If you’re deeply involved in the B2B business sector on a day to day basis, the chances are that you’re likely to play a consumer at some point. Anybody who represents an organisation that markets to another is pretty familiar with the B2C marketing landscape and its reflective strategies.
Whether you’re building a B2B or a B2C marketing plan, you must know how consumer and business-centric campaigns differ or relate. You’re guaranteed exceptional outcomes if your marketing efforts resonate with your target. The customer or business in question needs to perceive value.
For most organisations, the bare mention of B2B marketing invokes a corporate image. You might be tempted to think of a sophisticated approach with formal marketing material and executive dress code. On the flipside, B2C marketing raises a casual notion. It tends to lean towards an informal approach associated with a carefree attitude or trending topics on social media.
The truth is that B2B and B2C marketing aren’t strangers. There are distinct differences between the two that every marketer needs to know. While executing their different strategies, there are engagement rules to observe, decision-making differences, and disparities in the number of people involved.
Business to Business (B2B)
Marketing in the B2B sector requires one to fully understand the needs of the customers and their niche focus. You need to review whether you’re narrowing down with the right output according to the needs of the specified B2B needs. The strategic planning and the logic around a given product is a critical denominator when marketing to B2B prospects.
Surprisingly, there’s stiff competition in the B2B marketing arena. You’ll need to employ a laser-sharp focus (think account-based marketing) to gain the upper hand. You need to concentrate on the product message. Precision is vital since this marketing alternative involves large budgets and a convoluted decision-making process.
Business to Customer (B2C)
When marketing to the customer, your business needs to prioritise the product and the target audience. Always harp on product benefits such that it transforms into a customer magnet.
Product messages need to be precise, short, and convincing. You’ll need to exercise patience if you want to keep customer interest fixated on your offerings. You need to avoid prolonged conversation that could trigger “arguments” that turn off customers.
In the B2C field, emotions are the cogs of the loyalty engine. If you can invoke some emotions, it breeds lifetime loyalty, where a customer finds it hard to disown your products and services for a competitor’s products.
Differences between B2B and B2C Data
Data-driven marketing presents benefits to B2B and B2C marketers despite their differences. In the process of collecting data for both options, it’s essential to check the kind of data that needs capturing.
For the B2B company, it’s essential to concentrate on data aspects touching on client company size, contacts, niche, and industry needs.
The B2C company may focus on aspects such as gender, age bracket, previous shopper history, favourite, and frequently visited pages, among others.
Whereas B2B and B2C entities can leverage automation for data purposes, there are differences in the way that the same data is collected and collated.
For example, a B2B outfit can turn to lead magnets, website enquiries or database resources. Marketers can also leverage third-party sources, including telemarketing.
B2C marketing automation can resort to data tracking using cookies. However, a B2C customer has to take some steps to initiate automated data collection. A customer who visits a website but abandons cart prompts market automation to tale relevant action.
Differences between B2B and B2C Marketing Channels
B2B and B2C marketing methods differ by more than just ideology. Their principles and the marketing channels they select vary. B2B will opt for few channels while its consumer audience counterpart may choose a variety of channels ranging from email, social media, SMS, and the like.
Social media can transform the B2B marketer projections, but it shouldn’t be the channel of choice. With B2C, social media as a whole is crucial and highly valuable.
B2C enjoys a myriad of marketing channels that enable marketers to reach their customers at the most opportune time. If you’re exploiting marketing automation capabilities as a B2C marketer, it’s advisable to switch to omnichannel communication.
Meanwhile, B2B companies need to concentrate on integrating market automation with their CRM, database, and direct email. This ensures stimulated and sustainable communication with prospects.
By now, you know that B2C marketing delivers quick solutions and valuable content. You also know that B2B seeks to build robust relationships while providing a guaranteed return on investment. If you’re keen about the differences between the two, here are some:
ROI matters in B2B marketing
B2B prospects yearn for information, efficiency, and expertise. The business to the consumer market is more focused on cutting deals and entertainment value. Essentially, a B2B transaction is likely to follow logic and financial motivation. B2B clients weigh the ROI they’ll get from the acquisition and how they will profit progressively from the particular purchase.
