Breaking Down the Basics: Business to Business (B2B) & Business to Consumer (B2C) Marketing

| Posted in Newsflow

Have you ever wondered what the main difference are between Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) Marketing?

When creating a marketing strategy, the end goal is always to meet the needs of your customers. Your strategies may aim to increase sales, or customer base, or awareness in your brand. But, at the end of any campaign, your success is determined by your clientele. How well your business was received, how well your product was received, and how well the customer’s experience was received. These matters are affected by the your approach to consumers, your relationship with them, and the tone used in your interactions. All of these elements are dependent on whether your company does B2B (Business to Business) sales or B2C (Business to Consumer) sales.

Business to Business (B2B) – Streamlined, neutral, and long

When marketing your services to another business, you need to account for the structure of the buying process. Businesses have numerous people involved in each purchase, which means your approach cannot be tailored to an individual’s preferences. Decision-making takes time in the business world, but time is still equated with money. As a vendor, you will have to put in more time with the business in order to build and maintain a relationship which may span proposals, tenders, and service contracts. Whilst simultaneously presenting services and products in neutral, factual terms, to streamline the information-sharing process.

According to, the 4 most effective marketing tactics for Business to Business campaigns are:

  • In-Person Events
  • Webinars/Webcasts
  • Case Studies
  • White Papers

    Business to Consumer (B2C) – Versatile, entertaining, and spontaneous

    Marketing approaches for consumer-based services look into engage on a much more personal level than Business to Business approaches. Strategies can incorporate an individual’s preferences, and target the emotions of specific demographics. Dealing with a person instead of a business means a quicker buying process, often less engaged with the seller, but more dependent on the pitch. Entertainment value and creativity go far when dealing directly with consumers.  Gimmicks can buy the individual’s affection, which can be helpful since the general public make more of their purchases on a whim.
    According to, the 4 most effective marketing tactics for Business to Consumer campaigns are:

  • eNewsletters
  • In-Person Events
  • Illustrations & Photos
  • Social Media Content

    Business to Business (Analytics) vs. Business to Consumer (Emotions)

    A Business to Business company needs to focus on the analytics of their product and streamline elements of their marketing approach. A Business to Consumer company, on the other hand, needs to vary their selling approach to keep the interest of the public, focusing heavily on tapping into human emotions to make connections. Here’s a comparison of the two models, based on Buyer Characteristics, Relationship with the Buyer, and Approach to Content:

    Buyer Characteristics – Who are you selling to and what are their needs?

    B2B – businesses want to streamline the buying process in order to save time and money
    B2C – consumers have ample time to peruse the competition until a product catches their attention

    B2B – longer decision making process, multiple levels of approval necessary
    B2C – often purchases based on an impulsive decision

    B2B – looking for efficiency and expertise
    B2C – looking for deals and entertainment

    B2B – needs to understand product, liable for its service once incorporated in business’s operation
    B2C – longevity and quality of product can vary depending on individual’s needs and usage, in-depth knowledge not required

    B2B – more apt to be on LinkedIn
    B2C – more apt to be on Pinterest

    Relationship with the Buyer – Level of engagement and types of interaction

    B2B – more people involved in the buying process means general appeasement is necessary
    B2C – focus on the individual, tailoring to their specific needs

    B2B – need to cultivate the business partnership, learn full scope of operating needs, and create proposals for company consideration
    B2C – a good impression will suffice, relationship can be fickle, consumer will depend on a business relationship less, may only interact when paying

    B2B – lasting relationships because it’s expensive for companies to research, test, and initiate new partnerships
    B2C – constantly having to win back attention and loyalty due to highly competitive, perpetually changing product landscape

    Approach to Content – How do you target your buyer’s demographic?

    B2B – concise, technical descriptions of products
    B2C – spectrum of approaches to keep the public’s interest

    B2B – marketing message should highlight how the product will save them time, money, hassle
    B2C – marketing message should highlight how the product will result in personal benefits (“You can look cool too!”)

    B2B – marketing to fewer prospects (less companies than there are people)
    B2C – marketing to a larger number of prospects (more potential customers than existing companies)
    Knowing how to tailor approach, tone, and relationship-building to your customer demographic is easy to comprehend on a basic level. Understanding the specific tactics and strategies to reach those demographics and convert your leads to sales, is a matter best suited for a Marketing Agency.

    Contact us a Cm2 Media to discuss your goals and our campaign ideas for both Business to Business and Business to Consumer mandates.


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