B2B and B2C marketing: all you need to know

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When you delve into the world of public relations and marketing, there are two acronyms you’ll hear frequently – B2B and B2C. But what do they mean exactly?

B2B stands for business to business. This means that a business is targeting other businesses to sell their product or service to. What does this mean in marketing terms? All of the marketing must target businesses, rather than individuals, as the person buying into the products will be doing it on behalf of the company. For example, B2B marketing would be relevant to a cleaning company that deals specifically with commercial spaces.

B2C stands for business to consumer. This means that a business is targeting individual consumers. Therefore, the marketing strategy changes to that of B2B – they need to apply to people, rather than businesses. An example of when B2C marketing would be relevant is an estate agent that sells to the general public.

It’s important to make this distinction as the marketing strategy you create is heavily reliant on who you are marketing to. As B2B buying is more complicated, involving a lot more people that have to agree on purchasing decisions, the marketing has to suit the whole company. Even if there is someone in charge of buying, there might be someone above them signing off any purchases they make, meaning they’d both have to agree.

In a B2B situation, getting across the knowledge of what the product provides is also crucial – businesses need to believe that this product will better the company and in turn improve profits. Good marketing will show that the product or service saves time, money and resources. The companies being sold to will often understand complex terminology and industry jargon, so your marketing can utilise this.

In comparison, B2C marketing will target people that will have less time to consume it. They want to understand easily and feel a connection to the company. Jargon will work against you in B2C marketing as the majority of your audience won’t be experts in the area. Often, consumers will appreciate a more informal tone. Unlike businesses, consumers often purchase based on emotions. Therefore, B2C marketing should focus on appealing to these emotions and proving that the product or service can better the consumer’s life.

It might not sound like the biggest distinction, but it’s an important one nonetheless. The purchasing habits of these two groups are vastly different and so the way that they’re marked to should reflect this. By understanding why someone is buying your product or service, you can effectively market them and ultimately make a better profit.