Marketing comes in many forms but there are two big categories – B2B and B2C. B2B is business to business while B2C is business to consumer, in other words, the general public. There are some overlaps between the two but also many clear differences. So, what is B2B and how is it different to B2C?
When you work in B2B, you are selling your products or services to another business rather than directly to the general public. Examples of this can be logistics companies who transport goods from the manufacturer to the high street store that sells them or a content writer who creates content for other businesses that attract customers to their website and then buys their products.
When you work in B2B, it is important to understand the differences in approaches, especially if you have worked in B2C previously. This is why many companies work with a marketing agency who specialises in the approach.
Examples of B2B differences
When you start working with B2B marketing or with B2B marketing agencies, there are some key differences you need to watch for.
1. You can use industry jargon
One of the big things with B2C is that you don’t use jargon, industry terms or get too technical because not everyone will understand. This is the opposite in B2B marketing because you are marketing to people who work in the industry and understand its language.
2. Logical approaches
With B2C customers, you often appeal to their emotions to get a sale but with B2B it is more about a logical approach. There’s much less emotion involved in a purchase for your business than for yourself and there is always the consideration of profit margins and other business concerns when spending money.
3. B2B want education and expertise
There’s a greater pressure when in B2B to showcase your expertise and to educate people on what you do. B2C customers tend to want to enjoy themselves, have fun with their purchase or make it because they need it. B2B customers want to be educated, understand what they are buying and feel they are dealing with someone who is an expert.
4. Content needs to be more detailed
Because B2B customers want to be educated, you need to provide more detailed content than you would for B2C. That’s because you want to study what you offer, fully understand the impact on their business and make sure it is the right option. B2C customers tend to like short and snappy content that gets them an answer quickly.
5. The buyer cycle is longer
When you sell to a person, they are usually the one making the buying decision. But when you sell to a business, there can be more people involved in the process and this means the buying cycle is longer. You may need to talk to different people, depending on the complexity of the purchase. So, marketers need to allocate more time for these processes.
6. Contract tend to last longer and be worth more
Customer loyalty is important to any business but with B2B companies, it is often the case that contracts tend to last longer and be worth more. This reflects the fact that the buying cycle is longer but once the decision is made, companies will often stick with their choice for a much longer period.
When you work in marketing or just market your business, it is important to understand the ways in which B2B is different from B2C in order to shape campaigns accordingly. That way you can make your marketing appeal to the right audience and have a better chance of success.
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