B2B marketing cornerstones: why it is different from B2C?
Depending on target audience, all business marketing can be considered as either business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). The difference between B2B and B2C marketing is more significant than you can think at a first glance. They have a common goal, and there are many practices and tactics that overlap, but, at the same time, B2B marketing requires a specific approach to maximize its effectiveness.
Here you can see the key differences each marketer should understand before planning the strategy and the action plan. Let’s review the main factors that differentiate selling products and services to businesses.
B2B campaigns should be more rational rather than emotional.
The first core difference is that B2B customers need more time to make a decision. In comparison to B2C, where people are more likely to make impulsive purchases for their personal needs, B2B customers tend to take more time to conduct research and compare all available options before making a decision. That means that B2B campaigns should be more rational rather than emotional. B2B customers typically request more detailed information, case studies and ROI projections. Also, it is common for businesses to have an established decision-making structure where a chain of approvals from different departments is needed to complete a purchase.
Why do they behave like this? The answer is clear. Consumers usually buy goods to satisfy their day-to-day needs and instant wishes, but businesses buy products or services to improve their operation and get benefits. As a result, the conversion from lead to client can be a long-term process.
Identify the decision-maker, a single person or a small group of company representatives.
The second key difference is the target audience. B2C campaigns are usually targeted at large-scale markets. In B2B, it is more important to find your niche. An additional challenge is that it’s not enough to reach the company representative to deliver your advertising message. You should identify the decision-maker, a single person or a small group of company representatives, around whom the campaign must be built. Otherwise, the marketing campaign can reach millions of views but provide no useful feedback at all.
That’s why industry events and trade shows play an important role in B2B marketing. The audience of such events may be not very large, but if these people are your target, the event can be extremely productive comparing to other types of advertising.
The process of purchase is usually not the final destination but just the beginning of a relationship between the buyer and seller.
The next cornerstone is the communication and relationship between seller and buyer. In B2C communication, there is usually short-term relation between parties. B2B strategy often requires long-term collaboration. The long decision-making process is often followed by communication with account management or support team. In B2B strategy, the process of purchase is usually not the final destination but just the beginning of a relationship between the buyer and seller. That’s why communication and feedback are crucial. B2B companies should pay attention to their customer care and post-sale communication.
To cap it off, many more differences can be found, but, one way or another, they will arise from the above-mentioned factors. So, if you are aware of these three cornerstones, you will avoid obstacles to your marketing strategy.
Even though both B2B and B2C models are targeted to reach your potential buyers and convert their interest to purchase, the tools, channels, use cases and even language can be completely different. So, a good B2B marketing specialist has to understand the needs of the target audience to build the right strategy oriented to long-term relationship in order to maximize return of investment.
Statistics says that, nowadays, the majority of B2B companies tend to outsource their marketing. Some of them have in-house marketing teams and outsource only a part of the work, but the outsourcing sector for marketing services continues to undergo growth.
If you want to delegate your B2B marketing tasks to an agency, make sure they have the relevant business-to-business experience and that they clearly understand your market niche. It will help you to build steady and trustworthy collaboration with your business customers that will serve as the foundation for future growth.