Differentiating between B2B and B2C Marketing
Culture Differentiating between B2B and B2C Marketing
The differences between Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Customer (B2C) are highly pronounced, and each requires a starkly different style of marketing. We’ll first detail how to effectively sell to B2B customers, before going on to contrast this with B2C.
The key thing to bear in mind when selling to a B2B customer is that everything is longer term. B2B customers will have to explain their purchasing decisions to their superiors, which means that primarily they are interested in logic and information. Thus, your marketing message needs to be based on consultative selling: adequately explaining how your product or service will save them time, money and resources. They will want to see you display extensive expertise in your area as well as a good standard of trustworthiness. As a result, the selling process will be lengthier, more complex and more costly, as B2B customers will take more consideration over their decision. This timescale can be anywhere from days to months.
B2B customers are often making higher-scale purchases, so they need the extra time to in order to get to know you and trust who they’re buying from. The final result of all this time, money and effort is not only a lucrative sale, but also an increased lifetime customer value; the base of trust that you build during the initial sale means that B2B customers will likely continue a working relationship with you, regularly returning to make continually rewarding purchases.
On the other hand, B2C customers don’t have to explain their decisions to anyone, meaning that their purchases are quicker and more emotional in nature. They are less interested in lengthy explanations and marketing messages, preferring you to quickly and concisely tell them why the product or service will benefit them. There are fewer personal relationships to build with B2C customers; it’s a simple, traditional case of convincing them that they need what you’re selling them.
The whole process is far more quick-fire, taking anything from a few minutes to a few days. The final result is that the selling process is faster, cheaper and easier, but the lifetime customer value is far shorter. This means that unlike B2B purchases (which are built on trust), you will have to attract B2C customers back to your business by using advertising and social media. B2C customers are also different in that they demand a variety of distribution channels for their convenience, which your business will have to cater for if you hope to compete with your rivals.
Of course, each customer is unique and you should tailor your approach as you see fit. However, knowing the difference between these two basic groups could be the key to a successful sell. If you need any guidance, our team at SO Marketing is always on hand – you can call us on 01538 750 538 or email us at [email protected].