B2B Marketing vs B2C Marketing: What You Should Know
Marketing practices for B2B versus B2C are not completely different; however there are specific elements that are unique. Understanding the variances between the two will help you identify the best way to market your business.
Identifying your target market, audience and your unique value proposition when starting a marketing campaign apply to both B2B and B2C. It is after this initial discovery phase where the marketing strategy can change significantly.
B2C Marketing Campaigns
When marketing to a consumer there are several key pieces to remember while planning your campaign. Business to consumer relationships are:
- Brand and loyalty driven
- Target a medium to large audience
- Product focused
- Generally have short sales cycles, repetitive imagery and marketing materials for brand identification
Businesses catering solely to a consumer based market are product driven. Typically the target market is large and the following are important factors:
- Customer service
- Mood, desires and emotional based purchases
- Brand awareness and loyalty
It is important to remain consistent with your brand voice, imagery and messaging in B2C marketing. The internet has largely influenced the ways businesses identify with their consumer market, especially through social networks and blogs. Other traditional campaign strategies like email marketing, coupons and vouchers and limited offers are also used to land sales.
Campaigns catering to the B2C market tend to be short and straightforward. It’s crucial to capture and secure the interest of potential customers quickly as well as stay up-to-date with current trends, so the brand remains relevant. With email and social campaigns in particular, the amount of effort it takes for a consumer to get to the purchase point has to be simplified so you don’t lose their interest.
Calls to action should be simple, easy to understand and informative.
B2B Marketing Campaigns
Business to business campaigns have several distinctions from B2C. Key elements to bear in mind for B2B markets are:
- Relationship building and proof of value
- Brand identity and loyalty is attained through the value of the business relationship, rather than marketing
- Typically smaller, targeted and focused end market
- Typically longer sales cycles, not based on emotional purchasing, but utilize education and information to add value to decisions
For B2B marketing the focus is building and realizing the full value of relationships, which requires clear, significant communication, education and awareness to keep interest. Since many times there is more than one person making the buying decisions, the purchase becomes a multi-step process that must be rationalized and prove value.
B2B marketing campaigns can be very targeted and the marketing strategies will vary greatly based on the sales cycle length and where the visitor is in the funnel. In the early stages information is key to pique attention and succinctly highlight the benefits of choosing your product or service.
Email campaigns and media are widely used for B2B and informative, valuable and clear content is key to bring tangible value to the table. Capturing a business market will be an ongoing effort in showcasing the quality and substance that you offer.
Successful marketing strategies must always be rooted in who your customer is and how they make their buying decisions. Majority of tactics will have overlap, but there are important minor differences you must be aware of when marketing to B2B versus B2C.
Image by SocialMediaOnlineClasses and licensed through Creative Commons.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Nick Ostler is the lead of business development and outreach at MinneapolisWebDesign.com, an interactive agency. A native Minnesotan, Nick loves to spend time up north fishing during the summer months.