Companies that offer products or services to other businesses do business-to-business (B2B) transactions while those that target the general public make business-to-consumer (B2C) deals. The same outsourcing solutions and marketing programs may be used to target both businesses and consumers. However, customer needs, purchase motivation, and information they look for before making a purchase can vary.
Below are key differences between B2B and B2C marketing:
B2B - Businesses that sell products to other businesses
B2B sales cycles are much longer and complex than B2C. They maximize the value of relationships, so the company that provides goods to another company should focus on maintaining constant communication and strengthening business relationships. To attain these goals, activities like lead generation can be used.
B2B transactions usually involve multiple steps, and the purchasing decision needs the vote of more than one person. Thus, B2B companies use marketing campaigns through emails and newsletters to educate their target audience about the products and services being offered.
B2C - Businesses that sell products to the consuming public
Unlike B2B, B2C transactions are product driven. B2C activities expanded in the late 1990s when the public gained easier access to the Internet and when electronic retailing emerged. The main objective of B2C deals is to convince prospective customers to buy immediately, making electronic devices and social media marketing effective tools for targeting end users. These marketing tools can be complemented and supplemented by outsourcing solutions such as rich media development and graphic design. B2C campaigns can catch the customer s interest more quickly using engaging imagery.
Here is a quick recap of the comparison between B2B and B2C:
- B2B is relationship-driven, while B2C is product-driven.
- B2B maximizes business relationships, while B2C maximizes transactions.
- B2B has a small and focused target market, while B2C targets large markets.
- B2B has long, multi-step sales cycle and buying process, while B2C makes sales in a shorter span of time.
- B2B builds brand identity through personal relationships, while B2C uses imagery and repetition to build their name.
- B2B educates their market, while B2C focuses on merchandising activities.
- Buying decisions in B2B are based on status and price, while in B2C, the purchasing decision is more rational and considers business value more.