B2B marketing refers to Business to Business marketing which is the marketing of products to businesses or other organizations to be used in production of goods, general business operations (such as office supplies), or for resale to other consumers, such as a wholesaler selling to a retailer. This is different from B2C marketing, also called Business to Customer marketing, which entails marketing practices, strategies and tactics used in pushing products or services to customers.
B2C campaigns do not just focus on the benefit or value that a product offers, but also aim at arousing an emotional response from the customer.
B2B businesses sell products and services directly to other businesses. Or, more specifically, they sell to the decision makers in any particular business. This can include everything from table management software for restaurants to marketing services to office chairs.
B2C businesses sell products and services to customers for personal use. This can include cruises, clothing, cars, landscaping services and (obviously) so much more.
The basic difference between B2B and B2C marketing has been summarized below by Marina Turea in an article published on Digital Authority Partners. Here are 6 quick facts about B2B and B2C marketing that distinguish these two marketing strategies.
1. Target audience
The lines between B2C and B2B marketing become more pronounced when it comes to the target customer. B2B marketers go after key decision makers within an organization. They don’t have to bother about everyone in the company or even the end user.
For instance, it doesn’t matter if a medical software or device will be used by hundreds of clinicians and care teams; only the CIO, information technology officer and relevant hospital bosses will make the final purchase decision. So, B2B marketers should make sure that all of their marketing efforts are geared towards this small group of decision makers.
As noted earlier, B2C marketers sell directly to consumers, not retailers or any other business down the supply chain. B2C marketers can direct their campaigns at just about anyone who can use their products or services, not necessarily the buyer. A kid who sees an ad for a PlayStation, for example, might convince their mom or dad to buy it for them. Even still, it is crucial for B2C marketing to reach the household’s decision maker.
2. Logic vs. emotion
Telling original, captivating stories is one of the best ways brands make people care. It’s also a great way to win customer loyalty and inspire a purchase. However, B2B and B2C marketers tell their marketing stories differently.
While B2B marketing is all about logic, B2C marketing deals with arousing emotions in a customer. B2B Marketers have to tell decision makers stories about the product/service, its features, and how it’ll help the organization. There’s little to zero emotions involved in the process. Of course, B2B marketers want to deliver their marketing message in a way that decision-makers can understand. After all, the use of complex, esoteric jargon is one of the biggest B2B marketing mistakes most companies make.
In B2C marketing, the consumer is most likely interested in the emotional grand scheme of things. When B2C marketers are crafting their stories, they should tell the benefits and value of the service or product in plain language. And not a long, boring story.
3. Return on investment
B2B customers want to know the return on their investment (RoI) right away. They want to know your expertise, and if your product or service will contribute to the efficiency and bottom line of the company. As such, most B2B purchases are driven by financial incentive and the logic behind the product/service.
That’s why data-driven marketing is important to B2B marketers. According to Combo App, 57 percent of B2B marketers who embrace data-driven marketing are “more effective and productive at delivering positive ROI through their work.”
4. Content marketing
B2B customers (or decision makers) expect to be treated well and catered to. They want to be educated so they can make great decisions on behalf of their organizations, which is where content marketing comes into the picture.
B2C customers also love content. However, they want something that resonates well with them. They want content that “speaks” their language, and not necessarily something to do with the product.
5. Marketing costs
B2B marketing is usually a lengthy process that involves a long chain of command. After all, the decision maker is often not a single person, which means B2B marketers have to spend more money.
B2C customers typically make snappy, one-person decisions. This can save marketers a lot of time and money.
6. Buying cycle
Again, B2C customers may only have to seek recommendations from family and friends. The purchase decision is usually made by one person and takes a matter of minutes.
The B2B buying process is a different story. Accounting, procurement, and heads of several departments have to give the green light before a purchase is made. Because B2B marketers are not dealing with an individual, the purchase decision process can take much longer and become more complex each passing day.
Every marketing communicator should understand the basic difference between B2B and B2C marketing in order to be relevant in today’s competitive business environment. From the presentation above you can see that B2B and B2C marketing share numerous similarities, but they still have many distinct differences between them.
In summary, B2B marketers target their marketing efforts on other businesses, and a small group of professionals who make a purchase decision on behalf of their organizations. On the other hand, B2C marketers sell directly to the consumer. Converting a B2B customer might be a bit harder, longer, and more expensive due to the nature of the nature of the business. The B2B purchase cycle is longer and most times it has to do with a longer chain of command than the B2C buying process. A buyer of a consumer product/service usually takes a short time before making a decision. Also, B2B customers want to be educated using highly detailed and precise content while B2C customers want entertaining and emotional content to encourage a purchase. These are basics about B2B and B2C marketing that marketing communicators should know so as to understand the business environment and specific strategies required to activate purchase involving individual customers or other businesses.
(Facts first posted on Digital Authority Partners)