B2B stands for ‘business-to-business’ and it describes the kinds of companies who sell their products and services to other businesses, rather than to consumers. For example, manufacturers and business consulting companies sell to other companies (they are B2B companies), while tooth paste companies and movie theatres sell to consumers (they are B2C companies). And why does this matter to you, if you’re a B2B company owner? Because when it comes to marketing, there’s a big difference between marketing for a B2B company and marketing for a B2C company.
Here are a few of those differences:
- Buying in B2B is a complicated undertaking - there are usually 3 or more stakeholders involved in a B2B purchase, while in B2C there is often only one person to convince. So when it comes to marketing, B2B companies have to address the needs of all stakeholders involved in the purchase in order to secure a sale. This means having messages that will resonate for each different type of buyer.
- The ticket prices in B2B are higher. B2B purchases are often tens of thousands of dollars. Conversely, most consumer decisions are under $1000. So B2B companies need to provide a lot of information in order to gain the trust and build confidence among buyers. B2B marketing is more often about education than about promotion (which is the norm for B2C marketing).
- There are billions of consumers and far fewer businesses. While a consumer company needs to market to the masses, a B2B company needs to target the exact right buyers. TV commercials and billboards rarely make sense for B2B companies – they need to be much more focused with their marketing. B2C marketers often are adept at mass tactics. They know how to spend millions of dollars to raise awareness among the mainstream market. That isn’t the reality for B2B companies, as few have large marketing budgets.
For more of the differences between B2B and B2C marketing, read this blog.
The result of these differences is that marketing in B2B is different than in B2C. B2B marketers are expert at developing information and messages that will resonate with their target customers, they can ensure their messages are laser focused on getting through to the right buyer, and they understand how to nurture relationships over time and build confidence among prospects. Certainly B2C marketers can have these skills, but if they haven’t done it before, it can be a steep learning curve. If your company is B2B, make sure the marketing you’re doing makes sense, and isn’t a shaky translation from the B2C world.
For a guide to help you make sure you have the right marketing partner, download the free guide How To Choose The Right Marketing Company.