ways companies can get ahead of the game:

Adopt B2C-like features in B2B platforms

User-friendly design, easy navigation, product reviews, personalization, recommendations, and ratings can help B2B ecommerce businesses to attract and retain more customers, as well as to increase their conversion and retention rates.  

According to McKinsey, ecommerce businesses that offer B2C-like features like personalization can increase their revenues by 15% and reduce their costs by 20%. You can do this through personalization of your website with tools like Product Recommendations that help suggest related products to increase sales. 

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Focus on personalization and customer experience

B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to understand their customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, and tailor their offerings and interactions accordingly. Personalization and customer experience can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, as well as to improve their brand reputation and competitive advantage. According to a Salesforce report, 88% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.

Related: Redefining personalization for B2B commerce

Market based on customer insights

Data and analytics can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to gain insights into their customers, markets, competitors, and performance, and to optimize their strategies and operations accordingly. Data and analytics can also help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to identify new opportunities, trends, and innovations, and to anticipate and respond to customer needs and expectations. According to McKinsey, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times more likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable. 

What’s next? 

The convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce is not a temporary phenomenon, but a long-term trend that will continue to shape the future of ecommerce. According to Statista, the global B2B ecommerce market is expected to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027, surpassing the B2C ecommerce market, which is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2027. Moreover, the report predicts that the convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce will create new business models, such as B2B2C, B2A (business to anyone), and C2B (consumer to business). 

Therefore, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to prepare for the converging ecommerce landscape and take advantage of the opportunities and challenges it presents. Here are some recommendations for B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to navigate the converging landscape: 

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your customers, competitors, and market, and identify the gaps and opportunities for convergence. 
  • Develop a clear vision and strategy for convergence, and align your goals, objectives, and metrics with it. 
  • Invest in technology and infrastructure that can support your convergence efforts, such as cloud, mobile, AI, and omnichannel platforms. 
  • Implement B2C-like features in your B2B platforms, and vice versa, to enhance your customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Personalize your offerings and interactions with your customers, and provide them with relevant and valuable content and solutions.
  • Leverage data and analytics to optimize your performance and decision making, and to innovate and differentiate your business.
  • Collaborate and partner with other B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses, as well as with other stakeholders, such as suppliers, distributors, and customers, to create value and synergy.
  • Monitor and evaluate your convergence efforts, and adapt and improve them as needed. 

By following these recommendations, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses can bridge the gap between their models and create a more integrated and seamless ecommerce experience for their customers and themselves. 

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