B2B and B2C are two different business modules that people follow. B2C stands for business-to-consumer. In this module, businesses sell their products and services directly to the final consumer. On the other hand, B2B, which stands for business-to-business, is a module in which you are selling to another business.
Both these systems differ in various aspects that are crucial in running a business. From communication to marketing to sales and even customer support, all of these business aspects are dealt with a different approach. Therefore, it is essential for all business owners to choose the right system for their organization.
It’s true that many people get lost after choosing a system and end up going down the line within a few months. The primary reason for this failure is lack of knowledge of how business owners should advertise, sell and interact with their potential clients. Therefore, we have felt the need to provide an ultimate B2C vs B2B marketing guide for our readers to reveal all the differences that are between these modules and which one they should opt for.
Significant Differences between B2B and B2C
Though both modules have similar primary business goals like, maximum profit, business growth and to capture the market share, their target audience is entirely different.
What Is B2B (Business-to-Business)
This term basically implies to business-to-business, which is a model that spotlights on pitching goods and services to different organizations. Consider it a steady venture that offers the things different organizations need to succeed or get a significant advantage over the opposition. Conversely, with the business-to-customer, B2B provides the crude materials, parts or services organizations need to support benefits, from assembling ventures to retail situations.
A decent case of a conventional B2B example is vehicle manufacturing. The tires, hoses, batteries and hardware fundamental to the last item – the vehicle – are usually produced by different organizations, and after that sold straightforwardly to the car maker. When you purchase a car or a bike from one organization, you’re genuinely buying parts that were made by many people, if not many organizations. Since such a significant number of little exchanges result in one substantial business-to-consumer deal, B2B organizations tend to encounter a high volume of turnover. Top B2B companies that you can look up to are Alibaba, ExportHub, Amazon, and many more.
What is B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
B2C, or business-to-consumer, is the sort of trade exchange in which organizations pitch goods and services to the final consumer. Customarily, this could allude to people looking for garments for themselves at the shopping centre, coffee shops eating in an eatery, or paying for a pay-per-view movie while sitting on your couch. All the more as of late, the term B2C alludes to the web-based offering of items, or in other words, ecommerce, in which makers or retailers pitch their items to customers over the Internet.
People are mostly familiar with the B2C business module. In fact, if you have ever bought something from an online store, let me tell you that you have already been a part of this business cycle. Nowadays, you can literally find almost every product or service online. B2C organizations started selling online when they realized the significance of the internet and how people were more comfortable getting their purchased items delivered to them. That’s why almost every top B2C brand is now operating a website and using it to sell online.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
In order to initiate your marketing campaign, the very first thing you need to do is determine whether your product is liable to be targeted to a B2C or B2B client. You can plan your marketing strategy after finalizing your target audience. Once you finish, you can focus on determining your marketing budget, channels and what your performance indicators and conversion goals are. However, all this is only possible after the official distinction between B2C and B2B are made.
B2C marketing can be best defined as an approach to or promote and sell goods and services to the final consumer for use in their lives. On the other hand, when you are focusing on B2C marketing, you have to face many objections from the consumer. Therefore, you’ll always have more barriers and challenges to face in marketing your products and services.
Have you ever read or heard from someone that content is king? To be honest, it’s pretty much right. When we talk about marketing your brand, goods and services, the best way to reach out to your potential audience is through blogging. Although, unlike B2B, your audience in B2C is mostly unprofessional. Therefore, you can reach out to them in an informal manner.
That clearly signifies that your content should have a decently entertaining and engaging content. You need to make sure that your readers stay thirsty for your content and come back every now and then to read something new. Instead of adding a soft or hard sales pitch in every blog, derive them in a funnel. This approach will help them remain interested in your posts as well as encouraged to come back for future posts.
Social Media Marketing
The two best social media platforms that you can use for B2C marketing are Facebook and Twitter.
In order to become effective Facebook marketers, you need to work hard on building a strong following. In addition, with your engaging content, you need to encourage all your users to like, comment and share your posts as much as they can to enhance your reach. Initially, there are two ways you can build a large following. If you aren’t ready to spend any money on this platform, you can merely join groups and share your business page with your friends. However, this method takes ages for you to get your desired number of followers. Therefore, the second and more effective method is to run Facebook ads. These Facebook ads are very cost effective.
