Most people are familiar with B2B and B2C, but to recap these two different business types, B2B stands for business-to-business and B2C is business-to-consumer. Simply put, a B2B business offers services and (sometimes) products to other businesses – i.e. marketing agencies, designers, architects, engineers, etc. B2C businesses offer services and products directly to consumers or the end user – i.e. retail, beauty therapies, travel agencies, supermarkets, etc.
While there are many marketing strategies across the board that apply to both types of business models, there are some distinct differences that you should be aware of. This mostly boils down to the different type of audiences that are generated for B2B versus B2C businesses.
Often times, B2B marketing can be defined as process-driven or pragmatic purchase decisions; B2B customers always need to think about their transaction from a business point of view, and the ramifications of a purchase decision for their business. There’s only so much emotion that B2B customers can let influence their actions. B2C is often characterised by emotion-driven purchase decisions. This is because B2C customers are much more dependent on their gut / impulse when deciding to buy something, and generally may not need as much persuasion to purchase.
There is absolutely some cross-over, and we’re the first to admit that emotion-driven or pain point specific marketing can be effective for both. So what are the differences? Let’s first take a look at this diagram, provided by Wordstream, below.
- 1. Customer relationships: B2B marketing places a large focus on building a relationship with your prospective client. Why? Because the audience volume is often a lot lower, but more valuable. By building a long-lasting client relationship and putting in the work to provide a client nurture journey that befits your B2B audience, you are bolstering your chances of acquisition and retaining your client for a longer period of time. Comparatively, B2C with its higher volume audience, is often more entrenched in a transactional marketing focus – B2C customers aren’t necessarily looking to build a close relationship with a brand.
- 2. Branding: Brand positioning is of utmost importance for B2B marketing. Brand positioning is the space a company owns in the mind of their audience, and how it differentiates itself from competitors. Simply put, brand positioning is a marketing strategy that allows businesses to define the USPs (unique selling points) to set themselves apart. B2C on the other hand is more driven by brand messaging – this is more to do with how a company delivers its value proposition, and communicates its business values.
- 3. Audience targeting: In B2B, targeting your ideal clients involves defining your niche audience. What are the characteristics of your ideal clients that can be narrowed down into a defined group with similar pain points and goals? Once you have this defined, it makes targeting, positioning and messaging for your marketing more powerful and convincing. In comparison, B2C marketing is a little more funnel-focused and moves its larger audiences through the sales process a little faster.
The differences between B2B and B2C marketing are by no means a one-size-fits-all, but in general B2B and B2C audiences differ in enough ways that mean the approach to your marketing must also differ dependent on where your business fits. Often, the largest problem that B2B businesses have when it comes to their marketing is a lack of content, strategy and time to create it.
Luckily, this is what Energise Marketing specialises in – numerous B2B clients adopt our services to ensure their marketing hits the right channels, audiences and platforms to form a cohesive long-term marketing plan. Get in touch if you would like to chat through our marketing services, or to enquire about our outsourced digital marketing packages of your business.