B2B vs B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Katelyn Sinclair Marketing

If you’re involved in the marketing world, you know that the marketing techniques used by Business to Consumer (B2C) companies can’t always be applied Business to Business (B2B) companies. So why is that?

Some may argue that these types of marketing should be similar, since at the end of the day, both B2B and B2C decision-makers are all people looking to buy goods and services for their benefit. However, marketing to a business is very different from marketing to an end consumer. Below we discuss four major differences faced when marketers journey from B2C into the realm of B2B marketing.

Number of Buyers

This is a big one. When a business is making a purchasing decision, there will oftentimes be a team or committee of people participating in the decision. Therefore, there are multiple target buyers for B2B marketing, whereas an individual consumer is making the decision for him/herself in B2C markets. How can you adapt to marketing to committees rather than individual consumers? There are always key decision makers among the group. Identify them to increase your chances of turning them into clients!

Size of the Target Markets

With B2B marketing, the market size tends to be smaller than with B2C marketing, as there are more individual buyers than there are business buyers. However, this is somewhat balanced out as the size of purchases for B2B is often larger than B2C purchases. For example, in B2C, a customer buys a bag of chips from a store, and the purchase is just a few dollars. On the contrary, in B2B, the store will buy thousands bags of chips each month from the chip manufacturer, which is a much larger purchasing decision.

Relationship With Customers

This one builds off of our last point. Since the target market size is smaller for B2B, your relationship with each client is very important. You will want to build as close of a relationship as possible with all of your clients. Throughout the purchasing process, the salesperson in B2B will negotiate and promote their own business, while still being mindful of their interactions and relations with the client. The target market for B2C is huge, so the relationship between the business and customers is often impersonal.

Motivation Behind Purchasing

As the purchasing process for B2B is complex and could involve serious costs, businesses make decisions logically and look for partners that are reliable and professional. Therefore, you need to prove your company’s expertise, and give your target audience reasons to choose you over your competition. On the other hand, B2C marketing is often very emotional since the business wants to trigger feelings and connect with the consumers in order to persuade them to buy the products.

Good luck in your B2B marketing endeavors, and try to keep these points in mind the next time you meet with a B2B client!