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Connected Magazine – Different Tactics for B2B and B2C Marketing

Read Full Mix Marketing’s latest marketing how-to column from the November 2019 edition of ‘Connected’ magazine from Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. Read here.

Different Tactics for B2B and B2C Marketing

Most companies either sell to consumers (business-to-consumer or B2C) or other businesses (business-to-business or B2B). Sarah West of Full Mix Marketing looks at the impact on marketing.

How are consumers and businesses different?

Consumers typically make purchases to satisfy an emotional need (e.g. hunger, status, pleasure). Businesses make more rational buying decisions for their company’s benefit.

Whilst consumers want to be happy with their purchases, businesses prefer to be seen to be making good decisions. Whilst businesses enjoy a close relationship with suppliers, consumers need less interaction with the brands they choose.

Consumers make quick-buying decisions largely on their own. Businesses take longer and typically involve more people.

How does this affect marketing?

Consumers can react swiftly to marketing which is impactful and snappy. Consumer brands are often aspirational so that consumers wish to be associated with them. Marketing can be more emotive or playful; using clever straplines or amusing campaigns.

Marketing to businesses needs to be more sustained and contain more information. B2B brands tend to mirror their customers more closely and are more consistent so businesses are in no doubt of the benefits offered.

Burst marketing is an intense campaign over a short period of time using a single marketing channel. It can work well for B2C marketing where there is an immediate need, such as promoting ice creams during hot weather. As businesses make longer-term decisions, drip marketing is more effective for B2B. This is where a mix of marketing channels is used to communicate a consistent message over a longer period.

Brand awareness is often a goal of B2C marketing where demand is high. Brands want to ensure their name is the one consumers recall. For B2B marketing, where the number of potential customers is smaller, direct marketing to other businesses is typically more cost-effective.

Which marketing channels work best for B2B?

If businesses are actively seeking what you deliver, ‘pull’ marketing tactics are best. SEO and Google Ads can ensure they find your website. Advertising, sponsorship and networking can raise awareness.

If what you deliver is more niche, direct marketing will again give stronger results. Mail, email and LinkedIn can reach decision-makers. Trade events can be an opportunity to introduce what you deliver and PR, blogs and other content can establish you as experts. Your website needs to act as a compelling online showcase.

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