The Marketing Difference Between B2B or B2C

June 6, 2017

One of the most important parts of marketing is understanding your audience and their goals. While every person has a different goal, you can generally break everyone into these 2 categories. B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer).

In this article, I’m going to talk about the differences in how you’d market your company as a business to business or as a business to consumer company.

So, what exactly does b2b and b2c mean, for the more experienced people out there, bare with me one moment while I explain this?

“Business to consumer” is a company that sells a product or service directly to the end-user. An example of this would be companies like Apple, Amazon or Uber. They sell a product directly to the person that uses it.

A “Business to Business” company, however, sells their product or service to another business where they are not the end-user of a product. An example of this would be companies like Boeing, Intel or GE. While they do make products for the end-user, they often sell their products to another business that uses them as part of what THEY do or make.

So, let’s take a look at the major differences in marketing to these two different audiences.

If you run a business to business company, your audience is the person looking to make purchases on behalf of the company as a whole. They are actively looking for ways to grow their company. They do this in one of two ways, by either saving money or making money. Sometimes they do this by outsourcing a product or service to an external company – and sometimes they purchase the resources needed for their company to do or make something internally.

If you run a business to consumer company, your audience is a person looking to make purchases on behalf of themselves. They’re not necessarily looking to make or save money but instead to be better at something or to resolve a conflict they may have.

So, every business, including yours is either selling directly to the consumer or to another business. But why does that determine how you market your product? Well, here’s 4 things to consider when creating your marketing plan.

1 – Selling B2B is often a more lengthy process as a lot of attention is put on not making the wrong decisions, because if they do, it could affect them a lot more on a personal level. This also has a lot to do with the fact that B2B purchases are generally much higher than B2C purchases are. Sometimes a difference of millions of dollars.

2 – B2B purchases are generally more rational as they’re driven more by need and budgets while B2C purchases are driven more by emotional wants.

3 – B2B sales are more likely to repeat than B2C sales are.

4 – A more personal face-to-face relationship is often required as part of a B2B transaction. While B2C companies rely a bit more on advertising.

While these two groups of people have many differences, you should also keep in mind the similarities in what I call H2H marketing. Or Human to human marketing.

No matter what you’re selling, you need to always be thinking about the human on the other side of your marketing. Everyone wants to be great and everyone has some problems they’re looking to solve. Always keep that in mind while also using a great deal of empathy to put yourself in their shoes to honestly help them do – whatever it is you can truly help them do.

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