12 Sep Marketing B2B vs B2C
So, you bought the piece of land, planted your vines and now produce a very nice range of wines.
You went big, so there’s enough to sell through your cellar door and at local markets. In fact, you’re producing so much you could supply a chain liquor store.
The choice here is marketing B2B or B2C.
What’s the difference between B2B and B2C?
The B2B model involves one business marketing to another. In our scenario, this would be the vineyard
entering a supplier contract with, say, Dan Murphys.
B2C is business to consumer. If the wine maker chooses to forgo the chain store option and instead just open her cellar door and sell wine at markets and online, she’s selling direct to individual customers.
Online Influence has a foot in both camps. We market B2B, but many of our clients operate in the B2C space.
So, while we market ourselves to businesses, the wine we’re selling is strategies that connect our clients to their customers. You could say we’re an example of B2B2C!
Are there different marketing rules for B2B and B2C?
Well, yes and no.
The golden rule for business success is to find and meet your customer’s needs. But there are differences depending on who that “customer” is.
With B2B, the customer or client is another business. Transactions or negotiations are less personal and more about cost, features and data.
B2B marketing also usually involves a longer transaction time. Here’s why.
The vineyard owner would need to prepare a business case, ensure she has every scrap of technical information and be prepared to nut out costs and logistics. Armed with this information, she would make contact with the company and wait for a response.
As you can imagine, it may take several attempts to connect with the company, and once contact is made she may need to work her way through several layers of authority before making a “sale” – or in this case, becoming a supplier to the store.
- With B2B the focus is on lots of data, logic and financial scrutiny.
- Because the B2B market involves more decision makers, the costs can be higher.
- It’s important to know, and be able to communicate, what your product or service does rather than what it means for another business.
With B2C your customer is usually an individual and a sale is based more on emotion and brand appeal.
A visitor to the cellar door will be influenced by their surroundings, the warmth of the host and the label on the bottle as much as what’s in it.
The transaction will be relatively fast – a few minutes at least, or possibly a week or so when they realise they should have bought a case instead of just two bottles.
- Your focus should be on the benefits of the product to the person in front of you – literally or digitally.
- B2C is more emotional and often about convenience – think great communication and a variety of distribution channels, in this case cellar door, markets, online orders and more.
- Keep your marketing short and simple – make it easy for the customer to know why they need your services or your product.
Of course, emotion and brand are key factors when marketing B2B as well. A strong connection is vital for any business success, but in the case of B2B you’ll need to back the emotion with facts.
Where does online advertising fit?
The good news is, Google ads work well for both B2B and B2C. You just have to remember the golden rule and tailor your campaign to the customer and your specific business needs. As you can imagine, the way you pitch to another company is not the way you’d pitch to an online shopper.
Facebook ads generally work better in the B2C space – it’s a friendly, emotive platform after all – but, they can work well in the B2B space if customised to your ideal client. The Online Influence team can help you design a campaign for effective cut through.
And, whether you’re selling B2B or B2C, your website needs to be designed with user experience in mind. Again, the needs and habits of your potential client or customer are paramount. You can read more about hooking customers through a good online experience here.
Not sure what’s right for you?
If you’re unsure of how to market your business, or even which business model to focus on, the Online Influence team has the insight and experience to help – we are B2B2C experts after all! Call us today to find out the best solution for you and your business.