Key Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketing

Before we get into how your business can best go about marketing itself and selling your solutions, it is important to highlight how the type of business you’re in affects your overall sales and marketing approach.

As a Business-to-Business (B2B) company, you’re selling services or products to other businesses, rather than an individual consumer, the way a B2C company would. While a lot of sales and marketing advice applies equally well to both B2B and B2C companies, there are some key differences we highlight below.

Image of B2B and B2C Venn diagram

Multiple pricing options vs One price for all customers. 

While B2Bs often offer multiple pricing options for different levels and packages, B2Cs have the same standard pricing for all customers.

Focus on branding vs Focus on “message.” 

B2Bs often focus on the overall packaging and outwards appearance they present to their customers, while B2C’s frequently focus on their messaging such as, “Nike. Just do it.”

Build personal relationships vs Build transactional relationships.  

As B2Bs work to form relationships with other businesses, it is critical for their personal side to come out to form lasting partnerships. B2C’s are focused on encouraging the consumer to continue buying more and more of their products, therefore a transactional relationship is important.

Market to group of decision makers vs Market directly to consumers. 

B2Bs are composed of many people and moving parts, therefore when B2Bs are marketing for their product/service it is necessary that they consider that not one but many people will need to agree on the purchasing of their product. B2C’s on the other hand are selling to an individual, therefore the marketing should focus on individual consumers rather than a team.

Industry terminology vs Simpler language. 

In standard commercials for B2C’s use simpler language like Frosted Flakes “They’re Great!” or Oxiclean “Oxiclean gets the tough stains out!” B2Bs are selling specialized products to businesses that are well versed in their industries terminology, Service Now “A smarter way to workflow.”

Start with need recognition. 

Both B2B’s and B2C’s start with discovering your consumers needs and goals, then tackling how your products and services can help alleviate those needs.

Customer journey continues after purchase. 

B2B’s often continue to keep their customers after their initial purchase. A B2B customer will use a product or service for long periods of time. B2C’s build relationships with their consumers, so that they’ll continually use and purchase their new products and services for years to come.

Build trust. 

No matter who your customers are, a big corporation or an individual, it is critical that your business builds trust in your company and product for more purchases and lasting relationships with your consumers.