Let’s say you book a cruise for yourself and your partner. You’re probably on a budget, but it’s also easy to get carried away in the website’s promise of love and adventure. After all, it’s a vacation. Why wouldn’t that be great?
Your evaluation process and decision-making process for choosing a romantic cruise will likely be very different from when you would make a purchasing decision for your business.
After all, there’s nothing romantic about billing software, and you won’t get carried away by choosing your business’s auto-response service.
This is why B2B and B2C marketing differ significantly. Understanding these differences is critical, especially if you follow general best practice advice without fully understanding how they will affect each type of campaign differently.
This article will take a closer look at the differences between B2B and B2C marketing and how they will affect your marketing campaigns.
Table of Contents
- What do “B2B” and “B2C” mean?
- Differences between B2B and B2C Marketing
What do “B2B” and “B2C” mean?
“B2B” implies “business to business,” while “B2C” depicts “business to consumer.”
In B2B marketing, you want to concentrate on the logic of the product and its functionality. There is little or no personal feelings when making a buying decision, so you need to understand your customers and how they act in their organizations’ processes. What is your role? What is important to them?
This type of marketing refers to people who use the product more than the product itself. Go further with your marketing materials. The most effective messages will focus on how your product or service saves time, money, and resources. What return on investment can customers expect from their purchase?
As an example, imagine your business that sells productivity software. If you pitch it to businesses, the key you need to show your prospects is that using the productivity software will save them money in the form of time.
Because those who use the software will be able to optimize their work using their software, employees will be able to do more simultaneously.
Since this would likely be a big purchase for most businesses that require multiple software licenses and proper training, expect the sales process to include detailed demos and trial periods.
When marketing to a consumer, you want to focus on the benefits of the product. Your decision is more emotional. Consumers are also different in that they need different distribution channels for convenience.
Consumers are less expected to be interested in a lengthy marketing message and want you to get to the point immediately.
Consumers don’t want to work to understand its benefits. Instead, they’ll want you to explain the benefits clearly. With consumers, your message should be simple and easy to understand. Consumers also have a much more precise purchasing process than businesses. They can buy in minutes or days.
The most effective marketing strategies will focus on the results and benefits of your product or service. Customers will want to know more about how a product or service helps them and what personalities it brings to them. Focus on the problem or sore spot you are solving.
Let’s take the example of productivity software again. Consumers will want to know how the software will make their lives easier. If you turn on the calendar function, how is it easier to enter data, sync it with family members’ phones and laptops, etc.?
Your customers in this example are not looking for a return on their investment. They are just looking for software that makes their life easier without being too complex.
Differences between B2B and B2C Marketing
B2B and B2C marketing campaigns will share the same technical best practices, such as retargeting to reduce abandoned carts or using negative keywords to improve ad position.
While these practices remain the same, there are several critical differences. Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C will dramatically improve your campaigns, so let’s take a look.
The Decision Maker
B2B and B2C marketing have to be hyper-focused to get results, but it can be challenging for B2B brands.
B2C campaigns can reach any potential customer interested in your product, even if that person, in theory, wouldn’t be the customer. A woman who sees jewelry she loves might send a link to her partner, resulting in a sale, even if the ad attracts someone other than the primary customer.
B2C businesses can benefit from communicating with a home decision-maker, especially for big-ticket items like vacations or new cars. Still, to get results, they don’t have to complain to a single unit member. They can show ads to anyone who can buy and have a good chance of converting.
However, in B2B marketing, you have to attract a specific person or a small group of individuals within the business. They are decision-makers.
It doesn’t matter, for example, that twenty company employees want new chairs; only the office manager or other senior employee could make such a decision, and it should be him who would see the ad directly.
You must show the ad to these specific people. Targeting a job title on Facebook Ads can help you do just that.
The Decision-making Process
The decision-making process can be very different when making decisions for your personal life or business.
Customers in both industries should immediately receive interest in your ad and product; otherwise, they won’t want more information.
Nevertheless, B2B buyers will often need a lot more time than additional research before buying. Once they see the initial benefits, they click through to your page to learn more and see details, then look for third-party reviews and see other competitive opportunities. After all, it’s your thing, so the stakes are high.
B2C customers, on the other hand, desire to see almost everything they need as quickly as possible. What do you want to explore on the new Xbox game?
They want to see reviews on product pages and social proof in ads. Due to the shorter investigation process in B2C, the social proof in the announcements here may carry a little more weight as it can directly affect ongoing purchases.
Time Required for Conversion
It’s a simple difference, but it’s enormous. B2C customers are much more likely to buy quickly after seeing an ad, while B2B customers typically need a lot longer. This is directly linked to the investigation procedure and its rigor.
People are more likely to make impulse decisions about personal shopping than business shopping, where they may be on a smaller budget, and there is more pressure to correct it the first time around.
After all, changing a business purchase is often more complex; This can mean that the whole team has to learn new software, and since the purchases are usually more expensive and more numerous, it can be much more difficult to change them after the purchase.
Most advertising platforms have more targeted attribution methods to B2C customers, with shorter attribution windows.
Motivations for business and personal shopping are likely to be different.
B2B and B2C customers buy because they can see that the product or service benefits them somehow. Sometimes these benefits overlap, such as time savings or convenience. However, the conclusion is different.
B2C customers buy with the desire to improve their lives in one way or another. B2B customers buy intending to enhance their business and, most notably, the bottom line.
That’s not to say that emotional attraction doesn’t matter to both of you, because it does. Finally, you are selling to real people in both. All of these people have fears, needs, and wants that you can complain about. It would be best if you related this emotional attraction to your job and at the same time show the bottom line.
We say that business is not personal, so it is only natural that there are differences in B2B and B2C marketing. Someone who buys an engagement ring or a television set for their living room will not think the same way they would when choosing a lawyer for their work. Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C marketing will improve your campaigns’ success and ultimately get better results.