Marketing Strategy – B2B vs. B2C

Marketing

b2b-vs-b2c

We live in a world driven by diverse forms of marketing. Known or unknown to you, there are several brands bombarding you with their marketing messages from the moment you wake up in the morning. You will see their messages on billboards, cars and apparel as you go about doing routine tasks during the day.

From a marketing perspective, you are a consumer and part of the target audience in Business To Consumer (B2C) marketing. Your willingness to adopt a product signifies how successful a B2C marketing campaign is. Business To Business (B2B) marketing, on the other hand, has companies as the primary target audience.

In what other ways do B2B and B2C marketing differ from each other? What kind of strategies should be prepared for them? The purpose of this article is to give you a clear understanding on how best to create strategies for B2B and B2C processes.

There is a lot written about B2B vs. B2C marketing – a simple Google search will reveal thousands of results! It shows the importance marketing teams give to B2B and B2C processes.

You will go nowhere without a winning strategy

Over the years, marketing teams have taken pride in their skills to create unique promotional campaigns that easily identify with B2B and B2C audiences.

The reason for their success is the ability to create winning marketing strategies. A well-planned strategy has the capability to drive a business from one milestone to another, taking care of obstacles along the way.

How do you create the perfect strategy? It depends on your audience. Are you looking at a B2B audience or a B2C one? We will explore the direction a marketing strategy should take from a B2B and B2C perspective.

The key to creating the perfect strategy is to understand the difference between B2B and B2C processes. You need to realize that a successful strategy used for a B2C audience won’t work for a B2B one and vice-versa.

Go through the 6 points highlighted below and make sure they are part of your next strategy, whether it is prepared for a B2B or B2C audience.

1. It is essential to showcase your expertise in the industry while performing B2B marketing

Companies prefer doing business with entities they can relate to. In B2B marketing, it is important that you showcase your knowledge of the industry. Use jargon that is widely used in the industry so that businesses know you are a force to reckon with.

B2C marketing will need you to connect with individual consumers at a personal level. You will have to use a mixture of humor and sentiments to connect with potential customers. The language used in B2C marketing can be relaxed and simpler in comparison to B2B marketing.

Hire the right content and research teams for B2B marketing. B2C marketing requires writers with high levels of creativity.

2. Features vs. Benefits

In B2B marketing, your primary focus should be to highlight the features of your product. Companies don’t need to be wooed emotionally. They will be keener on learning about the product and what it can offer them. In B2C marketing, you will have to focus on the benefits associated with the product. The benefits could range from pricing and 24/7 services to a 1-year warranty.

Brainstorm with your team to arrive at the right features/benefits for your audience. It doesn’t matter if it takes a time to come up with a list. Your goal should be to identify features/benefits that can compete with the best in the industry!

3. It takes longer to close a deal in B2B marketing

The time taken to close a B2B deal is significant and shouldn’t be ignored while preparing your strategy. This is because B2B marketing involves products or services that are costlier than those associated with B2C marketing. The duration of a B2B process normally varies from a month to a year, depending on how friendly the client is. So create strategies with longer and more complex milestones.

A B2C deal, on the other hand, is easier to close. This is because individuals don’t spend much time on purchasing decisions. The milestones in your content plan can be shorter and more straightforward.

4. B2B content strategies are mature and require a greater level of planning to succeed

As mentioned earlier, content varies significantly for B2B and B2C marketing. More efforts and resources will have to be put in to ensure B2B content excels. You will have to include extensive research in your content so that businesses sit up and take note of what you have to convey.

Things are more flexible with B2C content. All you have to do is prepare engaging content that strikes an emotional chord with your target audience.

5. The number of stakeholders in the B2B process is greater and significant

A B2C deal simply involves a consumer and his family members. Things are more complicated in B2B deals. There are a lot of decision-makers who are actively pursuing the deal on both sides. The reason for this is the significant amount of money involved in B2B deals.

A number of stakeholders have a direct bearing on the marketing process. The business client may have to get a sign-off from several departments before giving you a green light. It will be easier if you could understand how many stakeholders are there on your client’s end. This helps you prepare a strategy that is more comprehensive with a solid outreach.

6. B2B marketing has a smaller target audience

B2C marketing has a widespread target audience that goes beyond boundaries. For example, there may be thousands of potential customers willing to use your services in your local area. Things are harder for B2B marketing. There may be only 10 to 20 customers willing to utilize your services in your local area.

This means you will have to try doubly hard to win their trust and goodwill. All this is possible if you have every team member aligned with you in meeting your goals

Conclusion

B2B marketing is more difficult to accomplish because of the complexities involved. You will have to focus harder to ensure things go smoothly. But this doesn’t mean B2C marketing is a cakewalk – you will have to come up with compelling marketing content to ensure consumers listen to you.

Disclaimer: All images are provided by author.

Susan Smith is an online marketing professional and has been with Promo Direct for past 7 years. She likes to blog about branding tips, business and marketing, and facts about promotional products. Besides that she loved travelling & photography.

Comments

  1. hi Susan Smith, your post is very unique I know very well B2B marketing is more difficult to accomplish. Nice post
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. “It takes longer to close a deal in B2B marketing”. Spot on.
    I still remember how hard it was to convert leads into sales when I was working with a B2B company. Some times, it takes 6 months to close a single deal.

    Great article that reminded me of the good old days 🙂

  3. This is really interesting! You make some excellent points here, and I really like your ambitious spirit! Strategizing a plan for success is key! Nicely said. Thanks for sharing this info!

  4. Interesting read. I want to through few ideas here based on what we have learned in our dealings with B2B marketing. Ultimate objective for us in B2B is to get those clients to recommend us to other business customers. So the marketing strategy needs to be made in such a way to deliver that value proposition for that particular segment. Once business clients have their needs answered, then they will recommend. it is important to note that different segments in B2B require different treatments in order to get an increase in customer referral rate.

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