Everyone knows that there is a great difference in relationships your business builds with your customers (B2C) and those it builds with other businesses (B2B). Sure, you are still trying to appeal to someone, but the truth is that individuals have much different priorities than organizations do. Because of that and in order to do some further research on this topic, here are five differences between B2B and B2C marketing.
1. Product-driven vs. relationship-driven
From the very get-go, we can see that the foundation of B2B marketing lies a relationship driven-decision making. Companies are more likely to work with people they know and trust, regardless of your unique value proposition, seeing how this probably won’t be the only time they are doing business together. Furthermore, seeing how there’s usually much more at stake with B2B relationships than with individual consumers, businesses feel more comfortable undertaking this when there’s someone they share a strong relationship with on the other end of the line. On the other hand, B2C marketing tends to be predominantly product-driven, which means that the properties of the item on the market are usually the deciding factor. If you’re like most small business owners with limited time, building relationships one-on-one is the way to go for B2B channels.
2. The target scope
Another thing worth mentioning about this topic is that B2B usually has a much narrower scope, or a small, focused target market. Most B2B marketing efforts usually have one particular company in mind or even a few belonging to the same business niche. On the other hand, B2C requires you to target an entire demographic, which has both its good and bad sides. From one point of view, your conversion rate mostly seems like a numbers game, while with B2B it is a more of an all-in scenario. From a different perspective, targeting demographic feels much less personal, which also means that it has lower success rate.
3. Brand identity
The next vital point of discrepancy between B2B and B2C is the way in which your small business’ brand identity needs to be constructed or presented. When it comes to B2C, customers tend to recognize your business through images, repetition of catchphrases, as well as well-conceived product names. On the other hand, in B2B, people from other companies are more likely to perceive your brand through the lens of their personal relationship with you, or with your staff members. Both of these things can turn tides of success either way, and it’s important to make sure that you and your team present your company’s brand, mission, and features in a consistent way.
4. Rational vs. emotional buy
Perhaps the greatest difference between the two lies in the buying process itself. When it comes to B2C, what we have are much shorter sales cycles with a basic single-step buying process. This allows for much more impulsive buying that stems from emotion or momentary personal desire. On the other hand, B2B usually has a multi-step process, which makes it much slower. Because of that, most of these decisions are made rationally and after a long consideration. That makes nurturing a sales customer a much more important priority for your targeted marketing efforts. Think about each stage of the sales cycle and how that one customer experiences it, and make sure your best foot is always forward.
5. Transaction or relationship focus
Throughout this article, we’ve mentioned relationship-building as the main driving force of B2B marketing. The reason behind this is quite simple. The most successful deal is the one that contributes the most to your business’ reputation in the eyes of the company you are doing business with. On the other hand, the main focus of B2C is to maximize the overall value of transaction, seeing how this means greater short-term profit.
All in all, these five differences are more than enough to depict just how deep these differences go. Both of these types of marketing are there to enhance your business model, but their basic structures, goals and focus points can be completely different. Aside from all that, the basic principle always remains the same. Turn the other party into someone willing to do business with you. For this, however, you need an adequate plan, proper course of action and of course a consistent strategy.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.