If you’re like many business owners or operators, you’ve probably started your marketing efforts with a DIY approach. You started by researching the basics to find out what your business needs.
For someone who isn’t a marketing pro, though, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of acronyms and terms. To help you find your way, we’re breaking down two common terms you’ll see: B2B and B2C.
B2B and B2C are simple acronyms. B2B stands for “business to business,” or a business that is marketing its wares to other businesses. B2C stands for “business to consumer,” or a business that is marketing to individuals.
Keep in mind that these terms define your marketing goals, not your business. Many companies have some product lines meant for businesses and other product lines or services meant for consumers. That’s a great way to diversify, but each of your marketing campaigns should focus on one or the other.
As you can imagine, there are different ways to appeal to business interests compared to appealing to individuals’ interests. Let’s take a look at the key ways B2B marketing and B2C marketing are different.
For the most part, buying choices people make for their private households have different motivations than buying choices they make at work. They’re looking for something different in each of those decisions, so you need to know how to identify what they want.
The exact motivations will depend on your product, but there are some common trends. In a B2C transaction, consumers are making choices for their own household. They have all the decision-making power and you can appeal to their sentimental needs.
In a B2B transaction, the buying choices tend to be more analytical. The buyers want a direct, tangible result like lower expenses or more revenue.
People are in different mindsets when they’re taking in different types of content. You need to take this into consideration while you’re finding the best ways to reach your audience.
For example, when people are scrolling through casual social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, they aren’t in a “professional” mindset. This would be a great place to reach customers in B2C marketing but not B2B marketing.
Following B2B marketing best practices, you want to focus on mediums where people are more likely to have work on their minds. For instance, you could do a direct mail campaign to your target audience’s offices or you could market on LinkedIn.
When you talk about your target audience for your marketing, you’re likely to be talking about it on a broad scale. For example, your target in a B2B campaign might be hair salons.
The company may be the one who pays you but to get in the door, you need to appeal to an actual person. With B2B marketing, you don’t just need to reach your target businesses. You need to reach the relevant decision-makers within those businesses.
With B2C marketing, this is more simple. Virtually anyone can be a decision-maker because any consumer can make their own purchasing decisions.
While there are many differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing, they aren’t in different worlds. There are many similarities in the way you go about marketing to companies and to consumers.
No matter who a customer is, buying from you will require some amount of trust. They need to trust that your product will do what it’s meant to do and that it will be a wise purchase.
The nature of that trust may differ. For instance, in a B2B transaction, the decision-maker is trusting you with their professional reputation and their company’s health. If you don’t deliver, their reputation will be damaged and their business may suffer.
In a B2C transaction, a person’s reputation isn’t necessarily at stake. Regardless of your product, though, they’re still trusting you to solve one problem or another.
This is why any type of marketing campaign needs to create familiarity between you and your audience. They need to feel heard and understood so they can learn to trust you.
Every marketing campaign needs to be a well-planned, data-driven endeavor. Whether you’re marketing to businesses or consumers, the planning process is similar.
It starts with in-depth research to find out who your audience is and what motivates them. You also need to research your competitors before you start developing goals and message. You should analyze different marketing mediums to determine which ones have the greatest chance for success in your case.
All that planning and analysis needs to happen before you start developing the campaign itself. In short, this means that for both B2C and B2B marketing, you need an experienced professional to guide the process.
In B2C marketing, it’s clear that you’re trying to appeal to a human being and the concerns, emotions, and hopes they have. In B2B marketing, the check might come from the company but you’re still reaching real human beings.
The people you reach in B2B marketing may have different immediate goals, but they have the same wants and needs as anyone else. They experience the same emotions and they want the same feeling of accomplishment that anyone else wants.
Now that you have a clear understanding of how B2B and B2C marketing are both similar and different, what’s the next step? Regardless of what type of marketing you need, your next move should be to hire a professional who can deliver the results you need.
Our marketing team has expertise in both B2B and B2C marketing to appeal to your target audience. Call our marketing specialists to find out how we can help.