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How is b2b marketing different from b2c marketing?

There is a huge confusion between B2B and B2C marketing. This article is written to clear the confusion, so that you apply the correct marketing techniques to the current audience.

Shishir Kathurwar
1st Feb 2018
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If I say that there is a difference between marketing to a business and marketing to a consumer, you will give me a stare. After all, I am selling a product. How should it matter whether I sell it to a business or to a consumer? A sale is a sale. But, it is not so. There is a huge difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing. Let us look into these aspects.

Language of marketing – Simple vs Complex

B2C marketing does not require you to use business jargon. Consumers would love you to come straight to the point. They are more interested in the benefits that your product can bring to them. In the case of B2B marketing, this is not the case. You have to use industry-specific terms in B2B marketing. The language you use is certainly different.

Appeal – Emotion vs Logic

Emotion plays a big role in B2C marketing. You have to judge the pulse of the consumer and cater to his/her emotional needs. Consumers have a rational thinking, but they do take emotional decisions. When you do B2B marketing, it is advisable to concentrate on logic rather than emotion. B2B customers weigh every option before finalizing the deal. Financial benefits and information about the product are important factors. Hence, there is no place for any emotion in B2B marketing.

Objective – Entertainment vs Education

Consumers do understand the objectives of business marketing. They would love to get attractive deals. Entertainment is one of the factors that govern B2C marketing. On the other hand, B2B marketing involves selling it to businesses who subsequently offer the products and services to consumers. Hence, educating the business about the product or services is more important as compared to deals and entertainment.

Content – Brief vs Detailed

Consumers love content that is easy to understand. There is no need for B2C marketing to share detailed specifications with end-user consumers. The marketing can be brief and to the point. You call it the benefits-driven marketing in the industry. However, B2B marketing requires you to go into the details of the technical specifications and explain to the business how the products can be useful to the end user. Therefore, one has you use long-form content for B2B marketing whereas punchy lines can do the trick in B2C marketing.

Decision making – Single vs Multiple

The decision-making process in a B2C sale is different from that of B2B marketing. It is purely an individual decision. The consumer might consult his family, friends, and go through online reviews. But, the final decision is usually an individual one. On the other hand, B2B marketing involves various stages of procurement. Every purchase requires approval from various quarters. Hence, there can be a delay in the procurement of orders as compared to B2C marketing.

Satisfaction – Instant vs Relationship nurturing

The consumer looks for instant gratification. He makes his decision quickly. He also wants quick solutions to his problems. Therefore, you see B2C marketing aiming for instant gratification. The B2B customers prefer to build effective and fruitful relationships with their suppliers. This type of marketing is different because it caters to multiple stakeholders in the purchasing process.

Type of relationship – One-time vs Long Term

The normal B2C marketing techniques focus on a one-time relationship. Hence, you find these techniques concentrating on exploring new markets and different customers. At the same time, B2B marketing is different because the focus is always on building long-term relationships between business enterprises. Therefore, each buying decision can have a great impact on the relationship. The concentration is on providing exemplary services that could result in renewal of contracts and an increase in the purchase volume.

Attitude – Capturing attention vs retaining attention

Consumers have a wide choice. If a particular product does not suit them, there is a competitor available to cater to his choice. Hence, it becomes imperative to grab the attention of the consumer the first time around. He does not have the time to spend a lot of time shopping for his products. Therefore, this marketing campaign should focus on capturing the consumer’s attention immediately. B2B marketing is more of the leisurely type of marketing where the focus is more on engaging the business enterprises with educative content. This can help in the decision making a great deal. Business enterprises are willing to spend time to understand more about the product.

We have seen eight differences between B2B and B2C marketing. You can see that B2B marketing is more about building long-term relationships whereas B2C concentrates on instant gratification. Both these techniques have their individualities. This is what makes marketing an exciting feature of business. You have to apply the ‘horses for courses’ method. The method that works for B2C marketing need not work in case of B2B marketing.  

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