B2B and B2C - the differences

Anyone who knows what marketing is and has worked in that direction has probably come across such concepts as B2B and B2C. For others, these names may be completely incomprehensible, although we often encounter a similar phenomenon in everyday life. Therefore, it is necessary to understand what these terms mean and define them. This will allow for a better understanding of how these sectors differ and what rules are applied when working with them.

Definition and Characteristics of B2B and B2C Marketing

Let’s explain what B2B and B2C are. B2B stands for “Business to Business.” This concept refers to the sale of goods and services for the needs of companies. People buy not for personal use, but because they need it for their business. Relationships between different enterprises and companies are usually related to the sale of products and services produced by these enterprises, and this process is similar to a network – it includes various specialists, including traders, distributors, manufacturers, or wholesalers.

B2C stands for “Business to Consumer,” meaning that the customer purchases something for personal use, such as a phone or computer, and in this process, only the buyer and seller are involved.

Differences between B2B and B2C

After familiarizing ourselves with the concepts of B2C and B2B, we must understand the differences in the operating principles of these sectors. The entire process in both cases is focused primarily on the recipient, as the success of our sales depends on them. Therefore, the needs of the recipient must always be taken into account. Now, about the differences. In B2B, the decision to make a deal is usually made by people who manage the business, either owners or top management. In this case, the recipient will be a group of people. Therefore, the seller’s task is to satisfy the group’s needs. As a rule, this involves personal meetings and lengthy negotiations.

Now, about selling in the B2C sector – here we are talking about individual purchases by individual customers, such as buying a mobile phone, as mentioned above. Only we make the decision about which brand or model of phone we want to have because we buy it for our personal use.

Now, let’s summarize. The B2B sales sector is more about selling “to business,” something very large and expensive, such as equipment or raw material batches. Deals for such sales are concluded less often (there are far fewer businesses than individuals), but they are much more substantial in value (businesses have more money). In B2C sales – directly to the consumer, the process is much faster. The purchase amount is lower, but purchases happen more frequently and quickly. It should be noted that in both cases, it is crucial how we present our product to the consumer. Let’s move on to the next step.

Marketing Strategy for B2B and B2C

When starting active sales, we need to clearly understand who our ideal customer is, where we can find them, and what they will talk about most. That is, we need to know our customer’s needs. And based on this, develop a product promotion strategy. It should be noted that the product and service promotion strategy in these sectors will look different. In the B2C sector, with individual customers, this path will be shorter. The main promotion method is mass advertising. It is necessary to evoke emotions in the customer, encourage them to make a purchase by focusing on “visualization” and adding graphics or videos to the product advertisement. Emotional involvement of the customer is an effective way to act in the B2C sector. Various television channels can be used to place advertisements. It is important to note that an attractive price is one of the key elements of product promotion. Make your product popular, and you will increase sales.

In the B2B sector, the emphasis is on the effectiveness of the product being offered and the effect it will have on the company’s further expansion and development.

An example of an interesting B2C marketing strategy can be advertising videos in the form of short films that show touching everyday situations in families – for example, the issue of loneliness of elderly people during holidays, relationships between parents and children, or a video about adopting a pet from an animal shelter. These advertising videos elicit emotional reactions from many people, making them memorable and performing their function excellently.

In terms of the B2B marketing strategy, mass advertising channels will be less effective than in the case of an individual customer, due to the need to reach only a small group of recipients, often specializing only in one industry. Therefore, promotional activities or loyalty programs for such customers should be considered, enabling them to be retained as your customers for a longer period. Acquiring new customers can often be five times more expensive than retaining already acquired ones. We could consider preparing an informational newsletter or Google advertising campaign. When operating in the B2B sector, it is always necessary to calculate how much the customer will pay for using our product or goods, as emotions are not relevant in this case, only profitability is considered.

An interesting B2B marketing strategy example is one implemented by Idea Bank. They invited companies involved in startups, small and medium-sized businesses and organized free advertising for them. This allowed them to promote over 100 companies through television ads and articles, thus gaining these companies as customers.

Summary

To conduct a successful marketing strategy, we must first consider the basic needs of the recipient, i.e., the customer. Then, paying special attention to the role of the product’s advertising, whether targeted at individual consumers or a project for a large business based on accurate and logical conclusions that will help your company partner save time and money. Remember that by creating the ideal customer model and defining their needs, we are effectively bringing our campaign closer to success.