B2B Versus B2C Marketing

              You’ve heard of North Face, Under Armour, Amazon, and Facebook.  But have you heard of SnapCap, New Relic, BulkBookStore, or Mailchimp?  Maybe not, and there is a reason behind that.  The latter mentioned businesses all operate as a Business to Business (B2B) entity, while the first companies listed operate as Business to Consumer (B2C).  These terms are self-explanatory, as B2B companies sell to businesses and B2C companies sell to consumers.  B2C organizations are consumer-facing and their marketing strategy reflects this, whereas B2B marketing is anchored in identifying, growing, and maintaining relationships between businesses.  While the marketing strategies may vary, they both reflect the needs of the businesses and consumers they directly serve.

              In B2C marketing, the focus is typically on a large-scale market segment, with some B2C companies planning a more strategic and targeted smaller-scale audience approach.  B2B marketing tends to be more niche with advertising concentrated into a smaller customer segment and the main priority being lead generation to increase business.

              B2B marketing strategies are designed to drive long-term business.  As a result, the strategy concentrates on building personal relationships with businesses in the supply chain.  Because business-to-business interactions are often centered on problem-solving, most B2B marketing centers on providing solutions.  A B2B marketing plan first creates demand, followed by lead generation, and ultimately— customer retention.  In order to carry out this plan, a business should have a clear, focused website and other strong media content establishing a need for its goods or services as well as a presented solution. 

              Moreover, B2B marketers use industry terms in their copy to connect with business partners and establish credibility.  Search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising is great for establishment as an industry leader.  However, the real power in B2B marketing is in creating affiliates and partnerships.  As stated before, the priority in B2B operations is relationship building, which is why partnerships and business affiliates are crucial.  Partnerships establish trust and a strong reputation for a business.  This creates long term relationships which are key in driving a business. 

              Unlike B2B, B2C marketing is more transactional in nature.  Because B2C organizations tend to target a much larger customer segment, they spend less time forming relationships with their customers and more time reaching the market as efficiently as possible.  Email marketing is very successful in B2C industries because it generates positive reviews and customer retention with loyalty programs and special deals.  Furthermore, branding is an essential priority in B2C marketing as it allows a company to carve out its place in its industry, create loyal customers, and increase buyer motivation.  Because of the disconnect between the customer and company in B2C, it is important for organizations to ensure a quality, lasting experience for the consumer.   

              Advertising is also enormously important in B2C marketing as an influence over consumers who have never-ending options in the market.  Marketers use focused keywords and clear messaging to achieve prominence on the internet, in the minds of consumers, and in the product market.  B2C advertising should be emotional and relatable in order to draw in customers and convert to real purchases.  Ultimately, B2C marketing relies on maximizing efficiency.    

              Conclusively, business organizations should evaluate their existing marketing strategies to align with the needs of the market and their end user. B2B companies should continue to focus on long-term relationship building, credibility, and establishment as an industry leader.  The B2C market will continue to see the necessity of efficiency, finding and connecting with customer segments, and maintaining a quality customer experience.  CCG’s creative agency, Digital Shuffle, works with B2B and B2C companies to refine their brand strategy and produce cutting-edge marketing tools.  Give us a call today! 

By Marley Niesz

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