Financially Responsible Marketing

B2B vs B2C Marketing Part 2

Posted by on Dec 19, 2012

B2B and B2C are commonly referred to in marketing, but what do these terms mean, and how do marketers approach these groups to encourage the decision to purchase?

In last week’s installment we discussed how B2B marketing strategies differ from B2C with respect to identifying the consumer, marketing tactics to appeal to different sized audiences, the length of purchase decision, and investment into these varied sales cycles.  Whether you run a B2B or B2C company, the success of any business relies on building a brand, cultivating a loyal consumer base and garnering repeat business.

As a follow up, here are some core points on how B2B and B2C marketing tactics differ with respect to longevity of your brand:

  • Building a brand with consumers vs. businesses
    • A strong brand is important in all markets, but for different reasons.  With B2C a strong brand can encourage the consumer to buy, remain loyal, and even pay a premium for distinctive brand association.  For consumers motivated by desire, style and prestige brand plays into the equation since they associate brands with status.  B2C consumers require a shorter lived, emotional connection with a brand to fulfill a more immediate need or desire
    • In B2B marketing, brand will help you to be considered, but not necessarily chosen.  Business buyers are rational purchasers motivated by saving money, increasing productivity or raising profitability.  B2B marketing requires a more personal relationship with potential clients, as not only the purveyor of a product or service, but in the development of tactical, solutions driven business partners.
  • The value of developing a trusted relationship
    • Trust is important in any purchase decision, and in direct proportion to the impact the purchase represents.  In B2C marketing, the product must be functionally competent, but also deliver on the emotional need it represents, while B2B loyalty is developed over a longer period of time by conferring with clients to  address their needs and developing unique, personalized solutions
    • By taking email campaigns as an example, B2C campaigns often highlight special deals or discounts to entice the consumer to immediately purchase, but combine education and customer feedback to build brand loyalty and promote repeat business.  B2B newsletters are more direct, informative, and encourage the audience to seek more information via easy to navigate landing pages or offline contact as a first step towards a series of integrated touch points.  In B2B marketing content is king with respect to establishing your company as industry leaders and developing trust early in the sales relationship
  • How much is your customer worth?
    • The lifetime value of a customer is directly proportional to the cost of sale, the likelihood of repeat business and the ability to add-on sales to the same customer.  Therefore B2B customers have a higher lifetime value then B2C customers given the complexity of the sales cycle, financial implications of each sale and ability to increase or improve individual sale price
    • The impact to marketing requires you to look at your marketing strategy as a long term investment in the growth and sales potential of your company.  Whether marketing to other businesses or directly to the end user, this affects every aspect of smart business marketing decisions. The B2B consumer makes rational purchase decisions based on business value vs. B2C consumers who make emotional decisions based on status, desire and price

Whether marketing to a business or directly to a consumer, consult the experts at Imaginis Marketing to better understand how to relate to your consumer and impact a purchase decision.