Here at CloudFriday, we frequently discuss the importance of marketing and social media. And while we think having a strong marketing strategy is extremely important before you even get
your business up and running, it’s essential to know the difference between B2B and B2C marketing–aka why marketing is more complex than one would think.
We’re making it easier for you by explaining what each one is, how they differ, and which one would work best to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
What is B2B Marketing?
B2B, aka business-to-business marketing, is when you work with other businesses rather than consumers. This means you would market your product to teams or specific people who do the purchasing at their company. For example, say you sell tech software to a restaurant or retailer.
What is B2C Marketing?
B2C refers to business-to-consumer. In your marketing efforts, you’d target individuals who want to buy your product for personal purposes. Examples of this can include a make-up company, a real estate firm, a retail store, and more.
The Differences Between B2B And B2C Marketing
As mentioned before, the biggest difference between B2B and B2C marketing is clearly the target audience. Anyone focused on B2B marketing will put their attention on the decision-makers of a business.
Let’s say that you’re selling a POS system that will likely be used by hundreds of employees at a restaurant. Management is going to be the only ones who approve the usage of the system. Therefore, your marketing efforts should be focused on this small group of people.
With B2C’s focus being on consumers, your marketing efforts are going to be a lot broader. This means using social media marketing, paid ads, etc. In some instances, you’re still going to want to reach the decision-maker of a home (i.e., if you’re selling a video game to children). However, this doesn’t play as heavily into the marketing strategy.
B2B marketing is all about building lifelong business relationships, so building up these relationships initially is extremely important. Why does this matter? It helps show your potential clients that you’re serious about your product, work ethic, and morals. Plus, it enables you to stand out from your competition. Remember, your sole focus is on generating leads, and developing these close relationships can make or break that.
B2C, on the other hand, is about establishing transactional relationships. Your focus is getting them to purchase your product and bring in sales. Because of this, there are other areas that you should be spending your time on–such as your website and social media presence. If users have a pleasant experience on your website or are drawn in by your social media presence, they may be more likely to purchase an item or share it with their friends and family.
Pathos Vs. Logos
Capturing your audience’s attention with interesting stories is one of the easiest ways to draw them in and inspire them to buy your product. But because your target audience is so different between B2B and B2C marketing, you’re going to have to spin your stories differently using emotion vs. logic.
In B2B, you’re going to want to use logic to sell your product. You tell your potential customers what your product/service does, any special features it may have, and how using it will benefit them. There’s very little emotion in this process. On the other hand, B2C marketing is all about evoking feelings. That’s why leaning into the emotional side of things is recommended.
Return of interest (ROI) differs heavily between the marketing efforts as well. B2B marketing places a heavy importance on ROI. They want to know if your product will help them succeed and improve their efficiency ASAP. That’s why marketing efforts should revolve around the financial benefits they will receive when using your product/service.
Consumers don’t care about ROI but rather place importance on deals and entertainment value. If they see that you’re having a sale, they’re most likely going to care more about saving money than they will about the durability of your product.
Simply put, B2C consumers are far more likely to purchase something after seeing an Instagram ad, while B2B customers may take much longer. It’s no surprise that people are more likely to impulsively buy something for their own personal use rather than a purchase they would make for their business. With business, budgets and pressure are involved. So how does this make a difference to you? If you’re doing B2B marketing, you may want your paid ads to run longer than you would if you were doing B2C marketing.
Final Thoughts on B2B And B2C Marketing
While B2B and B2C marketing have a lot of similarities, there are some distinct differences between the two that will determine your marketing efforts. B2B sells to other businesses, focusing on the decision-makers, whereas B2C markets directly to consumers.
Using social media and content marketing is vital for both, but when determining what marketing route is best for you, consider who your target audience is. From there, you can build a strategy that will ensure you’re successful.