Consequently, you can rely on it to enhance your page followers. Once you have your desired numbers, you can always stop. After that, your audience will increase organically.
On the other hand, if you start using Twitter marketing, the intense focus needs to be put on your brand’s primary keywords. In addition, you need to keep close eyes on current trends as well. These trends can provide you with your next idea of what to post about to generate a good reach. Apart from that, you can use Twitter search to look for people talking about your market niche. That’s your opportunity to spark a conversation and turn a thread viral with a good comment.
Though traditional marketing is considered less cost-effective than common modern techniques, you can’t ignore the results it still generates. You can still capture B2C customers with the help of traditional marketing techniques like radio, TV Ads, billboards, as well as print media. Remember, the real challenge isn’t which technique to choose, as you’ll mostly find success in all of them. It’s actually the targeting and analytical skills that can enrage a tingly sound in your brain telling you to cut off the budget of an underperforming campaign at the right moment.
Now that we are through with B2C marketing, do you have any idea about the type of customers you’ll be dealing with in B2B marketing? To clear any doubts, I’d like to share with you that these prospects are also humans. However, since you are selling to businesses here, your target audience has to be senior executives, directors, managers, and even business owners. Identifying the targets in a company isn’t the challenging part, reaching out to them is.
Your real challenge here is to get past all hurdles in your way by using your communication, marketing, and sales skills aligned with your essential resources, i.e. your money and time. Next, all you need to do is choose the right marketing channel to approach them.
Content marketing is one of the best marketing technique in the modern B2B environment, hands down! However, certain points need to be kept in consideration by B2B marketers.
If I advise you on which type of content you should focus on, then I’d say eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, webinars and case studies. The professional audience far more appreciates these types of content.
When we mentioned above, that blogging is a great way to attract the audience, we actually meant it! Although, this time your target audience is a group of professional individuals. That means, instead of cherry topping your blogs with humour and jokes, you need to do your research and add stats with credible sources to make your points stand out. You can provide your content for free in exchange for email addresses of your readers. This contact detail is your direct path to approaching then, no barriers whatsoever. Many B2B marketplaces are following this trend. In fact, you can even say that many Alibaba competitors are trying to beat the market leader with this tactic.
Blogs not only attract the reader, but they also improve your SEO. I’m pretty sure, most B2B marketplaces these days are focused on capturing the online market. For that to actually work out, you need a good rank on top search engines like Google, Baidu, Bing and Yahoo. In addition, your content marketing approach should have a diversified approach. That means, rotate the type of content you post. Nowadays, video content has also seen a significant rise in its importance. You need to keep your eyes and ears open for changes in trends and capitalize on the opportunity at the right time.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can become a game changer for every B2B platform. As B2B marketers, your approach should not be building your follower bank. Instead, your social media marketing campaign should be focused on influencing a particular segment of the population. – In other words, the decision makers!
Facebook, once again, can’t be ignored to run your ads. In fact, Facebook is the leading social platform used by both B2C and B2B platforms. The Facebook adverts platform allows you to run a paid campaign targeting only the concerned segment of the population. Though your goal isn’t to garner followers on your page, your ad campaign will still increase the number of fans you have. Therefore, in the long run, your posts will have a higher reach without actually spending a penny.
On the other hand, when we speak about connecting with a professional audience, we can’t ignore LinkedIn in our social media marketing campaign. LinkedIn is popularly known as a professional social platform. That means you don’t have to worry about looking for you’re a credible audience on this network, as the majority of them are linked with a business.
Direct mailing and cold calling are considered horrible marketing techniques when dealing with professionals. These decision makers are way over responding to sales pitches. Though not entirely unsuccessful some B2B marketplaces still use them for minimal success rates.
However, there are a few traditional B2B marketing techniques with which you can actually find success. You can opt for event sponsorships, participate in B2B trade shows, and even participate in solving social causes to get your name shown on the news.
B2C vs B2B Marketing: The Verdict!
Whether B2C or B2B, your ultimate goal is the same. You have to connect with your potential prospects where ever they are or use your creative minds to lure international buyers towards you in the form of leads. Regardless of which type of customer you are after, there are various marketing channels to opt for. However, as a successful B2C or B2B marketer, your job is to test, analyze and experiment in order to make sure that you utilize your marketing investments correctly. Once you have the results, you’ll know which channel to divert your focus on.