B2B vs. B2C Marketing

Is there really a difference between B2B and B2C marketing? After all, both B2B and B2C use marketing to reach people. That is correct, but do people in a B2B company make their decisions in the same way as a private customer does?

A simple example: every day we consume more soft drinks and other drinks containing sugar than is good for us, at home, in the office, with lunch or out and about. The brand image of these drinks plays an important role: the advertising, packaging, appearance and attitude towards the brand all influence our consumer behavior. Although we have no personal connection to the manufacturer, we build up a relationship with the brand product and, over time, a certain loyalty. Our minor transgressions are quickly forgotten.

Attitudes to the brand and customer loyalty are carefully nurtured by B2C companies. They are continually researching and collecting data, not only to learn about preferences, attitudes and other influencers, but also to investigate them in detail. They group their customers according to different parameters, create personas and analyze demographic differences in comprehensive market analyses. The products and their presentation are aligned with the results and sold on the basis of the emotions aroused.

Of course, B2B companies also invest in market analyses and studies to reach their customers, but there is a difference in method. There are 3 central differences between B2B and B2C which must be taken into consideration when drawing up a strategy and implementing marketing plans:

  1. Number of customers:
    to attain the same amount of profit, B2C companies have approx. 100 to 1000 times more customers than B2B companies.
  2. Decision processes:
    In the B2B branch, the decision process is usually multidimensional with users, influencers and decision makers. In addition, the process involves innumerable other people who have an influence on those involved in making the decisions.
  3. Existing expertise:
    The B2B customer often relies on expertise and experience which is not availbable to B2C customers.

Marketing managers and employees of B2B companies should be aware of these differences to ensure that they reach their audience group and attain their long-term goals. Aiming their marketing activities at B2B customers means that companies can positively influence their ROI and develop a successful and lasting marketing strategy.

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