Marketing Differences for B2B vs B2C

As I’ve mentioned in several of my blogs and podcasts, knowing your client and who you are marketing to critical. Not only knowing who (specifically) you are marketing to, but also realizing that there is a difference in how you market to a business and an individual.  They receive information differently. Businesses are either B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). Sometimes a business is both – they market and serve both businesses and customers/consumers, which means there should be two marketing strategies. Which type of business are you?

Often a concern is how to do market differently to each, especially if your business serves both or if you are moving into a new area. If you try to market the same way to everyone, then you are not being strategic or thoughtful, which often results in ineffective marketing.

Below are some critical steps to remember when marketing to business versus a consumer:

  • Marketing to businesses requires thought leadership, while customers want often purchase based on emotion or brand. Businesses value expertise and knowing that whichever company they use are experts in their field or at least know a great deal about the service or industry. This does not mean that consumers don’t value experts, however if they are purchasing a product from your company (i.e. jewelry, ties, etc.), seeing the quality of the product is much more important.  This means if your audience is a business – your website should have content that establishes yourself as a thought leader.  If you market to consumers, your website needs to have heavy visuals of your product, your service – what they will get for their money.
  • Facetime and relationships are important. I cannot stress the importance of developing relationships and face-to-face interaction for your marketing and client development.  However, when targeting individual consumers, it is important they see who they are buying from, the personality and face of the owner or key individuals of a company.  If you are marketing your jewelry line, your personal training or massage therapy services, people want to see and hear from you.  Use your website for videos, podcasts, pictures, etc.  Again, relationships are also important when marketing to businesses, however, generally the decision to hire you is rarely with one person.
  • Industry is important when marketing to businesses. If your company is reaching businesses, take a step back and evaluate your client list. If you see a trend of working with clients in the same industry, you are establishing yourself as an industry expert.  This is valuable when marketing to the businesses. Use this important fact in your marketing.
  • How much it too much? Consistency in marketing is key, no matter the target audience. However, establishing how often you send out the company newsletter or follow-up or post/tweet about your business is important.  Businesses need space.  As mentioned, there are often various factors involved in moving things forward with a business.  Not the same when marketing to individuals.  Be sure you stay in front of them regularly.  Out of sight, out of mind is true when marketing to individuals.  This if often why billboards can be effective for companies that market to individuals; they often will see the company everyday during their commute.  It becomes ingrained in their psyche.  When the time comes to make a purchase or visit that church or use that real estate agent, the person or company name will come to mind. Stay top of mind for individuals.

If you are struggling with your marketing strategy and approach, feel free to contact me.  Never market without a strategy or knowing your target audience.

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