B2B Versus B2C Marketing. The Differences.

B2B Marketing (Business-to-Business) and B2C Marketing (Business to Consumer) have so much in common; but in terms of driving leads, there are some key differences that must be leveraged in order to get the best possible return on investment (ROI).

In this article, we explore some of the main differences in B2B and B2C Marketing. This is not completely black and white – there are some grey areas in this, depending on the type of business that you own for instance. However, this at least gives you some guidance.

Let’s dive in.

B2B Marketing can be a little more complex and will lean towards in depth Marketing Programmes that take the prospect on a journey. Typically B2C Marketing needs as much exposure, however this is generally less complex, with fewer ingredients required to get the sale.

Purchasing Decision:
In the business to business marketing world, the purchasing decision is typically longer. It can involve several buyers and a phased approach to the sale; whereas generally speaking, the decision-making is less involved with a direct consumer offering, which is often an instant decision, or a conversation between two people to drive that decision. It’s also important to note that whilst emotion plays a part, B2B needs to be more rationally driven, whereas emotion often wins out in a B2C context.

Proving the ROI:
With business-to-business marketing, the decision makers will need to see a clear link between your product or service, and the return on investment. Whether you are offering an IT software (assume that it’s the best time tracking software) that saves resource (and therefore employee costs); or indeed a stationery supplier that can offer cheaper rates or, better products that drive increased brand awareness for the business. Either way, there is a link to that bottom line.

The Relationship:
There is always a need to build relationships – whether a consumer or business relationship, as that is what supports loyalty in the form of repeat purchases and up-sell, as well as becoming advocates of your brand and recommending you.  However, all evidence points to the B2B relationship requiring a lot more nurturing – whether through marketing, sales, account management and customer experience.

The Marketing Channels:
Whilst many Marketing Channels can be used for both, there are certainly some marketing channels that lean more towards a business-to-business environment, than the business to consumer ones. It’s crucial to understand what will work for your business, and how you must weave those channels together into a multi-touchpoint campaign that leads your prospect into a situation where they will know you, like you, trust you, and therefore, buy from you.

These are just a few examples of how Business to Business Marketing (B2B Marketing) differs from Business to Consumer Marketing (B2C Marketing).

If you would like to find out more on how to make Marketing work for your B2B business, then click here to learn about our half day training event ‘Kickstart Your Marketing’

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