B2B vs B2C Marketing: What Sets Them Apart?
19 April 2016
By Web Strategy Plus
In order to grow, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies need marketing. While there is plenty of overlap between B2B and B2C marketing, being truly successful with either form of marketing requires several key elements.
To help ensure your company’s marketing is on the right track, we’re going to get to the root of B2B and B2C companies. We will then take a look at the specific marketing elements that are most important for each.
The 7 Key Elements of B2B Companies
B2B companies are driven by relationships. This type of company generally revolves around a market that’s smaller than a consumer market but also much more focused. Focusing on a smaller market means that B2B companies need to maximize the value of every relationship they establish.
Because B2B companies are able to extract more value out of their relationships, B2B sales cycles are typically longer than B2C cycles. Engaging in this type of sales cycle means that much of a brand’s identity is built from personal relationships. It also means that awareness and educational strategies are vital for getting prospects into a sales funnel and then moving them through it.
With B2C companies, consumers often purchase based on emotion. But with B2B companies, purchases are generally much more rationally focused and centered around the business value that will be created.
The 5 Elements That Drive B2C Companies
The majority of B2C companies are driven by products. A typical B2C company will focus on a very large market. Since B2C purchases often involve a single step, the sales cycle is significantly shorter than it is for B2B companies.
Imagery and repetition are crucial for B2C companies to successfully create a strong brand identity. In terms of why B2C purchases are made, price, desire and status are the three factors that have the strongest impact on a consumer’s emotions.
Developing a Successful B2B or B2C Marketing Plan
The primary focus of B2B marketing is to convert prospects into customers, while B2C marketing needs to convert shoppers into buyers. While those goals may sound very similar, their slight difference is actually quite significant.
For example, B2B marketing often needs to target different stakeholders who will ultimately make a decision, while B2C marketing needs to successfully speak to consumers as they’re weighing their options on the spot.
Really internalizing this difference is vital for developing a successful B2B or B2C marketing plan. Knowing the skeptical approach B2B buyers take will ensure that enough informative content is provided throughout the sales cycle, while realizing the fleeting nature of consumers’ attention will prevent B2C from failing to be aggressive enough. Those differences are why going through tasks like creating an ideal customer profile are so useful for creating the right set of marketing objectives.
Whether you need help developing or executing a marketing plan, Web Strategy Plus has extensive experience working with both B2B and B2C companies. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your company with its specific marketing needs.