What’s the difference in marketing when it comes to B2B vs B2C marketing? One common factor is that the main target is to attract prospects and convert them into customers. This is achieved through your marketing strategy and some type of marketing funnel, however, you need to understand the audience you are marketing to. (If you don’t have a marketing funnel yet, check out our blog post about creating a 5-step funnel). Two different fields, therefore two different strategies. What is the difference between B2B vs B2C marketing?
Important differences to acknowledge between B2B vs B2C marketing:
B2B (business-to-business) marketers sell to other businesses or a group who purchases on behalf of an organization, while B2C (business-to-consumer) marketers sell directly to the consumer.
These are two very different and separate business models that serve different types of customers. Knowing the difference allows you to correctly hone in on your target market and tailor your marketing strategy.
1. The Purchasing Cycle
The B2B purchasing cycle is longer than B2C.
Business-to-business decision-makers won’t buy on a whim but rather based on the requirements of their business. These decisions are often long-term goals and the purchases are not that of a frequent nature, while the process to follow when evaluating your product is complex. B2B marketing requires more lead nurturing and close attention to the user experience.
In Business-Consumer situations, this is not the case. The most common process behind a B2C purchase includes whether a consumer likes your product enough and whether they can afford to buy it. If your product or service ticks one of these boxes, chances are, they will make the purchase.
2. The Decision-Makers
B2B involves multiple decision-makers.
In a business-to-business transaction, you may find a chain of command and various stakeholders who have an interest in the purchase and are therefore involved in decision making.
When it comes to a business-to-consumer transaction, it’s much more direct, fast, and to the point, as your consumer doesn’t need approval or permission to make the purchase. (most of the time…)
“Demand Gen Report survey cited earlier, 79% of B2B buyers reported that up to six people could be involved. 21% said that over seven people could be deciding the purchase.”
3. The Transaction
B2B entails a multi-step transaction.
The final business-to-business sale step is longer as it involves more than a simple transaction. For example, negotiations could still take place on the final product/service and price, or regulatory approvals may be needed.
A business-to-consumer transaction is much simpler and as easy as add-to-cart, checkout.
How The Differences Impact Digital Marketing
With clear differences between the two sectors and audiences, your SEO, keyword selection process, link-building efforts, and content marketing will also need to be tailored albeit you might have the same objective.
A B2B customer’s research includes blog posts, testimonials, reviews, and case studies. B2B consumers look at a company’s content to find out if you meet their standards, whether you’re established, and if you’re a good fit.
According to Growth Hackers, “61% will look at between three and seven pieces prior to making a decision.”
B2C research will differ, with customers focusing on the product or service. Your focus will be on harvesting high-quality leads that will convert into sales and customers.
In B2B you’re dealing with leads who typically know what they want. Make the decision makers’ decision easier. Be industry-specific. Your consumers are immersed in everything about their industry and they have about as good an idea as you do as to why, why, and how. Ensure that you are speaking their language. This is the one time where jargon and industry-specific acronyms are encouraged… Use examples from companies they are familiar with and use respectable (again, industry-specific) sources of information, e.g. Amazon for e-commerce companies.
In a B2C scenario, you are still trying to persuade the consumer that your product/service is what they need to solve their problem. Equip them with enough information to find what they are looking for. This could be anything from success stories to relevant information about your company, or how your product/service will solve their problem.
The goal is to offer various pieces of content for each group while touching on their needs, interests, and goals.
In conclusion, it is essential to understand your audience and take advantage of the differences between the two groups. In doing this you will find high-quality prospects, whether you’re looking for leads or direct sales.