B2B customers want to be educated
B2B customers yearn to be recognised for the boardroom decisions they make. If you’re in such a capacity, you must capitalise on existing product knowledge. B2B customers rely on a host of B2B content resources.
B2B marketing content becomes the right arsenal in this context. The content needs to brush prospects about the industry and products. If you can make them feel like experts in the industry, they’ll make a purchase.
Detailed content is required
Unlike a B2C customer, B2B clients expect to be served by sales and marketing professionals. You can go the extra mile by adding contingency information about the product/service. These can be tips that are irrelevant to a B2C customer. You need to preview what your product can or cannot do for the client. Consider what the client needs to know to augment success with the product.
B2B marketers deal with a long chain of command
Top-level executives-Procurement, accounting, and marketing heads approve the acquisition of a given product or service. The B2C customer acts on his/her own prerogative to make a quick sale. Remarkably, such can be influenced by friends or associates.
B2B customers must follow a hierarchy of sorts to ensure that the money for the acquisition is approved. It means that a B2B marketer deals with ad markets to different executives who have a say in the procurement process.
The B2B buying cycle and B2C decision process differ
There is strong lead nurturing and user experience emphasis around a B2B marketing process. There are long term client goals at stake, and the customer has to evaluate high-level decisions regarding your product. It’s essential to exercise patience and provide B2B clients with content that guides them through the buying cycle.
B2B purchase contract lasts long
B2B acquisitions are often continuing relationships with a vendor. The client cannot disengage or discard the product at will. This is an aspect that B2B marketers need to acknowledge if there is a service level agreement involved, consider the longevity of the project where the client will be using the product. Also, there is a need to consider how your user needs may advance or scale with time.
A B2C consumer following isn’t a guarantee
The B2B clients are keen to gather in-depth information about your brand and how they can augment the chemistry in between. However, it’s not so with B2C consumers; intriguingly, they may not be as committed to you as you are to them. There’s a need to tread carefully with the content you deliver. You’ll need to concentrate on the ones that are likely to subscribe to your blog or newsletter.
Marketers avoid industry jargon
When positioning your brand voice, your business needs to relate with the B2C community at their level. B2C marketers are cautious about using jargon and industry lingo. Using convincing terminologies is best left to B2B customers, but it can be a turn off to individual shoppers. B2C succeeds if there is an informal tone in the marketing voice.
B2C purchases are more emotionally driven
Whereas B2B clients don’t base decisions on emotions, their B2C counterparts act out of “feeling” when making a sale. These consumers don’t have to liaise or wait for important decisions to be made in their buying journey. A marketer can tell emotive brand stories to stimulate and persuade a buyer to convert.
You need a fun factor
B2C customers are conscious of their fulfilment and enjoyment when shopping. They are buying to fulfil their needs and not those of their employer. It’s this reason that makes a B2C marketer go for the fun factor in their campaigns. Eventually, marketing ends up educating the B2B cluster, but it entertains the B2C audience.
B2B and B2B marketers have distinctive problems
The fact is that B2B marketers lack compelling content and the time to curate it. It’s a different ball game for B2C marketers who’ll go for substantial marketing budgets and diverse methods of advertising their products.
Marketing professionals must know that campaigns created to leverage the difference between B2B and B2C marketing are likely to succeed in lead generation. The one fact that remains is that B2B or B2C marketing alternatives must involve person to person interaction.
Differences between B2C and B2B Marketing Skill Set
In Singapore, marketing takes different dimensions for different companies. To some, it’s the tool for a relationship, and to others, it centers on brand building and awareness. However, the most distinctive context is whether a business does sell B2B or B2C. There are differences in the skills and expertise needed to market in either category.
