B2B and B2C markets require two completely different approaches when it comes to operating a business. Even though the fundamental behind both are the same – influencing people, everything else is done differently. The changes revolve around the target group, the tone, timing, touchpoints, budget and the media itself. Find out how moving from B2B to B2C – vice versa may look like!
Here are a couple of differences that should be considered when moving from B2B to B2C and vice versa…
Long-term orientation vs. instant action
In the B2B market, people usually have a longer timeframe to engage with their target group. Triggering a long term impact is in focus. The sales cycles are longer than in B2C markets. The products are viewed as long term investment and need to be approved by multiple stakeholders, decision-makers, analysts and business technology users.
B2C however has a short timeframe. The engagement can last only a few seconds or minutes. It is important to react quickly and trigger emotions with campaigns and marketing actions.
Different target groups
In B2B, businesses target the decision-makers of other businesses. It is important to gain trust and be always up to date with industry trends. B2B marketing offers you the opportunity to become a part of the vision, strategy and roadmap of another business.
In B2C, businesses target end consumers. The main goal is to drive a purchase. It is mostly about visibility – brand awareness – and attracting a mass.
In B2C markets, purchases are done without prior contact with the sales team. The main focus is on the price and usability of the product. In B2B markets, a sales campaign is mostly designed to highlight the value of experience, credibility and it is based on a long term relationship. Building trust is important. Testimonials and case studies help to trigger this trust from the customer’s side.
B2B consumers are information-driven. They research a product before committing to buying it. B2C customers on the other hand need an emotional trigger to purchase a product. Let me give you an example: Business X sells 1000 goods to Business Z for 6000 pounds. Business Z then goes on and sells the goods to someone else for 60 pounds each. It is a win-win situation for both companies. No one questions if there was an emotional attachment. The only question in the B2B market is: “what is the demand and how much profit can we make”.
When it comes to B2C, logic is mostly left behind. Consumers act with their heart. You will not want to make them think too long to understand the message behind your marketing. Do not hint, show them directly what their benefit is. You have to make sure you create your marketing campaigns which both hit the head and the heart. Not tech but a great example which will make you understand the difference: Let’s look at the beauty industry. If one brand sells components of a lipstick to another one their marketing statement probably sounds like “This is economically priced, gently, safe and shows instant results”. No emotions involved. Straight to the point. If that purchase company markets the lipstick to a consumer their statement will include emotions. “With our lipstick you will have the confidence and be a bawse all day and all night plus it is cheap”. Think about it. It targets men and women with less confidence and claims that they will feel more confident. Here you have the emotions you need. It is the same product, delivering a different message.
B2B and B2C lead generation companies want to deliver the best lead for the best price possible. It is an exception that B2B Cost Per Lead (CPL) is more expensive than the B2C one. However, B2B deals have a higher value per lead. It reaches from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars per transaction. It depends on the product and service the business is offering.
B2C leads cost usually from $5 to $80. B2B on the other hand costs far more ranging from $75 to up to $1000.
In the B2B market, your consumers are decision-makers as mentioned before. You need to have a lot of knowledge about your product or service as companies view them as a long-term investment. It is no exception that decision-makers grill the sales teams to get as much information as possible. If you are not able to answer all questions, you will risk losing the customer. Many organisations even hire Sales Engineers who are able to explain every single detail of products.
In B2C markets it is important to understand your product or service but raising awareness for it takes the upper hand.
When moving from one market to another, it is very important to understand that the target group is changing. The buyer persona can be a very helpful tool to help businesses understand the surrounding. While moving from B2B to B2C and vice versa businesses need to understand that their commitments also change. The view on deals – Short-term and long-term – switch and consumers have different expectations. While B2B consumers need an emotional connection with brands, B2B consumers are interested in facts and numbers. Case studies, testimonials and feedback are taken very seriously. B2B consumers are all about reducing risks. The relationship is built on a long-term basis and word-of-mouth is taken very seriously.
Some of the most known Software companies have mastered this transition into the new market. Actually, over time, every company changes their branding strategy to keep its communication up-to-date and to reach out to new markets to grow.
One of the good examples is HP
After operating for over 75 years HP split into two individual companies in 2015: HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. HP is focused on the B2C market where trading, promoting computers, tablets and printers are for the personal use of consumers. On the other hand, Hewlett Packard Enterprise operates in the B2B market. It offers solutions, including servers, storage, networking and more, while using the communication strategy to play a role in helping businesses and organisations increase their level of digital transformation.
This was the reason HP needed a new brand strategy. HP’s positioning represents “meaningful innovation”. Making technology that improves people’s lives and work (“to make life better for everyone, everywhere”), has been the focus while moving from B2B to B2C. Instead of showcasing their products, HP communicates with the benefits for the consumer.
Moving from B2B to B2C – vice versa can be complicated. However, it is not impossible if you have the right strategy!
Liked this article? Why not read “Effective market disruption strategies”
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