B2B stands for Business to Business, whereas B2C stands for Business to Consumer.
In a B2B business model, one business sells its products and services to other businesses. To explain this further, let’s look at an automobile manufacturer that manufactures only tires for vehicles. They would manufacture tires by purchasing raw materials from other companies. Then another automobile company would purchase these tires and assemble other parts of a car to produce the final product: a fully assembled car. In this scenario, only businesses are in contact with each other, purchasing raw materials and finished products from each other. This is an example of B2B.
When the fully assembled car is sent to a showroom, and a customer purchases a car from there, this is an example of B2C. The customer purchased the car for his personal use. Thus, we can say that B2C businesses sell products and services directly to the customers, for their personal use.
TARGETING A BUSINESS CLIENT VS. A CONSUMER
Marketing for businesses is very different than marketing for a consumer. In the B2B model, regardless of having 40 people in the company, the decision-makers will only be a small group of people. It does not matter, if the whole staff, unanimously agree to the need to purchase more raw material, the final decision would only be made by that small group of people. Hence, businesses need to target this small group of people. There would be a lot of competition between different businesses to target these decision-makers, in terms of pricing, quality, and quantity. Your ad must be viewed by these decision-makers to help benefit your business.
On the other hand, targeting a consumer is very different. You must imply marketing strategies that must be out of the box so that you can attract more traffic and awareness for your business. For example, if a woman sees a furniture ad she likes and is thinking of making a purchase, she might share it with her husband to get his feedback. If he does not like the product, the chances of him saying no are pretty high. In a B2C model, there is not just one decision-maker involved; this means that your marketing strategy should be strong enough to attract most people, if not all, towards itself, even if they are not potential buyers. A person who is not a potential buyer but does get attracted to the ad would surely share the ad with somebody whom they know is looking for that particular product.
THE RIGHT APPROACH TO TAKE
As discussed above, B2B customers have to take a lot of factors in mind to make sure they are making the right decision, that will be profitable to them. This causes them to take much longer than B2C customers to make a decision. If the B2B and B2C customers do not get attracted to your ad, they will not be intrigued to do some research about your brand. However, the research process for B2B customers is very thorough and time-consuming, whereas the research process for B2C customers is pretty quick. They rely on your business’s social media presence and the reviews posted on your product pages. Thus, it is very important to push their right buttons with the help of a strong social media presence. It is generally noted that B2C customers are pretty impulsive in marking decisions as the products they purchase are for their personal use, unlike for B2B customers.
THE MAJOR CONCERNS FOR MARKETING
One thing to keep in mind is the reason for purchase for both types of customers. B2B customers purchase to help improve their business by getting a higher profit margin, whereas B2C customers make purchases to improve their quality of life. At the end of the day, you would still be selling to humans, but with a different approach for both.
With B2B customers, your approach has to be different as they are keener on knowing how your product would benefit them. They are more interested in finding out the product details that would help them financially. Cost is a major factor for them as they want to purchase the product for much cheaper.
For B2C customers, your social media game should be strong. This is one factor that creates an impact on the final decision of your potential customer. They would end up searching for your business on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to get a better insight into your business. Talking from a customer’s point of view, we all, at one point in our lives, have checked out a brand’s social media pages to get to know the brand better. For a brand whose social media pages are not active, or do not have visually appealing content, chances of the potential customer backing off are pretty high. So, to gain the trust of a customer, your brand’s social media platforms are extremely crucial in influencing the final decision of your potential customer.
Thus, to create better brand awareness and to divert more traffic to your page, you must create catchy content for your social media platforms. If you fail to do so, your potential customers would end up changing their minds and would make purchases from your competitors. This is the biggest nightmare for any business. If you are struggling with creating your brand’s presence online, you can hire professional help. DigAptics are a team of marketing experts that will help you in achieving the brand awareness and presence that you desire for your brand. The out of the box content allows better consumer engagement with your posted content. Similarly, for your B2B customers, you must create content for them that would convince them to purchase your product. Marketing professionals are well aware of the specific keywords and terms that help to sell products to your customers.
DIFFERENCES TO BE CONSIDERED WHILE MARKETING FOR B2B AND B2C
B2B and B2C customers have to do purchasing for different goals in mind. Therefore, your marketing strategies should be based on their principles to help them in convincing them to purchase from you.
The differences to be considered while preparing a marketing strategy for B2B and B2C are:
1. They both have different target markets
As discussed before, B2C customers purchase for their use, whereas B2B customers purchase products to help them in their business. For this reason, you must be able to build personal relationships with them as you would be working with them long-term. Even the size of both the target markets is different; the B2C target market is much larger than B2B. This means that you can charge a higher price in the B2B market, because the B2C market is much bigger than B2B, and there is a lot of competition.
2. Both customers have different needs
You have to convince the B2B customers that your product would be beneficial for them in financial terms. The decision-makers would be deciding for the whole of their organization. Therefore, your marketing strategy should be geared towards educating your B2B customers regarding how beneficial it would be for their business if they invest in your products. If your marketing strategy is geared towards this factor, then you would also help your B2B customers to save up on time, and maybe take a quicker decision.
B2C customers rely heavily on your brand image and engagement with your followers and customers; the fancier, the better. These customers are not worried about ROI- they just want to purchase your product to improve their quality of life. It is known that B2C customers generally take impulsive decisions if they are convinced and satisfied with your brand image.
