B2B Marketing Blog

Key differences between B2B and B2C marketing

Jul 19, 2011 5:37:33 AM / by Lisa Shepherd

A few people have recently asked me why The Mezzanine Group is specializing in B2B marketing. The answer is fairly short and simple: because the nature of the B2B world is significantly different, which predefines distinctive marketing strategies, tactics and tools.

So how is the B2B world different?

It is a hundreds game – Purchase amounts are larger, the sales process is longer, and the market size is smaller. At the end of the day, it is a tough fight for each customer. Thus, the marketing approach is more niche oriented, refined and focused.

Rational buying decision based on business value - The business buyer is often educated and aware of his/her needs, and wants to buy products/services to help their company stay profitable, competitive, and successful. Marketing reflects these requirements by generating materials to a sophisticated audience. Quantitative analysis and ROI are always essential in the B2B world.

There are multiple decision makers most of the time – Technical buyer, economical buyer, end user, etc. It is always a challenge to educate all buying centres about your products and address their specific pain points. This is why educational and awareness building marketing activities are crucial in the business environment.

Long sales cycles - Ideally you want every customer to buy from you on your first interaction, but it rarely happens. There is a long process of RFPs, demos, data sheets, whitepapers, and lunches with prospects to convince them to buy. This is where a complex and well-structured lead nurturing program is necessary to stay in tune with your customer base.

Relationship driven - B2B purchases are motivated by business goals and budgets, and, to a large extent, the vendor relationship. The emotions in this case are driven by personal security and trust that a particular vendor and its products are best suited to help the business reach its goals.

Building brand equity matters – You need to appeal to your niche by providing credibility and performance. There is no fast way to get there, but once you have built and earned good brand equity, you will retain the consumer mindshare for a long time.

Details matter– Given multiple decision makers and relative complexity of a sales cycle, it is important to prove your credibility in any possible way and not give any reasons to questions your professionalism.

Do you agree with my thoughts? What are other differences between B2C and B2B marketing that you have come across?

Kindly share your thoughts via comments.

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Topics: General Business