Top 4 Things to Remember about B2B versus B2C Marketing

A lot of people say there’s a world of difference between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) marketing, and that you should have completely different strategies for each. But ultimately, it all comes down to talking to people. So what is the real difference – and when does it matter?

The Differences

B2B sales usually take longer.
Most business-to-business purchasing decisions are made after a lengthy and highly involved sales cycle. This means you’ve got to find ways to stay top-of-mind with your prospects and provide value all along the way. A drip email campaign with different calls to action – white paper downloads, ROI calculators, free demonstrations – is a great way to form a strong relationship before the first purchase is ever made.

The risk/reward equation is different.
When you go to a new restaurant for date night, what are you risking? Probably not much. Even with a major consumer purchase like a car, you’ve got a smaller group of people who will let down if you end up with a lemon. But buy bad ignition switches for millions of cars and you can really hurt your business. That’s why return on investment, or ROI, is so important for B2B marketing. You’ve got to demonstrate exactly how your product or service can be good for the bottom line.

“Find ways to stay top-of-mind with your prospects throughout the lengthy sales cycle.”

The Similarities

Corporate-speak is the worst. 
B2B is very niche-y, and it can be tempting to use language that is highly specific to that niche. And that’s fine, as long as you use it sparingly and strategically and don’t, for any reason, let it devolve to this. It’s just not engaging on a human level, and you run the risk of sounding like everyone else (see below).

You have to cut through the clutter. 
With a few exceptions, B2B is just as crowded a field as B2C. And that means you still need to make use of attention-getting approaches that help you stand out from a sea of sameness. That was the driving force behind Balcom’s work for PCCA.

What other differences and similarities do you see when it comes to B2B and B2C marketing?

Tags: Branding & Advertising, Consulting & Training

Put our experts to work

Contact Us