3. They have different sales cycles
Although B2B customers take their time in purchasing the products from you, once they do purchase from you, chances of them sticking to your brand for a lifetime are pretty high. On the other hand, B2C customers make a purchase quickly, but they think differently. They may purchase your product once and the next time they might purchase the same product from a different brand. This is because the B2C market is very big and there is a lot of competition faced from other brands. Therefore, your brand must be able to attract new customers constantly.
WHAT MARKETING PLATFORMS WORK BETTER FOR B2B VS. B2C?
Since the B2B market is much smaller in size than the B2C market, you can just make use of a few social media platforms that are mostly used by professionals. These platforms are:
LinkedIn a professional social networking platform, where professionals from all around the globe socialize to find opportunities for themselves. It is more likely that a B2B customer would be more active on LinkedIn as compared to Instagram.
Twitter is a microblogging platform that is famous for all ages. It is like an authentic news source for people. Chances of B2B customers using Twitter are fairly high, therefore using it as a marketing platform would be beneficial for your business. In recent times, businesses have turned towards Twitter to use it as a part of their marketing strategy as it has a large number of users using Twitter globally.
However, since the B2C market is very extensive, you must make use of almost all social media platforms, depending on your target audience. In addition to LinkedIn and Twitter, you must also make use of the following platforms:
This is one of the oldest social media platforms that are in use by everybody. It would be a good idea to set up a Facebook Business Page for your brand.
Instagram is a platform that relies heavily on pictures and videos to gain traffic. It is mostly famous with women, therefore if you have a brand that caters to women, Instagram would be the best option for you.
A relatively new platform, TikTok is famous with the younger generation. If you have a brand, such as an energy drink, you may make use of this platform to help target your audience.
Another platform that is famous with the youngsters. Just like TikTok, you can make use of Snapchat to target your audience.
The main advantage of using these platforms is that you usually get insights into your followers’ demographics and the content you post, with a business account. This allows you to alter your marketing strategy accordingly, to yield better results. Using these platforms, in the right way, would help to create higher brand awareness and a higher ROI.
Apart from using these social media platforms, the conventional methods of marketing should not be forgotten. These include billboards, print media, television, and radio. These methods are still used, although they may not be as effective as digital marketing strategies.
IS B2C AHEAD OF B2B IN THE MARKETING WORLD?
As the B2B market is much smaller in size, there is no need to use all social media platforms for the marketing of your brand. On the other hand, the B2C market is very vast, with a large number of consumers, that use various social media platforms, and they must be targeted via them. Furthermore, as the size of the B2C market is very big, there are a lot of brands that you would have to compete with. This means you should be consistent in posting content on your social media platforms. In this competitive world, all businesses are using unique marketing strategies to increase their brand awareness. This includes conducting regular contests on their social media pages, collaborating with influencers and celebrities, to help attract more customers to their brand. For the B2B market, these marketing gimmicks do not work, as the purpose of purchasing products is different, and the decision cannot be an impulsive one.
WHERE CAN B2C GROW AND IMPROVE IN ITS REACH TO CONSUMERS?
Due to the shifts in recent times due to the global pandemic, businesses have started to rely, more heavily than before, on digital platforms, including social media. However, just relying on these social media platforms is not enough. A few areas that should also be considered are:
—Creating a user-friendly website for your brand
— Adapting better SEO practices
—Advertising on billboards and subways
—Carrying out promotional activities in malls and stores
These are just a few examples of how a brand can increase its approach to consumers. If you are looking for more ideas, then instead of wasting your time and whacking out your brains, you should contact DigAptics to take care of the not-so-easy task.
WHEN CAN THE B2B MODEL GROW?
The B2B market, although it is small, requires businesses to make some changes and betterments to the already existing strategies. The following strategies can help the B2B market to grow:
1. Better SEO
2. New and updated website for your brand, with a live chat option
3. Using more social media platforms for marketing
4. Relying on professional help for better marketing strategies
5. Using testimonials and ratings of your previous customers to attract new customers
6. Provide previous customers with discounts on new customer referrals
7. Using email and SMS marketing
DO B2B BUSINESS OWNERS NEED TO ADOPT MORE OF THE B2C BUSINESS MARKETING STRATEGIES?
To cut it short: Yes. B2B businesses need to change their marketing strategies and adapt more to the B2C strategies. As the B2B market is a small one, businesses tend to rely more on word of mouth. Now, the time and situation are very different, and proper advertising is required by the B2B businesses. Advertising on social media platforms has now become much easier due to the insights provided by these platforms into your marketing campaign. These insights show how effective your marketing campaign has been in reaching out to your target audience. Furthermore, using the correct keywords and hashtags would also help you to reach your target market well. Hence, it is advised that the B2B businesses should be more inclined towards using and relying on technology.
However, if you feel this would be much of a challenge for you, especially if you are not technically advanced, relying on professional help, such as DigAptics would be extremely beneficial for your business.
The social media platforms charge a certain fee for using their platform for advertising your business on to it. You can set a daily budget for running your marketing campaign on these social media platforms and make changes to it accordingly.
B2B AND B2C marketing are different due to the fact that they both have different goals and intentions in mind. To reach your target audience, you must use social media platforms and other market strategies sensibly. One piece of advice: let the experts do their thing, while you concentrate on the running of your business. In today’s day and age, all businesses have started to rely heavily on social media platforms to create brand awareness and a higher ROI.