Imagine you want to book a romantic getaway for you and your significant other. What things would you consider? The destination, your budget, amenities and of course the resort’s promises of adventure and romance. In any case, your thought process when choosing a romantic holiday is entirely different than if you are making some a purchase decision for your business. After all, choosing your business’s CRM system or researching a B2B marketplace is something entirely different than an adventurous holiday.
This is where the fundamental differences between B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) come in. Understanding these key differences is vital in regards to creating proper marketing and sales strategies for your business. Here are the key differences between B2B and B2C sales and marketing practices:
1. Who makes the buying decision?
Let’s go back to our previous example and consider a travel agency that offers romantic getaways. This B2C company can benefit from targeting a specific decision maker in a household. However, the business doesn’t have to exclusively appeal to this member of the family and will have a fair chance of conversion even if they target a wider audience through Facebook ads.
A B2B company, however, such as an advertising agency, would have to appeal to a specific individual or small group of people within a given business – the marketing director or CEO in this case. It doesn’t matter if a 100 of the company’s employees see a Facebook ad for an advertising agency, as long as the proper decision-maker does.
2. What is the decision-making process?
The decision-making process can look entirely different when making a personal buying decision and a buying decision for a business. In both cases, however, customers must understand the benefits of what you are offering or they will not be interested in learning more.
The B2B decision-making process, undoubtedly, takes longer than that of a B2C consumer. A B2B decision maker will see the benefits of a product, search for details, benefits, third-party review and look for competitor’s offers. For instance, some business will use a B2B marketplace where they can compare similar offers to aid them in decision-making. This is why it is important to provide B2B consumers with tangible data, results and more analytical advantages. B2C consumers, on the other hand, make decisions much faster and it is important to appeal to their emotions and provide them with social proof.
3. What is their buying motivation?
Motivations for personal and business purchases are undoubtedly different. B2C consumers are making a buying decision based on improving their life in some way, whereas B2B consumers would like to improve their business. You must find a way to appeal to their buying motivations representatively. As previously mentioned you might adopt an emotional appeal towards B2C consumers. This is not to say that you should not use emotional appeal towards a B2B consumer, as long as you ultimately relate it back to their business.
Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C sales and marketing strategies will greatly improve your efforts and aid in achieving better results for your business.
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