When you start a business, it’s critical to understand the differences between marketing to another business and marketing to a customer, also known as B2B vs B2C. Strategies that work with one group are not likely to be as effective with the other.
B2B vs B2C: Why the Difference Matters
The comparison of B2B and B2C marketing basically comes down to motivation and drivers. Customers typically seek an experience (to be entertained, for example), while businesses generally buy products that improve their bottom line.
Customers also tend to buy for emotional reasons, be they sad or celebratory. Businesses buy based on logic. However, you need to know what makes the business decision makers tick just as well as you know what motivates the individual customer.
Making connections is critical for both B2B and B2C marketing. But, how you approach them is different.
With B2C marketing, the time frame for closing a deal is shorter, because you sell to a consumer instead of a company, where many people may be involved in purchasing decisions.
For example, if your business sells lemonade at a farmers’ market, you must find a way to entice customers to buy on the spur of the moment. You should focus less on technical aspects of lemonade and more on emotional engagement, such as the feeling of quenching your thirst on a hot day.
If you sell your product online, you will enjoy freedom and flexibility. Digital resources, like social media marketing and video marketing, allow you to create an emotional connection with your audience that can be leveraged to promote your message.
B2B marketing involves a longer process and a smaller customer pool than B2C marketing does. A business may have employees at different levels and in different departments, all who have a say in any company purchasing decision. If your business fails to sell itself to just one of these people, that person’s “no” could prevent a potential deal.
Additionally, the number of businesses you can market to is limited. If you sell GPS systems that come pre-installed in cars, for example, your target market is small. One way to impress those on the other end of your B2B campaign is to be well-versed on the technical specs of what you’re selling. If you’re trying to sell to a jewelry store, focus your marketing on how sturdy the jewelry is, carat sizes, the creation process and so on.