When a business would attempt to target each and every type of customer, it would be extremely difficult to design a content, marketing or communications strategy that would fit customers’ needs.
It is of extreme importance to be aware of various types of potential customers in order to tailor every step of the buyer’s journey specifically for them.
By distinguishing two main options – marketing to another business or to the end customer – we have listed and analyzed five areas and the differences between B2B and B2C marketing and sales through each of these areas.
This way, you can target your audience in the most efficient way.
One of the most accessible ways through which your potential customers will determine your value, is by having a look at your content and everything you are producing on your biggest online asset – your website.
By deciding between marketing to businesses or end customers, you primarily decide about your content’s tone.
When your target audience is consisted of businesses, you should aim to craft your content in the direction that helps you brand yourself and that proves that you are a leader in your area – 85% of B2B content marketers do exactly that.
On the other hand, individual buyers have different needs and are motivated by different content – they are looking for the feeling of being safe, secure and informed rather than authority and leadership.
Long story short – it clearly makes a significant difference if you are selling high-value software solutions to businesses, or chocolate bars to end users – they are making their choice based on a different set of needs.
2. Marketing channel
There are so many marketing channels available, and not all of them are ideal for all types of products, services and customers.
Picture yourself as an individual customer – would you go through the whole hassle of relationship building and nurturing through email newsletters, only to buy a bottle of soft drink or a loaf of bread?
Going along the same logic – you probably wouldn’t buy a four-digit priced analysis tool off a banner ad.
Who you want to sell to, should make a huge impact on how you choose to market yourself!
3. Social media
Likewise, different social media channels will resonate differently depending on the type of consumer you are targeting.
With the range of social media channels being so wide nowadays, it’s of key importance to be aware of which channels are worth your time, energy and money and that will give you a return on your investment.
Mentioned by Tech in Asia, there is a graph by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs that showcases the list of social media networks according to how effective B2B businesses see them.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo and Slideshare took the more effective half, whereas Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and Google+ are placed in the bottom half.
There is a significantly different situation when it comes to B2C social media effectiveness.
With visual impression being of great importance when it comes to selling to an individual, networks like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have an important role in social media strategy of B2C companies.
Twitter, as one of the most open, creative and real-time networks, has a big role in B2C social media communication, too.
4. Sales cycle
Another important reason to make sure you know who is your audience is sales cycle.
Who you decide to target your products or services to, has an important say in your typical sales cycle length, and it is a perfect way to make sure you know how much of your effort should be invested in each step of it.
A business that is your potential client, needs more time to make a decision.
They need to have discussions inside the relevant teams and decision makers will usually take the time and effort to compare their options with your competitors, too.
These leads need to be looked after throughout the whole process, and there are many steps where you can influence their opinion and make sure they are aware of benefits they get if they choose you.
When you are working with individual consumers on the opposite sides, you are working with a much shorter sales cycle.
They often want to act immediately, not wanting to miss out on a deal they might be getting if they decide to purchase straight away.
Also, they most often don’t need to consult with anyone else about the purchase.
These differences are the key to knowing how much can you make a difference through nurturing your leads and providing all the information and value they need.
5. Goals and metrics
With that being said, the last area that requires you to be very precise when determining your target audience is – measuring the actual results of your efforts.
Metrics you should be tracking vary between B2B and B2C businesses.
According to Oktopost, B2C marketing largely focuses on the community and its engagement.
Creating content that has a potential to go viral, working on brand awareness and viewership engagement, are areas that should be tracked and measured on a regular basis.
On the opposite side, B2B businesses rely on lead generation, so the most logical way to track success of marketing and communication effort, is to track website metrics such as visitors, sessions, pages per view, bounce rate and time on site.
To conclude, make sure you are making the most of your focused effort by knowing who is it that you need to make aware of what value you can bring them.
While B2B marketing is all about relationship focus, longer sales cycle and educational marketing that is enticing rational buying decisions, B2C marketing is based on the product, transaction value and emotional buying decisions with much shorter sales cycle and consisted of less steps.
Once you have your focus in place, you will be able to know what kind of effort it takes to create the best content and social media strategy, manage your sales cycles and effectively track your results.