Relationship vs. Transaction
B2B marketing seeks to build business relationships. The strategy used points to establishing partnerships and executive-level rapport. Here, a marketer’s prowess depends on their interpersonal skills and sales-centric philosophy. A B2B marketer’s action should contribute a step towards the sales funnel.
B2C focuses on transactions. The goal is to convert more and boost brand recognition. The company may invest in customer relations but not on a personal level. B2C marketers here require creative skills and visual branding experience.
Expertise vs. Value
B2B seeks to relay expertise and thought leadership. A marketer leverages in-person events, social media, relationship management, and content to offer advisory and product insights, a B2B marketer here needs industry-specific knowledge, compelling communication skills with technical aspects, and years of experience.
With B2C marketing, it’s more about the value proposition. It’s about what the brand can offer the customer. The marketer here needs in-depth brand building and development skills, straight up jargon-free communication skills.
Need vs. Want
B2B marketers deal with a distinctive market of prospects who need their products and services. These clients need to grow revenues, and they have a proven business case for the acquisition. B2B marketer’s role is to understand the customer’s needs through a market or client analysis. They need to tailor the marketing strategy and lea it towards a solutions-based outcome. The must-have skills include research, Quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and presentation skills.
B2C marketers create a need for their offerings through brand development. A customer is the sole decision-maker regarding sales. The emotion factor catalysis the buying decision. As such, the B2C marketer needs skills relating to market segmentation, multiple data channels, and customer lifestyle influencers.
Less vs. More
B2B marketing channels its resources to a small pool of potential clients. It could be account-based marketing that requires in-person, social media, or email marketing tactics. A B2B marketer here needs robust communication skills, influencer tactics, and exceptional interpersonal skills.
The B2C market is vast. The marketer’s focus is getting found amidst the noise. The marketer should exhibit search marketing, PPC, and paid social tactics. They should master these skills in a specialist capacity.
B2C and B2B Social Media Marketing: What Platforms to Use
B2C and B2B marketing have fundamental differences. One option focuses on driving a single customer into making a purchase. The other option requires marketers to cater to the needs of multiple clients with business-specific data requirements and proof of value in the buying cycle.
B2B and B2C marketers need to engage customers on social media platforms. The differences here are indicative of the platform they use, the voice, and the content they leverage.
B2B and B2C marketers need to evaluate different platforms to discern who is connecting on what platform and the rationale behind it. Some of the platforms that marketers from both divides consider include:
Ideal for: B2B and B2C companies. Their marketers can leverage the platform to engage business and customer audiences that turn to Twitter for quick updates and information.
B2C marketers should go for entertaining and easy to consume content. A marketer can make an impact using tweet chats or platform contests.
B2B marketers can share informative content that is sourced or curated by the relevant company. Twitter facilitates client and business engagement. A company will make more impact if they can interact in real-time with their prospects on live chat. B2B marketers can seal the deal progressively by retweeting, re-sharing, or liking posts made by their prospects or their influencers.
Intervals: Twitter’s timeline presents a fast-paced timeline. B2B and B2C marketers need to post throughout the day. There are content scheduling tools that either can use to gain maximum effect.
Ideal for: LinkedIn, is an acclaimed network of professionals. It’s one of the largest social media platforms specializing in professional and executive interactions. It’s the perfect perch for B2B companies and their marketers. Here, it’s easy to front crucial information to your audience.
It requires highly refined content to appeal to niched prospects. Marketers can turn to showcase pages and industry groups such that potential clients can find you easily. B2B marketers can join LinkedIn in groups and encourage the rest of the staff to engage and drive the agenda of the company.
Intervals: Professionals on LinkedIn may not spend all day on the platform. The best time to post is before official hours, lunch breaks, and after work hours. Decision-makers will find your posts on their way home.
Ideal for: Instagram is best suited for B2C, but B2B marketers can use it to showcase company culture with a flair. Business audiences come with extended sales journeys. It’s essential to build trust in the meantime, and Instagram can help to establish brand value. The platform can be used to show prospects what happens behind the scenes.
