B2B vs B2C Marketing: Differences That You Must Know

 30 Aug, 2021


In this internet era, businesses need to sell to both consumers and businesses in order to grow sales and increase their market share. Even companies are splitting up their sites for B2B and B2C channels to simplify operations because of the fact how the two markets are so different. Both B2B and B2C are capable of providing your business with a large volume of sales and push products, all you need is the right approach!

Marketing is a set of activities that are involved in selling a product. However, the whole set of activities majorly depends on the target audience and their preferences. The same product can carry different meanings for individuals and businesses. B2B and B2C marketing practices are completely different as the target customers in both types are different. Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C Marketing helps you craft the right B2C vs B2B marketing strategies, you can set a B2B vs B2C marketing funnel with the right approach.

In this B2B vs B2C marketing guide, we'll walk you through the B2B vs B2C marketing definition, then will focus on differences between b2b and b2c marketing, how they help you reach your target audience, and which one is better for your business.

What Is B2B and B2C?

A B2B, or "business-to-business" marketing model company sells their services or products directly to other businesses, or more specifically, they sell to the decision-makers in other organizations.

whereas in the B2C, or "business-to-consumer" model, companies sell products and services directly to customers for personal use. They’re two separate business models that serve different types of customers, one being businesses and the other direct to consumers.

B2B vs B2C Examples

Here we have some examples of B2B marketing:

  • Medtech is a healthcare solution provider that sells software for operating medical devices is a great example of B2B.
  • JanBask Digital Design is a digital agency that provides business solutions and produces SEO, CMS or email marketing tools for marketers.

Here we have some great examples of B2C marketing:

  • McDonald’s is an American fast-food chain serving fast-food to consumers and individuals and can be identified as one of the biggest and renowned B2C companies in the world.
  • Amazon is the biggest eCommerce site in the world and is also considered as one of the four biggest B2C business models in the world.

Quick Case Study: B2B vs B2C Marketing

Let’s try to understand the difference between B2B and B2C marketing using this case study:

If the buyer intends to buy an outfit for personal use or if ordering for a stock of uniform for their organization's staff.

The former case is a B2C Scenario, where buyers will tend to have a lot of emotions attached with your purchase and will take care of every possible detail from the quality point of view in terms of the best fabric and up-to-date in terms of the latest trends. 

But, at the same time when a buyer is ordering uniforms for their staff, this is a B2B scenario. Where buyers will not bother about the fabric to that length or the latest fashion but will look for options that are cost-effective, lasting fabric and smart. Here, here lies the root of all the differences between b2b and b2c marketing.

B2B vs B2C: Difference Between B2B and B2C Marketing

The main difference between B2B and B2C marketing is their intended customers. B2B cells to businesses that resell the products while B2C sells directly to the end consumer.

Here we have Four Key Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketing

1. Decision-Makers

Both B2B and B2C marketing have to be highly directed at the needs of your end customer and the factors which they will take into account to make the purchase decision.

In B2C marketing, your marketing strategy and messaging will revolve around the end-users of the product who are and can be interested to buy it. E.g. if a woman comes across a beautiful dress, she may not be interested to buy it at that time but can tell someone else about the same who can ultimately end up buying the same. Thus, these campaigns have to reach each and every household. These customers base their decision on both and need and emotion. The big-budget items like cars, houses, etc. have to suit the pocket and also appeal to the whole group in some way or the other.

In the case of B2B marketing, you have to remember that the decision-making authority usually rests with a few individuals who need to be convinced about the use of the product. They will not weigh the product emotionally but will see the actual advantage of the same to the business and based on its utility, durability, and cost-effectiveness. E.g. it will not matter how many employees need to get their computers replaced in the business but the ultimate decision to buy a new one will rest with the purchase manager or the upper brass of the business. So, as a marketer, you will have to direct your advertisements or other marketing channels in a way that the message is able to reach the right people.

As efficient marketers, you should know what the basic motivation for your customer is and at what stage of a product cycle they are on.

2. The Process of Decision-Making

However, the product has to be appealing to the customers in both cases and should be able to meet all their expectations. But the decision-making process has entirely different connotations when you are doing it for a personal purpose and for your business.

B2B customers follow the logical decision-making processes. They usually take time to make a decision and explore more options before they actually decide to buy. Even when they are convinced about the preliminary benefits they will still search for more details, product reviews, and even check out options by other firms offering the same. They will take the final call only after they are convinced of all aspects.

B2C customers, on the contrary, follow an emotional decision-making approach and do not take that long to make the decision as in B2B. They usually browse through the information, check for the features, the latest add-ons, reviews, etc. Adding social proof to your advertisements usually has a lot of benefits and has a direct impact on the purchase decision.

