When you start looking at anything relating to marketing, you start running into two terms – B2B and B2C. Understanding what they mean and how they are approached differently is a key part of understanding what approach is right for your business.
B2B marketing is business to business marketing. It is where you are selling your products or services to other businesses rather than to the public. Generally, b2b marketing agencies focus on the logic of a product, the features that it offers and uses less emotional content. This is because they are focused on a buyer who is purchasing something for business use, sometimes even for a company, they work for rather than for their own use.
According to B2b experts Agency Inc, this means that the important focus is on the people using the product or service and what it does for their business – how does it help them? How does it improve efficiency, profitability or makes their work lives easier?
B2B marketing is often about providing a lot of information. This means marketing materials are often more in-depth while focusing on those key areas that are of benefit to the business. It might look the return on investment (ROI) they can expert, the resource saving benefits or how it saves the company money.
B2C marketing is business to customer or consumer marketing. This is where you are selling your product or service to the public for them to use in their personal lives. The majority of high street shops, supermarkets and online stores like Amazon are B2C – the clear majority of their purchases are from people buying an item for their own use.
In B2C, it is more about emotion but also about a short, sharp message that hits their paint points. These customers are less interested in features of a product and more about the benefits that it brings to them. Theirs is often a shorter buyer’s journey, sometimes taking just a few minutes for some products.
B2C marketing is therefore about making a connection with people and using the right emotions in the content to do this. It is about showing how a product will benefit them – save them time or money, make a task easier or even just bring them joy. Not all purchases are practical – after all, you don’t need a new handbag, but you might just want one. Or your watch works just fine but you really love this new one you have seen.
Differences in approaches
Because these two types of marketing are working towards different types of clients and with different basic principles, there are some overlaps in approach but also a good number of differences. Here are some examples.
- Use of jargon
B2B marketers tend to use more jargon because they are talking to an audience who understand the product or service and the associated buzzwords. B2C tend to use less jargon and more casual language so people don’t feel as if they don’t know what is going on.
- Different drivers
Both types of consumer have a driver behind their purchase, but these are very different. A B2C consumer may be looking for entertainment, fun or a diversion while a B2B consumer is more likely looking for something that improves their work life, benefits the business or improves some aspect of the company.
- B2B consumers are looking for experts
While B2C consumers do like to know they are buying from someone who knows what they are selling, this is far more important for B2B consumers. They want to know they are buying from an expert who understands the ins and outs of their product and can offer education along with a purchase.
- Long detail content works well for B2B
B2B consumers are also more likely to read through a long blog post, a whitepaper or a study to learn about something than a B2C consumer. They are happy to spend a little time educating themselves on a topic to make a more informed purchase.
- B2C consumers don’t always want to build relationships
While this isn’t always true, many times B2C consumers don’t want to build relationships but simply buy the item they are looking for. They may build brand loyalty for some types of purchase – such as always buying the same washing powder or brand of kitchen appliances. The B2B consumer is more likely to have brand loyalty because it saves them time to research a new company each time.
- B2b buying cycles are longer and contracts can last months or years
Most B2C consumers make a quick decision and finish the purchase. Maybe it takes them a week or so for bigger, high-value items. B2B consumers will take time to understand all the details of their purchase and can remain consumers with your company for months or years, adding more products or services.
When you work with a marketing agency, they will usually help you identify what approaches will apply to your business and the kind of customers that you have. That way you can use the best marketing approaches and get the best results.