B2B and B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference, Anyway?

Marketing. Handled well, it can turn even the smallest of businesses into a household name. Handled poorly, it can leave your company’s reputation in tatters and your dreams in the dust. With so much at stake, it’s vital you choose the marketing approach that’s right for your business—because marketing is not one-size-fits-all.

One of the biggest differences to understand is the varying approaches to B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing. The names may be almost identical, but in practice, there’s much more than one letter of difference between the two.

Here are three of the most crucial differences between B2B and B2C marketing that can impact how your business comes across.

Voice and tone

Pinning down the right voice and tone for your product or service will form the cornerstone of your marketing approach.

In general, you can expect B2B marketing to appeal more to the reader’s analytical side. The tone is usually serious, straightforward, and logical. A B2B marketer may provide statistics and calculations, backing their arguments with detailed research.

B2C marketing, on the other hand, tends more toward the emotional side. It can be conversational, personal, and—depending on the brand—even playful. Just look at the fun and irreverent social media accounts run by brands like MoonPie.

While B2B copy tends toward the lengthy side, it’s usually best to keep B2C copy concise, contributing to the more informal tone. Longform articles can help business owners weigh the pros and cons of implementing a product, but short, convincing statements prove more effective for consumers.

The language used can also play a crucial role. For B2B marketing, specific terminology and jargon can create a sense of exclusivity, letting business owners know that a product or services is specifically designed for them. B2C marketing typically avoids jargon in favor of clear, simple language that everyone can relate to.

Relationships

A B2B company wants to develop long term relationships with its clients. While there are exceptions, B2C marketing is usually less about cultivating a working relationship and more about getting a consumer to buy your product or service now—though if they become a repeat customer later, even better.

A B2B marketer may spend more time speaking with clients, answering questions, and following up, gradually earning clients’ trust over a period of time. A B2C marketer, meanwhile, typically focuses on getting the word out and presenting their product in an appealing light from the word go. Another difference is that B2B marketing usually involves convincing a decision-making committee, while a B2C marketer only has to convince one person at a time—the individual consumer.

Audience size

Most B2C companies have a nearly boundless audience. Some businesses will target a specific gender or age group, but that still tends to be a wide pool.

B2B companies are generally concerned with a more selective audience. They may be catering only to tech businesses, or only to retailers—or to a narrower subsection of that market. That forces B2B marketers to go into greater detail, being careful to address the nitty-gritty concerns, and always with a specific audience in mind.

Despite their many differences, B2B and B2C marketing have at least one thing in common: they both require a strong, well-planned strategy to succeed. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C organization, Liqui-Site can help you develop and implement an advanced marketing strategy to reach a wider audience than ever before. Contact us today for more information.