How different is B2B marketing from B2C marketing? Well, obviously it’s very very different! The best marketer knows that, there is never a hard and fast marketing rule that can be applied to all situations. It all depends on the customers’/prospects’ characteristics and preferences. Let me give you an example.
Imagine that you have been promoted to become the CMO of a company specialized in making coffee. Now, how would you plan on marketing this coffee to a group of teenagers versus marketing it to a company HR department? Obviously, the needs and wants of these two groups of people are very different. Hence, when selling to teenagers, you would market the coffee as a ‘Fun and Hip’ Beverage that will make them look cool drinking it. While in comparison, when selling the very same coffee to employees of a company, it would be marketed as an ‘Energizing and Refreshing’ Beverage that would enable them to become super productive and efficient.
Do you notice how the marketing and branding of the product entirely depends on the customers’ characteristics and preferences? Similarly, a consumer oriented product needs to marketed very differently from a business oriented product, solely because of the huge differences between a consumer and a business. I have listed down some of the key differences below and the implications that they have on the marketing strategies adopted.
- Businesses have a much higher spending budget than a consumer
- Businesses have a longer decision making process as compared to consumers. This is because, unlike consumers, businesses would have various departments from multiple hierarchy levels review the product first before deciding to purchase
- Businesses tend to engage in longer term contracts than consumers
Hence, this means that when selling to businesses, more effort needs to be undertaken to understand the needs of the various departments and organizational heads as they would serve as crucial decision makers during the sales process. However, on the bright side, securing one business customer can be equivalent to securing several consumers due to their larger spending power and longer term deals.
Knowing such key differences and then incorporating those differences in your marketing efforts would definitely be crucial. If you thought that you could employ the same marketing techniques for businesses and consumers, you could never have been more wrong!