Understanding the Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketing

Colleagues having a casual stand-up meeting
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There is a difference between marketing to a business and marketing to a consumer, believe it or not. Although you are still selling a product to a person, experience shows that the difference between these two types of markets runs deep. 

When you market to a B2B you will realize that businesses work hard to streamline the buying process in order to save time and money. This often explains why a B2B purchase is based more on logic and why a consumer's purchase is based more on emotion.

 

It is true that the cost of a sale for the business-to-business market is more expensive and typically higher than the business to consumer market. The easiest way to explain this is that a business-to-business transaction often takes more consideration and more people tend to be involved, requiring more decision makers.   The B2B consumer will more often than not need to be able to prove a return-on-investment for their purchase.  

Let me see if I can explain even further. 

Marketing to B2B 
When you are marketing to a B2B you want to focus on the logic of the product. You do this by focusing on the features of the product. There is little to no personal emotion involved in the purchasing decision. You want to focus on understanding the organizational buyers and how they operate within the confines of their organization's procedures. What's their role? What's important to them?  

If you take one thing away from this article regarding B2B marketing remember that when it comes to businesses product/service marketing it is not about the product, it's about the people using the product and/or service.

 If you are struggling with your messaging try to focus more on what your product or service does to what it means for their business. 
 
The B2B market has a thirst for knowledge and they are information seekers. Be more in-depth with your marketing materials. Your most effective marketing message will focus on how your product or service saves them time, money and resources.

What the return on investment that they can expect with their purchase? That ROI can be time-saving, resource saving or money saving, but it has to be clear in order to get everyone onboard.  

Your business-to-business market is required to substantiate their purchase through a logical argument, financial scrutiny, and data.   This doesn't mean that there isn't emotion behind the purchase, while you are dealing with a business, behind that business are people so emotion still plays a part in the decision, but your dealing with "more" emotions because more times than not you are dealing with more individuals that have to come to a consensus on decision.  Keep their needs, desires and motivations on the table, but back it with logic, financial benefits, and strong data.   The purchasing process of a business also tends to be longer than a consumer, this can correlate to needing to have multiple touchpoints in order to secure the sale.  

Marketing to B2C 
When you are marketing to a consumer you want to focus on the benefits of the product. Their decision is more emotional. Consumers are different in that they demand a variety of distribution channels for convenience, not so with the B2B market.

Consumers are less likely to be interested in a lengthy marketing message. They will want you to get right to the point. Consumers don't want to work to understand your benefits, instead, they will want you to clearly point out the benefits to them.  
With consumers, your message must be simple, easy to understand. You will also tend to find that consumers have a much shorter purchasing process than businesses. They can purchase within a few minutes to within a few days.  
 
Your most effective marketing strategies will focus on the results and the benefits that your product or service will bring to them.

 Your business-to-consumer market purchase more on emotion. They are more interested in the benefit of the product. They will want to hear more about how their product or service helps them and what benefits it brings to them personally.  Focus on the problem or pain point that you solve.  

B2B vs. B2C Marketing Example 

For example, consider this: My product is lotion. 

My lotion will moisturize the skin and relieve itching skin. 

If I have a B2B client they will be most interested in the feature of the client which is moisturizing the skin. If I have a B2C client they will be most interested in the benefit which is relief of itching skin. 

We will be most effective in marketing if we understand what both markets need in order to make a decision.