B2B and B2C Marketing

Submitted by DigitalMX Online on Mon, 11/19/2018 - 15:45

Know Your Customers

DigitalMX explains the differences between B2B and B2C marketing

Are you seeing the results you want from your marketing efforts? Getting lots of “likes” and “shares” on social media? Click-thru’s to your website? Conversions from leads to sales?

 

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may not be reaching your ideal customers. Identifying your customer helps you to target them with the appropriate content at the appropriate time in their buyer’s journey.

 

Also, knowing the identifying traits of your ideal customer before starting a marketing campaign will ensure you approach them in the right way at the right time. When developing your marketing strategy for B2B and B2C that will get you results, both have the same first step: identify who your ideal customers are and why they need to hear your message.

 

Then figure out how to get it to them.

 

We at DigitalMX Online believe that before any tactics are used for marketing, the Market Dominating Position for your business must be developed. During this process, you’ll not only discover who your ideal customer is, but you’ll also be able to identify any errors you may be making that is causing your marketing efforts to fail.

 

Business-to-Business marketing and Business-to-Consumer marketing are similar in that the end goal is to make a sale. But how you get to that sale is different.

 

As an example, at DigitalMX Online, we’re a B2B company; our customers are other businesses. We sell our social media marketing and digital marketing services to companies who want to improve their online marketing efforts to get found on Google and, ultimately, convert prospects into customers.

 

Whereas a company that sells fidget spinners sells to people who will buy their toy and move on. Their goal is the sale and only the sale.

 

Why Do People Buy?

 

Both B2B and B2C customers purchase because they can see a product or service benefiting them in some way.

 

B2C customers purchase with the desire to improve their lives. B2B customers purchase with the goal of improving their business and its bottom line.

 

Content is Key

 

Both businesses and consumers have questions they want answered. How can you answer those questions efficiently and effectively? Simple. With great content. Content marketing must be the cornerstone in getting your prospects to the decision stage of their buying journey.

 

Marketing B2B

 

Your B2B marketing program must offer your target audience what they need to make a rational buying decision. You want to understand what's important to them. Help them determine the value of your product and service through quality materials, testimonials, and other content that build credibility.

 

The B2B market consists of information seekers. Your most effective marketing message will tell them how your product or service saves them time, money and resources.

  

They must justify their purchase to ultimate decision-makers in their organization by using logical arguments. This doesn't mean there’s no emotion involved; businesses are made up of people, after all, so emotion still plays a part in the decision process. It’s ok to address their needs, desires, and motivations, but back up your messages with logic, financial benefits, and compelling data.

 

Marketing B2C

 

When marketing to consumers, the focus is on the benefits of your product or services. Remember, they are always thinking: What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM).

 

Their decision is more emotional than that of the B2B purchaser. They don't want to have to work to understand your benefits. Instead, they want you do their work for them and tell them clearly what your product can do for them.

 

Marketing collateral that builds awareness for your products, encourages their comfort in buying from you (your guarantee), and promotes your responsive customer service and best prices will catch their attention.

 

Marketing Considerations

 

Now that we’ve provided some foundational concepts that define B2B and B2C marketing and what goes into each, we’ve assembled the following list of considerations you will need when putting together your marketing strategies.

 

1. The Language You Use

 

It’s ok to use industry jargon in B2B communications, but when “talking to” B2C, your copywriting must be relatable to the majority of consumers — meaning that you’ll use unpretentious language and fewer insider buzzwords.

 

2. Decision Drivers

 

The B2B audience is looking for information to increase work efficiency, while the B2C audience is looking for deals and entertainment. The B2B purchase process tends to be driven by logic and reason, while consumer choices are typically emotionally-driven by hunger, desire, status and/or cost.

 

3. More Decision Drivers

 

B2B clients want to be educated and provided with expertise so they can perform well at work and get recognition for their achievements.

 

Some B2C customers purchase a product to help them make a statement or elevate their social status. Knowing this, you can work social influence into your calls-to-action.

 

4. Content

 

Detailed content is required for B2B marketing. On the other hand, B2C marketing simply needs to be useful and, hopefully, shareable.

 

B2B marketers should include features, benefits and specifications in their marketing communications so their audience gets the information they need to make a decision.

 

The B2C marketing message should be brief and benefits-driven.

 

5. Relationships

 

The B2B audience wants information, information and more information. They also want to build a relationship with the businesses they purchase from.

 

On the other hand, a B2C customer will probably just follow your business on social media, hopefully share your content and make occasional purchases.

 

6. Decision Makers

 

B2B buyers have to "make a case" for their choices to a committee or other organizational higher-ups.  B2B marketing materials should be backed with logic, financial benefits, and strong data to help with preparing the presentation.

 

In B2C, there’s only one or two decision-makers. Think husband-and-wife, child-and parent.

 

7. Buying Cycle

 

The B2B buying cycle is much longer than with B2C. B2C buys have a tendency to satisfy immediate needs, while B2B decisions are meant to satisfy long-term goals.

 

Consumers may do some research, ask their friends and read some reviews, but it takes much less time compared to a B2B purchasing process, which can involve getting approval from multiple decision makers.

 

8. Content – Short or Long?

 

Short copy captures the attention of a B2C audience and leads to a sale, especially when promoting a low-priced product.

 

B2B content, on the other hand, needs to be longer because it must offer more details to establish your expertise and earn the trust of the audience.

 

9. Attention Span

 

Consumers have short attention spans. They don’t want to spend a lot of time on a piece of content while shopping. B2C marketers need to create marketing materials that can immediately capture attention and get consumers to make a quick purchasing decision.

 

However, B2B buyers are willing to spend time on understanding the details of a product or service. Marketing materials should provide relevant, educational content that can help them in their decision-making.

 

10. Prospects

 

B2B involves a smaller group of prospects when compared to B2C. Look at on-line retailers: they have a potential customer pool of millions – essentially, anyone with an Internet connection.

 

In contrast, a B2B company might only sell to a limited number of companies.

 

11. Product Knowledge

 

A consumer who is deciding which brand of potato chips to purchase in the grocery store is operating on an entirely different level of decision making than a business executive who needs to choose a payroll processing solution for his company. Marketing to the executive requires extensive technical knowledge, as well as a clear understanding of the product’s features and benefits.

 

When selling B2C, your main concern should be to simply explain why your product is better than your competitor’s, possibly using only photos with the only text being the price and how to order.

 

P2P?

 

At this point in our exploration of B2B and B2C marketing, we should be able to answer the question: what really is the difference between B2C and B2B? Those on the receiving end of both types of marketing messaging are people. When all is said and done, you’re marketing P2P – people to people.

 

People connect with people. Even if your business is B2B and you’re selling to another business, the conversation is still going to take place between people.

 

Conclusion

 

Many similarities exist between B2B and B2C. But you’re marketing to businesses in one and to consumers in the other. Someone purchasing a floral arrangement to send as a gift isn’t thinking the same way as they would if they were choosing a lawyer for their business.

 

If your marketing programs aren’t producing the results you want, an understanding of the differences between the two – who your ideal customer is and what information they need to make a buying decision -- will get your marketing back on track and bring your improved results, i.e., more leads and more sales.

 

But at the end of the day, you’re still selling to people. It’s all about identifying and understanding your audience and what they need.

 

Sources Use In this Article + Further Reading:

 

Content Marketing Institute: B2B and B2C Marketing Examples

Disruptive Advertising: B2B and B2C

Chief Marketer: The Real Differences Between B2C and B2B Marketing

Hub Spot Blog: Differences B2C and B2B Marketing

Forbes: Differences in Selling B2B vs. B2C

 

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