It is easy for anyone to say that ‘marketing is marketing,’ but, that does not change the fact that there are evident differences between the strategies of marketing. Although the goal is to make a sale for a product or item, selling to a customer is different from selling to a business.
Ideally, a business-to-business (B2B) market is higher and relatively more expensive which really need huge funding than the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. That said, there should be clear differences between the marketing strategies of the two approaches, some of them being:
Distribution and communication channels
Some communication channels for marketing are mutual for both B2B and B2C marketing, for example, Facebook and LinkedIn social platforms, but the difference is in the dependence of these channels for informed decision making.
While B2C marketing would rely on visual persuasion, website content, search engine results, inbound and outbound marketing, B2B marketing would focus more on email marketing, in-person events, press releases, among other strategies.
The difference is that B2B focuses on quality information provision to influence a purchase, while B2C would more likely lean on social validation and recommendation to make a purchase. An example, a hot topic on social media would get people buying a product, but for a business, it would take the more substantive logical appeal and convincing power, say, a webinar or a press release in line with the trending topic.
Persuasion power and driving factors
In any sale, marketing leans too much on persuading someone to buy a product or item. However, when marketing to a B2B, businesses work reasonably hard to streamline the marketing and buying process, so much that the sale is based on logic. This is because the goal is etched more on saving time and money.
On the other hand, B2C marketing is majorly focused on emotional persuasion as the initial appeal, more than logic and reason. This is to mean that, for instance, if you were looking for a Middle Market Business for sale, as a consumer, you would be more interested and moved by the benefits you could derive from the enterprise, but for a business, the concern inclines more into the return on investment over a certain period.
Levels and speed of decision making
Obviously, the B2C marketer has it easy in making a sale, mainly because there is only one, or some few levels to determine the final decision. As is the case most of the time, the decision is made based on price and product, and, subsequent meetings are not entirely necessary in B2C marketing.
On the contrary, B2B marketing involves so much more. In some cases, the decision takes days before it is reached, where the salesperson has to make multiple meetings with the manager, then the managing director, and the like. Because of the appeal to logic, B2B sales are more calculated and take much longer to cut a deal with the customer.
Nature of the marketing message
It comes without saying that B2C marketing requires easy-understand and straightforward messages, with an emphasis on the benefits of the product to the consumer. All you need is to entice and excite the consumer, and you can make your purchase.
For B2B, however, you may need to come up with a PowerPoint presentation to elaborately point out the logic behind a business purchasing your product. In this case, focus more on long-term benefits and ROI.
There are many marketing strategies to embrace in your marketing campaign, for example, Search engine optimization (SEO), which happens to be the most common strategy. The best thing about SEPO it that it prepares for the target audience, search engines, and to a great extent, competitors. With a highly optimized website, getting across your message, whether for B2B or B2C gets a lot easier. You can check out here to benefit from different SEO strategies popular today.
Overall, the lines between B2B and B2C marketing strategies are more or less blurry today, given the diversity in nature of the market, technology, among other factors. The primary goal for both B2B and B2C marketers should then be to understand the customer journey clearly, so you are sure when, how and why the customers made the purchase.