Intervals: B2B marketers should stick to once a day posting on Instagram. Prospects are probably using the platform for other purposes, and they’ll shun you if you’re overdoing your company stuff on their feeds.
Ideal for: B2B and B2C companies can exploit YouTube to enrich their social marketing efforts. B2C companies can opt for adverts on their YouTube page. Placing video ads on consumer’s favorite videos is magical.
For B2B marketers, YouTube provides high impact tutorials and educational videos. How-to videos are essential if you’re creating B2B content for your prospects. Video explainers can impact how a company perceives your products, and it can lead to a quick purchase decision.
Ideal for: Both B2C and B2B marketers stand to gain from a tactical use of Facebook to promote their brand offerings. However, the platform has more perks for a B2C company. However, B2B marketers can use the platform for marketing the human aspect of their products. After all, B2B clients are warming up to pitches informally.
A B2B marketer needs to angle the content on their Facebook page in a way that depicts their culture to boost brand and product image.
Intervals: B2C companies should stick with daily posts to keep prospects engaged. It’s foolhardy to overstuff your timeline with posts. It can confuse customers.
B2B ventures don’t need to overdo it on Facebook, but they shouldn’t ignore its potential when they need to showcase their brand to build client trust.
Intervals: B2B companies should post videos at least once a week. B2C has more leeway since they can post as many ads on the videos as they get posted.
Differences between B2B & B2C Ecommerce Platforms
The difference between B2B and B2C is undeniable. It’s more evident even in the ecommerce arena. Here are some differences you need to know.
B2C: Ecommerce websites seek to attract and convert customers. They need to appeal to prospects form the homepage moving in. Consumer audience homepages provide trending sales, discounts, and clickable buttons
B2B: A B2B ecommerce site aim is to attract organisations who can become long term partners. The goal is to solve a business problem, and the homepage doesn’t have to look flashy or overly animated.
Customer Support at Different Stages
B2C: The B2C end-user makes an online purchase voluntarily. Though the decision is personal, there is a need for customer support to resolve the few queries that may arise. The B2C web development should consider self-service, proactive response system, and 24/7 support feature.
B2B: B2B ecommerce platforms handle large orders. There is a need to include a First Contact Resolution feature. A B2B web developer should consider live support for FAQ answers, 24-7 client service to answer business calls and After-Sale support feature.
Complexity of the Checkout Process
B2C: The checkout process finalizes an ecommerce transaction. The B2C process is easy. There’s a need to provide seamless UI experience and a secure payment gateway. The B2C checkout should offer a few steps to reduce bounce rates. A diverse range of card payment options and a coupon application feature.
B2B: B2B ecommerce checkout should include incorporated, automated, and pretested checkout process with human assistance. The human effort builds trust and enhances conversion. It should include a live demo, phone calls, or video chats. B2B can involve pay on credit, cryptocurrency, or credit card transactions among others.
Online ventures succeed if and when the ecommerce website is fully integrated with your entire business systems. If you’re a B2C venture, you don’t have to integrate the ecommerce website with too many marketing features. If you’re a B2B venture, you’ll need high caliber features. You cannot rely on template features to handle transactions with esteemed brands. The system should be fully automated and encrypted.
What is the difference between B2C and B2B marketing?
Whereas B2B and B2C entities can leverage automation for data purposes, there are differences in the way that the same data is collected and collated. B2B marketing is usually confined to the basic business channels like email, LinkedIn and web applications. Whereas B2C marketing tends to use social media like Facebook and Instagram.
What does B2B marketing mean?
For the B2B company, it’s essential to concentrate on data aspects touching on client company size, contacts, niche, and industry needs.
How important is B2B marketing?
B2B marketing uses integrated market automation with CRM, database, and direct email. This ensures stimulated and sustainable communication with prospects.
How is B2B marketing done?
B2B marketing focuses on ROI, educating customers with detailed content, has a more structured approach to customer acquisition via business marketing channels. The language and jargon is more business-like and technical. The sales cycle is also much longer.