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What Are The Main Differences Between B2B & B2C Marketing?

February 15, 2014

When you’re creating a marketing campaign, one of the early decisions that should be made is whether it’s going to be for Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer. These two different markets are often known as B2B and B2C and require different approaches to be able to successfully convert.

What is B2B & B2C?

Firstly, if you aren’t sure, Business-to-Business is simply when a company is offering a product or service to another company, for example, Fifteen are a B2B company as we offer services to other companies. Business-to-Consumer are the brands you will often see on the high-street or online, those who are selling a product or service directly to a single user. For example, Nike is a company that are selling sportswear directly to an end user.

What Are The Differences Between Marketing For B2B & B2C?

How To Talk About The Product or Service

When marketing a product or service to another business, they will want to know the logic and further details about what you’re offering. The tone of voice will be more professional and direct.

Consumers tend to prefer knowing the end benefits of the product or service and are less bothered about knowing the heavy details on the process and technical terms. They want to be excited through simple, shareable and humorous adverts, which is expressed through tone of voice and great on-brand imagery.

The Decision-Making Process

When a business is making a purchase, the decision-making process is much more thorough. It is likely that the decision will be discussed and passed through a whole team of staff before they decide whether to make the purchase or not. This means that when you’re marketing to them, you need to find a way of convincing all these different members. This could be done by advertising to a variety of audiences that will cover the different job titles.

Consumers have a whole different decision-making process. First of all, they are most likely to be making the decision alone, or potentially influenced by a couple of others that they may ask the opinion of. To speed up a consumer’s decision-making process, if they have initially interacted with an advert of yours, you will then be able to remarket to them by reminding them with a different advert that could be tailored to what they were previously looking at. You will see this a lot with fashion brands. When you’ve browsed through some items on their website, it won’t be long until you see an advert reminding you about the products that you were looking at.

The Relationship

Due to the decision-making process, you’re going to also build different relationships with the end users. With B2B, you’re going to be building a relationship that may be long-term, as your product may require maintenance or your service requires regular communication between the two businesses. This means that your marketing should make them feel at ease, and believe that they will have a good process with you.

Those who interact with a B2C company will usually have an on-off relationship, they will receive their product or service, some may then advocate and some may only go there as a one off. The best way to look at these types of customer relationships is by reading up on the loyalty loop. We have a whole separate blog post about this, which you can read here. 

What Marketing Platforms You Should Use

B2B’s and B2C’s should be using different social media platforms to communicate, as different platforms have different types of users.

For B2B’s, I would recommend using LinkedIn and potentially also Facebook. At this point, LinkedIn would be best, as it is the least saturated, making content created more visible. The platform is also primarily those who are interested or are already in a business, also many businesses have their own company page. LinkedIn also has detailed targeted when creating adverts, you are able to target people in specific job roles, industries and more.

For B2C’s, I would recommend using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. You’re more likely to find consumers on these platforms, and consumers also want to see things more visually. Instagram and Pinterest are highly visual, and you can inspire the consumer through imagery that may feature your product or the outcome of your service. Twitter is great to be using as a customer service platform, where consumers can get in contact with the business quickly and usually get a response quickly. Facebook allows really detailed targeting and enables you to easily remarket to those who do end up buying or getting close to buying from your business.

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