I’m going to talk a bit about the difference between B2B vs B2C Marketing from a high level. Obviously, B2B is business-to-business and B2C is business-to-customer or client.
I’m dealing with a couple of clients at the moment who have a team with a lot of B2C experience and they’re trying to make that transition to become B2B and do more services and collaborations. I think that there are some key differences between what you’re doing when you’re marketing to customers versus what you’re doing when you’re marketing to businesses.
I’ve pretty much only ever done business-to-business marketing so I feel like I’ve nine years of experience now. I feel like I’ve got a fairly good grasp but the key one for me is the way businesses behave is entirely different from the way customers behave. Here are some differences between B2B vs B2C marketing.
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Differences Between B2B vs B2C Marketing
The pricing of things is the same. You want to make sure you’ve got a high-value proposition. You want to make sure that you are offering decent pricing and incentives. But other sides to it aren’t clear all the time.
1. Marketing Channels
With business-to-business marketing, you have different channels that you use for a start. Depending on the industry that you’re in, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to be selling on Facebook through Facebook ads. Unless you have a very clear and deep-rooted target, you can easily be throwing money away.
It’s more about reaching out to people so a lot of businesses get a lot of proposals every day. The bigger the business, the harder it is to get hold of someone at a high level that you need to speak to. And when you do, it could be 10 minutes or less.
So you’ve got to really make an impression and make an impact.
I think in B2B marketing, like a managed service provider, nine times out of ten you’re going to be doing that to another business. You don’t want to be on Facebook sharing content that is about how you support, it because that’s something that a user is interested in. They are interested in the experience that they’re going to get. A lot of the time, the user experience is part of it but it’s not the fundamental driver.
So for businesses, you need to think about your messaging. For example, a business is going to want operational efficiency. A business is going to want to lower its costs. They are going to want to improve ROI or they’re going to want to improve customer service or the way they are perceived in the market.
3. Think Beyond Pricing
So all of these things take precedence over price and price can be a deciding factor, but it’s not the only factor.
I know plenty of managed service providers who have just tried to undercut price and they’ve almost automatically been dismissed from the piles. So I’ve seen it in recruitment and in managers who are actually in the business, and they’re looking for managed service providers
or tech providers. When they see the cheapest and most expensive, they immediately just take those out.
You don’t necessarily know where you benchmark in the pile that they’ve got in front of them, but focus on the issues and the challenges more than the price and product. Make sure you’ve got a value proposition um and that will be proven if you’ve already got clients.
4. Emphasise Your Value Proposition
So it’s just a matter of messaging—how can you go into their business and make it better? What is the number one value that you’re going to provide? It’s the same for all B2B companies. Talk about it from a strategic point of view rather than just a product point of view now.
That’s not to say B2C marketing isn’t difficult because it comes with its own set of challenges. And the way you approach B2C marketing is a lot different.
5. Connect With the Right People
Often with B2B, the most success that I’ve seen has been with outreach and things that are more engaging rather than posting. For example, I’m posting now. This is informative and brand-building but I don’t get a lot of my clients through social media and outreach. Rather, I go to them or I am referred and I do that because of the way that I market myself.
So in the tech world, such as managed service providers, it is going to be who you know and connects with. Let’s say you cater to hospitality businesses, so you connect with hospitality managers or operations managers on Linkedin. And then you want to start posting content that they want. So if the person that you normally engage with is an operations manager, you’re going to want to post content that an operations manager is going to see, learn from, and go, “We need that in our business.”
I’m not necessarily talking about topics like “how to protect your business from cyber attacks” (which you can do if you’re predominantly cyber-based) but it’s more about going, “These are the benefits that we can provide your business.”
6. Get Out of the Mindset of an Individual Buyer
If you have social proof, data, and statistics to back that up, then it all ties in together. But I would say try to get out of the mindset of an individual buyer and start looking at it from a holistic business point of view.
That’s the number one mistake that B2B companies make, especially on social media. A lot of their content is centered on topics like “how to make a secure password” and how to do stuff.
Unless you are a company selling a password solution, I don’t think many of your audiences care. A lot of them probably still have “1234” as their password.
B2B vs B2C Marketing: Conclusion
I think we all can take a step back and re-evaluate the type of content that we’re putting out and see whether that would appeal to the people that you’re already speaking to. If you have clients, then focus on what they’re talking about. Listen to them and try not to worry too much about what’s going on on social media at the moment. A lot of the time, competitors can get it wrong, and then we’re all in the same hole.
Hopefully, this has been helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know. I’m happy to delve a little bit more into it if you let me know the kind of things you’re looking for.
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