3 Key Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketing

April 15, 2022 Deimante Lideikyte

The minute you step your foot into the digital marketing world, you will notice the mention of B2B and B2C business types everywhere. But not everyone is familiar with B2B and B2C marketing and their respective strategies.

For the most part, B2B (known as business-to-business) focuses on marketing towards other businesses and/or organisations – referring to process-driven purchasing decisions. On the other hand, B2C (also known as business-to-customer) focuses on logical process-driven purchasing decisions, selling to individuals. For example, B2B will often focus on solution based marketing, providing value to their desired customer and their business. Whilst B2C will focus more on the emotion and interests of their customers, to come across more appealing to that specific demographic.

If you’re thinking – that’s pretty straight forward – you’re not wrong, BUT (unfortunately), it’s not always that simple. Understanding these differences is key to developing a high performing marketing strategy for your business. Regardless of your ultimate business goal, marketers should take different approaches accordingly to maximise the effectiveness of your marketing efforts – B2B techniques just won’t work on B2C markets, and vice versa!

Let’s break it down a little…

Generally speaking, B2B vs B2C marketing can come across looking very similar, however, the way in which they engage the audience on various channels differs greatly. Your business’ audience will play a huge part in the messaging you use to reach them and there is never a one-size-fits-all approach. When it comes to B2B and B2C, it is fair to say that the differentiation lines may be blurred and the marketing types can intersect, but each business will have unique marketing tactics to help gain those all-important sales.

Okay, let’s get into it. What are the actual differences between B2B and B2C marketing strategies?

The Underlying Motivation

This is arguably one of the most significant differences between B2B and B2C marketing – though it can overlap. Yes, whilst both customer types will end up purchasing your product and/or services in the hopes that it will benefit them in one way or another – the bottom line is that their motivations will be different.

For instance, B2C customers will often make their decisions based on the question of ‘will this make my life better/easier?’. On the flip side, B2B customers will make those decisions in reflection to their business – often asking themselves ‘will this improve my business?’. Think about your target audience’s pain points and how your product or service will help them.

The Decision Makers

Both B2B and B2C marketing campaigns require hyper-targeting in order for the campaigns to be effective. However, B2B marketing requires a lot more specific research on companies and especially on their decision makers.

If you think about it, when producing your B2C campaigns, it has the potential to reach any potential customer that is interested in what you’re offering, even if that person isn’t theoretically the buyer. For example, if an individual sees something online that they like, they may send the link to their significant other who would end up purchasing the product – resulting in a sale even though the Ad appealed to someone else who may have not been the primary buyer.

That’s why, when it comes to B2B marketing campaigns, you must appeal to a very specific group of individuals – the decision makers of the business. Therefore, you must get your Ads and other campaigns in front of those decision makers – because, even if you’re selling a coffee machine and your advertising has made the whole office want to buy it, unless the management decides they are getting one, you’re not making a sale.

Relationship Building

Advice for B2B

Within the B2B marketing world, it is crucial that you build long-term trustworthy relationships. These relationships can often span for five years or more, if built correctly. For B2B marketing – the relationships built must be authentic, trustworthy and beneficial to the business. Thus, we would advise that you focus on not only selling your product/service, but also your brand.

Your aim shouldn’t be just to sell your product, but to truly solve problems and exceed expectations. You should always keep in mind how you can solve your customer’s problem – not just through one simple transaction but a continuous alliance.

Advice for B2C

Alternatively, B2C businesses develop a more short-term relationship with their customers. The key thing to remember when building your B2C marketing campaigns is – your customers are human, they are real people. Most (although not all) B2C customers are not looking to build long-term relationships with your business. However, it’s still important to aim towards building loyal relationships because most studies show that companies typically see repeat purchasing rates between 20% to 40% of all purchases.

B2C customers are often more spontaneous, always reflecting on the business’s popularity and social proof. This means that building on engaging and eye-catching campaigns based on emotions is what determines the success of your marketing efforts.

All in all, whether you’re running a B2B or B2C business model – it is imperative that you familiarise yourself with the fundamental differences between the two. This will have a major impact on your marketing campaign, from research to execution. And if this sounds like a little all too much for you, don’t worry, we’re more than happy to help you and your business.

Contact Clockwise Marketing today to ace your B2B or B2C marketing strategy.