After my recent interview with The Globe and Mail, I found myself overwhelmed with questions about the major differences between B2B (Business-to-Business) marketing and B2C (Business-to-Consumer) marketing. Since it seems that there are a lot of myths and assumptions out there, I felt that a quick B2B vs. B2C comparison would help clarify things for everyone. Let’s first define the two terms.
This refers to the process in which an organization is targeting other organizations as potential clients. A key example of this is SAP, a B2B software corporation which offers enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations, mostly known for its ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.
This type of endeavour refers to an organization which provides an offering aimed directly toward the consumer market. Take, for example, Spotify, a B2C audio streaming service. Spotify subscribers have access to large music libraries without the need for the subscribers to own a single track.
The following table compares the B2B and B2C sales processes. Additionally, the table highlights the essential considerations that a company should take into account when they choose the B2B route:
|Sales process||Complex decision-making||Straightforward decision-making||Invest in strategy|
|Players||Multiple personas (various stakeholders)||Individuals (for personal consumption)||Personalize according to stakeholder|
|Process length||Longer||Faster||Plan the journey and automate|
|Dominant decision criteria||Rational (value/ROI, productivity, efficiency, edge, advantage||Emotional (status, security, comfort, and quality)||Develop highly detailed and customized content to emphasize value and ROI|
|Marketing focus||Lead generation||Branding development||Increase customer engagement|
|Scale||Finely segmented markets||Large markets||Focus on the best-match market|
|Marketing role||Building a dialogue (awareness, market education & trust)||Broadcast||Branding is not enough|
|Language||Industry jargon||Simple language||Choose your terminology|
|Sales team||Larger||Smaller||Build relationships|
|Tactics (examples only)||SEO, business blogs, webinars, email marketing, social (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, google Business), automation tools, analyst relations, case studies, whitepapers, press releases, telemarketing||Social (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter) TV & radio ads, outdoor advertising (billboards), mobile marketing, telemarketing, conferences||Tailor the tactics to your end goal|
“Ranking our Web site high on search engines results, designing a professional Web site look and developing engaging relevant content for a heavy technology company like us resulted in a dramatic increase in client leads that we receive from our Web site.”Simon Robin CEO, Hardent