The 3 Main Differences | B2B & B2C Marketing
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
B2B marketing encompasses all the marketing activities carried out for business-to-business organizations; companies that sell products and/or services to one another, like, Microsoft, Schneider, and even BarkB2B.
On the other hand, B2C marketing is concerned with consumer products and services like Amazon, Starbucks, Adidas, etc.
While the core marketing principles and practices may be similar across the two approaches, the varying nature of the b2b vs. b2c decision-making process significantly affects the strategies, tactics, and mediums used to market business and consumer products.
So what’s the difference?
In this article, we will highlight some of the key differences between marketing for B2B vs B2C organizations and the implications of these differences when building a successful marketing strategy.
Let’s explore the differences.
1. Purchasing complexity & buying behavior
Gartner research found that 77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase was very difficult or complex.
B2B products can be very complex. This includes software, high-value construction equipment, military equipment, airplanes, and more. This means that a single customer can account for very high business values.
That said, B2B buying decisions involve a range of complex technical dimensions, as product purchases should fit into the broader supply chain - for further production of other products. This can include the physical product’s technical complexity or technical specifications associated with services such as timings, payment terms, and delivery schedules.
Since B2B products require a high level of spend and are of great strategic importance, you can imagine why business buyers tend to be more rational and driven by financial incentives.
Tip for B2B marketers: The key for B2B marketers is to be well-informed and have a deep understanding of the product/service being sold. (Technical details, after-sales support, and more).
2. The Customer Journey
Marketing and sales processes in B2C markets are pursued at high volume and velocity, while B2B markets emphasize one-to-one-engagement. In order to make a purchasing decision, B2B buyers consume different kinds of content through different mediums and platforms, such as white papers, e-books, case studies, and more.
Tip for B2B marketers: have crystal clear buyer personas to be able to deliver helpful information. You can consider factors such as the position of your buyer in their company and where they stand in the decision-making process.
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3. Number of stakeholders
B2B decision-making unit is quite complex: more stakeholders are involved and more costs are on the line.
As mentioned above, B2B products are relatively higher in value compared to consumer products. This makes the B2B decision-making unit much more complex. Unlike the consumer buying process, several individuals and departments are involved in the B2B decision-making process.
Production, procurement, purchasing agent, accounting, and other departments might be involved to negotiate terms of sale - is that a good investment for us?
In consumer markets, on the other hand, even the most complex products usually involve one person.
Tip for B2B marketers: understand the different needs of different decision-makers - B2B marketeers need to demonstrate a high level of expertise during any of their interactions with stakeholders involved in the decision-making process.
Acknowledging the differences between B2B and B2C marketing is essential to be able to develop high-performing marketing strategies and find more success when reaching prospects.
Marketing endeavors might have the same goals, yet the road to reaching these goals is different as it depends on whom your marketing efforts are targeted. Marketing techniques and strategies will change depending on whether you are targeting consumers or other businesses like yours.