3. Conversion Time

Conversion time is the time taken by customers to make the actual purchase.

B2C customers usually take a shorter time to make a purchase as compared to B2B customers. It is dependent on the amount of research undertaken by both and the extent of detail both sides visit before taking a final call.

Read it: How to Optimize Conversion Rate – It Benefits Your Online Business

It is generally seen that people end up making more impulsive decisions in the case of buying personal things than when they have to make purchases for their businesses where they have definite budgets and also are under pressure to get the best product at the best price. This is also because it may be highly complicated to change your business purchase decision as the products are bought in bulk and the entire mode of work cannot be changed or put on hold to compensate for one mistake.

4. Pricing

B2B marketing generally involves bulk supply and prices tend to be higher than B2C. B2B buyers follow a logical approach and tend to need to be well informed before making a purchasing decision. B2B Marketing usually involves multiple levels of discounted schemes and prices based on the quantities and frequency of orders.

Whereas B2C prices tend to usually be lower compared to B2B prices as they buy for personal use. In case prices rise, B2C buyers also need to be well informed in order to make a purchasing decision. B2C businesses generally offer a single tier of pricing for all customers that are only affected by sales or discounts offers.

How To Reach Target Audience: B2B vs B2C

1. Buyer Personas

In the case of B2B marketing, personas hold great significance as there are many people who actually matter in a business when the final decision is made e.g. the CFO, the head of the department for which the purchase is taking place, the quality analysts who should be satisfied with the product type and quality and ultimately the employees who will be working on the product at the end. Thus, your marketing strategy should be able to address the concerns of each one of these and be wrapped in a package that the business decision-maker will be able to weigh the concerns of all and end up making an educated decision for the business.

Even in the case of B2C, personas usually have an impact on the final purchase decision especially in the case of big-ticket items.

2. Preferred Channels

Marketing channels are very important and can vary significantly in the case of B2B and B2C.

B2C customers or household buyers are usually found anywhere and can be reached via multiple channels. As a marketer, you can pick traditional marketing channels or can shift to social media, or even conduct live events.

Even B2B customers are found everywhere but they can’t be reached in the same manner and expect hard selling from buyers. Marketing channels for B2B sales involve direct calls or visits by your representatives to show and explain your product, formal business proposals or quotes, trade shows, etc. Social media channels can also be used but they must be wrapped in informal language and quotes.

3. Language For Messaging

The message you want to give to your potential buyers will directly be based on the language they usually use. This applies to both the cases i.e. B2B and B2C marketing.

It is always a good idea to convince your customer in their vernacular language whether it is another business or an individual person, as it adds a personal touch to your campaign and product. 

But while communicating with a B2B client, you may be sometimes pushed to use heavy language loaded with jargon and other business terminology but ultimately the deal will break if you are not able to convey your message in the right manner. Thus, what is to be said and how it is to be said both make a lot of difference in marketing. One piece of wrong communication can break apart the whole marketing plan and even the product.

Difference Between B2B vs B2C Marketing Funnel

marketing funnel

As you can see in the above image, both b2b and b2c sales funnels begin with awareness and interest but vary lower down the funnel.

B2B companies sell their product and services to other businesses or target a group rather than an individual consumer. Typically, have more people involved in purchasing decisions, which leads to a longer sales cycle and more stages in the sales funnel.

However, a B2C sales funnel still starts in the same stage as B2Bs. B2C generally targets the individual consumer and sells products and services for personal use, and generally doesn't require a salesperson to finalize a transaction, which in turn streamlines the sales funnel, slightly.

B2B vs B2C: Which Is Better For Your Business?

B2B and B2C marketing models have their own pros and cons. The Marketing model that best fits your business is determined by your goals, infrastructure, level of scale, and industry.

For example, if you are planning to run a business on a large scale,  that makes products en masse, then B2B may be the right choice for you. And if you are planning to start a business at a small level, or sell items with a limited shelf-life, the B2C marketing model might be the right choice for you. 

Final Thoughts On B2B vs B2C Marketing

Thus, the basic difference between B2B and B2C lies in the fact that who is the buyer and who is going to make the final purchase decision. The only thing common is the fact that it is ultimately people at the other end, and you have to convince the human mind that your product offering provides the ultimate answer to their needs when compared to all other options in the market. 

To be a successful business marketer, you should look beyond B2B vs B2C labels. B2B buyers aren’t robots that only operate by numbers, they are also human beings. Yes, they do follow a logical decision-making approach all because they configure whether the product will meet all businesses’ needs or not. 

Hope this guide on “Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketing” helps you in understanding the difference between the two. Enable you to make the right decisions for your business. Remember, both B2B And B2C are capable of providing a business with a large volume of sales and generating revenue, all you need is the right approach!

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