Guest post by Megan Totka.
When it comes to marketing, which is easier, business to business marketing or business to consumer marketing?
Both concepts are pretty self-explanatory. Business to business (B2B) is the marketing exchange between two businesses. Business to consumer (B2C) is the marketing from a business directed at consumers. So how are each used? And if you happen to sell to both groups, should you focus more on one than the other? Let’s look at an analysis.
When deciding who to focus your marketing efforts on, you’ll need to consider the lead time required between when your customer sees your marketing and when they will actually make a purchase. The lead time in B2C marketing is generally very small. The consumer is more likely to make an impulse purchase based on marketing. In B2B marketing, however, there is a chain of command required. An employee of the business sees the marketing, is intrigued by it and mentions it to his superior and so on until the person who is able to make the decision regarding the purchase finally gets the information.
Before launching a marketing campaign, you must focus on your audience, of course. B2C marketing can be much vaguer, sometimes with just a word or slogan and a captivating image. B2B marketing though will need to provide the answers to any questions that arise during the chain of command. In this case you are not just selling to an individual’s wants but instead you have to sell detailed enough information so your audience can continue to sell up the chain but still without overwhelming that first reader. You can’t use one marketing campaign for both consumer and business clients.
Aside from lead time, the direction of the marketing will differ. Business marketing will be driven by the relationship where as consumer marketing will be driven by the product. Although it’s somewhat of a simplification of reality, businesses tend to rely on rational decisions and consumers typically rely on emotional attachment.
Each product you offer will determine who you need to sell to. Some products will be marketable to both businesses and consumers. In this case, the decision should be based on your expected return on investment. Market to the client you’ll make the most money out of. Compare the costs of your marketing to the revenue you can bring in.
Both marketing types have a time and place and will benefit your business. You simply need to know when to use each one.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Megan also specializes in writing articles about common-sense business best practices, from finding business loans to hiring accounting firms.