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B2B vs B2C Marketing: What's the Difference in Marketing to the Business Market?

Marketing to the business world is different than to consumers. Check out this guide to the differences between B2B vs B2C marketing strategies.
BY Doug Fairbrother - January 03, 2019

Marketing can be a cutthroat business. You've got to know your consumer intimately and fight your competition for their attention and loyalty. And there's always up-and-comers out there who might be lurking and waiting to steal from your market share.

But what's especially important to know is that marketing to the business world is different than marketing to consumers. And it's important to know the differences between B2B vs B2C marketing.

Both B2B marketing and B2C marketing have different strategies that work for them. And it's important to know when you can converge those strategies and when you can't.

But what actually is the difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing? And how can you leverage each one of them?

 

What Exactly is B2B Marketing?

B2B marketing simply refers to business-to-business marketing.

For example, if British Airways is trying to become your business' preferred travel provider and is marketing to you accordingly, that would be B2B marketing.

Or, as another example, if a company is trying to sell you a huge piece of machinery to help with your production line then that would involve B2B marketing.

It's what one business does when they're trying to sell to and/or partner with another business.

The focus of B2B marketing tends to be logical. You want to focus on the product and its features, what it has to offer the business you're trying to sell to.

Why's that?

Because there tends not to be much emotion involved in a B2B purchasing decision.

It's all about how much your product costs and what you're offering for that cost.

B2B marketing should focus on the following:

  • How your product increases productivity
  • How your product provides resources that nothing else or no one else can provide
  • How your product saves money and time

If you focus on those three things, you'll be able to build yourself a solid B2B marketing strategy.

What is B2C Marketing?

While B2B marketing focuses on business-to-business marketing, B2C marketing focuses on marketing to the consumer. It literally means "business-to-consumer marketing."

Examples of B2C marketing include McDonald's trying to sell moms on buying Happy Meals for their kids. Or, another example, is when Tesco tries to convince you to do your shopping there by offering deals you can't get anywhere else.

Consumers are much more emotional when making a B2C purchasing decision than someone is when making a B2B purchasing decision. As such, B2C marketing needs to be focused on the following:

  • Building out content for their brands and company
  • Building a brand relationship with their consumers
  • Selling people on the benefits that their product(s) offer(s)

Advertising is one of the biggest and most important parts of B2C marketing. (In addition to having a great product.)

Why?

Because consumers don't want some long, drawn-out advert. Rather, they want something short and snappy that gets right to the point and catches their attention.

Consumers who are making B2C purchasing decisions don't want to have to work hard to understand what you're selling and why. They want the benefits and the reason to purchase made clear to them quickly and easily. They shouldn't have to work to understand your message.

Major Differences Between B2B vs B2C Marketing

The major difference between B2B and B2C marketing has to do with how you hook your buyer. You connect differently to a consumer than you do to a business.

And you need to make sure you're selling the right way in order to actually make your sale

Here are just a few of the differences that B2B vs B2C marketing differ from each other.

1. What's Driving the Purchase Decision?

A B2B audience is making their purchasing decision very, very different than a B2C audience.

Your B2B buyer is going to be focused on whether or not you can offer them an efficient product along with lots of expertise. Your B2C buyer is going to be focused on finding a good deal with lots of fun or entertainment value.

So for B2B marketing focus on logic and the expertise you can offer. For B2C marketing appeal to your consumer's emotions.

2. To Use Industry Jargon or Not

It's simple. With B2B sales you should be using industry jargon - in fact, it will probably make a potential buyer feel more at ease because it shows that you know what you're talking about and know your way around the industry.

With B2C sales you absolutely want to avoid industry jargon. A consumer isn't going to know what it means and it's going to be a very quick and easy way to turn them off of your product.

3. Content Marketing

Your content is going to vary widely between B2B vs B2C marketing. For B2B marketing you want lengthy content that answers lots of questions, has a lot of buzzwords and industry jargon and goes into great detail about your offerings.

For B2C marketing, you want to focus on pith and humour, as this is most likely to engage consumers and keep your brand top of mind for them. And this will translate into sales for you.

4. Who's Making the Purchasing Decision?

There are a lot more people involved in a B2B purchasing decision than there are involved in a B2C purchasing decision.

What does that mean?

Well, with a B2C purchasing decision it's usually just one person making the decision. Sometimes it's a family or group of friends making the decision together, but it's still a relatively small number of people.

With a B2B purchasing decision, there is a whole chain of command that has to weigh in.

You have to send it up the chain of command and get input from a whole bunch of people before the decision can be made.

5. Building Brand Relationships

For a consumer, the driving force behind their purchase decision is not about building a relationship with your brand. It's about fulfiling an immediate want or need.

That's not to say that consumers don't become brand loyal. It simply means that they're not thinking about a relationship when they're making their purchasing decision.

For a business, they're often looking to build a long-term relationship with you and your brand. They want someone they can partner with so that they don't have to spend time over and over again vetting candidates and making purchasing decisions.


Final Thoughts

Now that you know the difference between B2B vs B2C marketing it's time to put them into action. We can help with that!

With a focus on growth driven marketing strategies, we can help you market to both the consumer world and the business world. Contact us for help coming up with your own growth-driven marketing strategy.