How B2B marketing is different From B2C
A B2B (Business to Business) business sells to another businesses, which in turn, may sell to another businesses or consumers. On the other hand, a B2C (Business to Consumer), a.k.a. Direct to Consumer business sells their offerings directly to the end consumers. For examples, an organization offering accounting services or selling office supplies to other businesses will be considered a B2B business. On the other hand, a company selling groceries to the end consumers, offline or online, is a B2C organization.
The marketing strategies and approaches may significantly differ in both the cases. This article discusses how the marketing strategies vary in case of B2B and the B2C businesses. We will discuss the key differences between the two on several aspects, including:
- – Customer relationships
- – Brand positioning
- – Lead generation strategies and approaches
- – Decision making process
- – Target identification and segmentation for campaigns
- – Campaign management strategies
In most B2B businesses, the selling process involves:
- Receiving a request for quote (RFQ), request for information (RFI), or request for proposal (RFP) from the potential buyer
- checking inventory and service availability to provide to buyer in response to request
- Creating a quotation, an information document, or a proposal to share the details of your offerings and cost estimates to initiate a negotiation
- Following up to close the sale or conducting the next rounds of negotiation
- Securing the work order or purchase order (PO) or signing agreements to close the sales
In B2B, initial sales typically take a longer time than in a B2C transaction. However, the overall B2C relationship. LTV (lifetime value) of a B2B relationship is often much higher than that of a B2C.
However, this significantly differs in the case of B2C. In a B2C selling situation, customers are made aware of the products and services being offered through various marketing mechanisms. These marketing mechanisms may include digital marketing, print advertising, radio, press coverage, out-of-home ads, television advertising, flyers, leaflets, pamphlets, etc. The marketing message has a focus on showing the value vis-à-vis the money spent by the direct consumer. This then leads the customer to a selling touchpoint, such as an online store, brick-and-mortar store, call centre, or an agency representing your business. The invoices are directly provided upon completing a sale since the nature of business is more transactional than long-drawn.
To perform sales and marketing, customer relationships are of a significant value. Depending upon your customer relationship management, your overall marketing budgets and efforts may be significantly reduced or increased.
B2B works primarily on
In case of B2B marketing, typically there are fewer customers than in case of B2C.
B2B marketing operates on personal relationship developed with the companies to sell their products and services, while B2C businesses operates on transactional focus.B2B marketing focuses on building strong client relationship that helps the business in long-term.B2B business prioritizes lead generation by developing this personal relationship.
Brand positioning and messaging
In B2B marketing, branding is more focused on positioning, while in B2C marketing it is more focused on messaging, again because of the transactional nature of B2C business.
B2B focuses on building the position of the company to approach high-quality clients and serve them with all the primary services. According to B2B International, branding begins with the consistency of the presentation and delivery of your products or services. Positioning is critical for a B2B company to achieve a clear and captivating customer perception through a strategy that assists clients in selecting your products and services to meet their needs.
The B2C marketing focuses on the messaging in their marketing communication, which creates a clear picture to maintain loyalty between the seller and the customer. B2B marketing does not place as much emphasis on relationships as B2C marketing does; instead, it focuses on the transaction between the seller and the customer.
Lead generation strategies and approaches
Lead generation is one of the most important steps in any kind of business, and making strategies to fulfil the result is also important.
In B2B marketing, lead generation is done through a personal approach with the clients, either offline or online. However, in the case of B2C, the lead generation is not as personalised as in the case of B2B because of the larger target segments.
To generate leads from clients, there are some steps that need to be followed to reach out to the main objectives.
- Identifying the target customer segments: Identify your target customer segments by carefully studying their personas, needs, and behaviours. This will help increase the effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns, regardless of whether you’re a B2B or a B2C player.
- Creating engaging content: Create engaging content for the business proposal, flyers, ads, etc. This is done to persuade the client and express to them the importance of the service that they are selling.
- Increasing traffic across channels: It is also one of the most important steps in lead generation. To sell your products or services to clients, you first need to tell the target audience about them and make them visit your landing pages, website, etc.
- Converting visitors to leads: This is done after developing a strategy for a specific type of client and presenting a proposal or quotation to the same audience.
Lead generation in B2C marketing occurs through awareness campaigns and lead generation campaigns, in which consumers go directly to the seller to purchase products and services. For example, diners eating in a restaurant, consumers buying clothes, or even people paying for a subscription Whatever your business does in the B2C world, you will need to focus on how to build your brand and its awareness.
Target identification and segmentation of the campaigns
It is critical to identify the target audience in order to run the campaign according to the defined audience.
If we talk about B2B marketing, every seller defines their audience well before the execution of the sale of products or services, and they create their sales campaigns according to the audience selected for the sale. Defining the audience requires gathering information on the audience. This information helps you create buyer personas and understand how they make purchase decisions—a tool that’s extremely useful for any type of marketing.
Although the segmentation process works in a very similar fashion for both B2C and B2B, the number and types of segmentation criteria may significantly vary. In B2B, these criteria will include features of the target businesses or companies. For example, age of business, size, revenue, services, products, geography, employee strength, contact points, designations of contact points, etc. On the other hand, B2C segmentation requires parameters associated with individual buyers. For example, age groups, gender, location (rural or urban), income groups, education levels, industry (if professionals), and some additional parameters related to their buying patterns.
Considering the above, you can take a stab at identifying your segment. However, for successful end-to-end campaigns, it’s often advised to look up the data for many other filters. For example, for a train ticket seller, it’s useful to target people of a certain age group that frequently travel between two important towns.
Tools used for sales, marketing, and service
The software tools used for B2B and B2C are very similar, if not identical. However, the primary difference lies in their configurations and approaches to automation. For instance, a B2B business would rely more on human intervention because of the personalised approach to most of the sales as compared to B2C scenarios. This will mean that your CRM software has a different kind of sales funnel designed than in the case of a B2C funnel.
B2B will typically use a call centre tool or route the leads to sales agents to nurture the leads via emails, SMS texts, phone calls, or in-person meetings beginning with marketing and lead generation. This will require the CRM to be configured to capture notes, make and record calls, and send emails or SMS texts. On the other hand, B2C might not require this intensive level of human intervention and can use a chatbot more effectively instead of pure human intervention. This will affect the choice of tools and their configuration.
Similarly, in the case of service management, most B2B setups require a dedicated helpdesk or service management software, which may not be required in a B2C scenario. In B2B, since the transactions are of greater value and volume, their shipment, tracking, payments, and disputes are all supposed to be recorded and may require discussions between the buyer and the seller. This is why helpdesk/service management software becomes important. In addition, after a sale, there may arise a need for the buyers to contact the sellers about returns, damaged goods, delayed shipments, or refunds. All of this needs to be configured in the tool used for service management.
Both the B2C and B2B scenarios require a serious consideration of how they can optimise their sales, service, and marketing aspects, but can sometimes be very different on the aspects discussed in this article. Knowing the differences between the two can help you tailor your approach to maximise the effectiveness of your efforts and avoid several mistakes while embarking on the journey.