While not all B2B or all B2C sales processes are the same, there are some typical differences between the marketing requires to support sales in B2B and B2C sales. This article explores some of the key differences between typical B2B and B2C marketing approaches.
Difference 1: Mass vs targeted advertising
Possibly the biggest difference between B2B and B2C is how targeted the advertising is. A large proportion of B2C marketing is intended to raise the overall awareness of the goods and service, without identifying the specific potential customer involved. Advertising from TV to billboards is often used to increase awareness and ultimately drive sales.
In comparison, the advertising in B2B sales is often a lot more focused. Rather than focusing on particular market segments or customer demographics, B2B sales may involve identifying specific firms (and potentially even employees within those firms) to target for sales. As such, advertising is often a lot more focused on a very narrow audience.
Difference 2: Concentration of customers
Part of the differences between typical B2B and B2C sales arises because customers in B2B sales tend to be a lot more concentrated. In B2C sales there may be hundreds of thousands or millions of potential customers, in B2B sales, there may only be a handful of possible customers for the goods and service.
Difference 3: Decision-makers involved
Another key difference in the sales and marketing approach is connected to the fact that while in B2C sales there is typically only one decision-maker (or potentially a household that makes certain decisions together), in B2B sales there may be many more individuals involved, each with their own concerns.
Difference 4: Reaching out to specific potential customers
Another difference in approach is that it is not uncommon in B2B transactions to reach out to potential firms – something that is much less common with B2C sales. Pre-work may be required to understand specific potential customer needs, and the history of the firms that you will be selling to – all things much less common in B2C sales.
Difference 5: Importance of developing and maintaining the relationship
A final difference between B2B and B2C sales is the importance of developing the relationship – both before and after the sales. This may involve potentially spending many days or months speaking with your customers to understand their needs, and identifying opportunities to sell further products.