When planning a marketing strategy, it’s crucial to identify the audience who will be interacting and (hopefully) buying your products or services. Will it be other organisations, or your everyday general consumer?
Define your business, are you B2B or B2C?
Creating long-lasting, emotive connections with your target audience begins with exploring the B2C vs B2B debate.
Even though there can be a lot of overlapping marketing similarities between the two audiences, there are also vast differences, in particular, copy tone, content type, content structure and strategies you’ll adopt. So learning the preferences of each sector from the outset could greatly improve the decisions about your marketing efforts. One example being, in social media marketing 93% of people believe LinkedIn facilitates the highest value for B2B brands!
Firstly, let’s define what B2B and B2C is. What do these two acronyms mean? How do the methods of marketing differ?
B2B is the shortened buzzword for business-to-business. It characterises businesses whose main customer base are other businesses. This means all of their marketing efforts are devoted to the challenges and interests that other businesses may face. Purchases of a product or service are made on behalf of the organisation an individual works for – rather than themselves. Here are a few examples of B2B business:
- Recruitment software service
- CRM service
- Marketing software service
- Database analysis and management service
- Technology products
B2C is the shortened buzzword for business-to-consumer. It characterises businesses whose customer base is individual consumers, rather than professionals or executives on behalf of an organisation. As a result, all marketing efforts are devoted to the wants, interests and needs of people in their everyday lives. Here are a few examples of how and where you’ll identify a B2C business:
- Supermarket food and drink companies
- Sports clothing brands
- A non-commercial estate agent
B2C vs B2B Marketing: The Differences
To begin this phase, you’ll first need to construct a buyer persona that allows you to understand which aspects inspire and initiate your audience to invest in your product or services. Consumers are driven to purchase a product or service based on emotive factors, so things they like, need or want. On the contrary, businesses are motivated by rational concepts like addressing a pressing issue, price and utility.
To help you identify the key areas of your strategy, here are a selection of the main key differences you should know about B2B vs B2C marketing:
- Short vs long term connections
The first thing to note when establishing your strategy is the type of connections and relationships your campaigns will create with your target audiences and customers as these can vary. While there are a plethora of examples of long-term relationships being built with a consumer through their love or loyalty for a company, B2B consumers inherently rely on long-lasting connections. B2B products and services normally operate on a recurring contract foundation, which means B2B organisations need to continually persuade their clients that their services or product is the best solution to their business needs.
- Simple vs Customisable
While everyone in today’s marketplace enjoys a more personalised customer experience, your B2B customer expects a more complex and tailored product and service than their consumer peers. B2B customers, for example, want more options with the items they buy, whereas B2C customers want items that are simple to use and purchase. In addition, B2B businesses may need to select from various payment options, package deals, or up-sells to ensure that they are getting the best value for their business.
- Short and Sweet vs Detailed
Another thing to consider is that the buyer path in B2C marketing can be very different from the research-driven journey that B2B companies go through. Although B2B buyers are able to do their homework, read lengthy posts, and find valuable details about a commodity, B2C buyers are not. B2C ads should be concise and value-driven.
- Entertainment or Educational
Content marketing works for both B2B and B2C strategies, however, the type of content found in these strategies can vary massively as they’re essentially engaging two very different audiences. For example, B2B customers are looking for expertise, confidence and strong company values, which can be conveyed through webinars, how-tos and case studies. In fact, 96% of B2B buyers look for input from thought leaders when making purchasing decisions. On the other hand, B2C customers may prefer to be engaged with fun or emotional campaigns. They’re looking for entertainment, short videos and content they can relate to, share and enjoy with friends on social media platforms.
Creating the best strategy for your marketing campaign
When it comes to great marketing campaigns, it’s all about creating a strategy that works best for your company and your audiences. The more you can educate yourself about the wants and needs of your target customers, regardless if they’re B2B or B2C, the better dialogue you’ll be able to have with them. This should, in theory, deliver larger profits, increased loyalty, and greater brand awareness
When starting at square one, you’ll need to first conduct research within your marketplace, whether that’s analysing competitors or creating buyer personas. This will help establish a tone of voice and campaign structure that best engages the right people, at the right time.
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