John is the owner of a company that produces custom-made designer furniture. Things are going great, so he decides to expand: to produce office tables and chairs. A new product line appears, but the marketing strategy does not change. After some time, John understands that the idea of office furniture production was not good, he loses money.
What was the problem? It wasn’t the quality of the chairs or the fact that John started to expand in a new direction during the crisis. He just did not understand the difference between B2C and B2B sales and how to market a new product to a completely different audience. For you not to find yourself in a similar situation, let’s take a look at B2B and B2C marketing, differences between them, tools, and methods used.
What is the difference between B2B and B2C companies?
B2C or Business to Consumer
B2C is a familiar sales model, in which goods and services are provided directly to the end-user for personal purposes. B2C sales volumes are small, but they are frequent. This sector includes beauty salons, clothing and pet supply stores, catering, etc.
B2B or Business to Business
In this case, both sellers and buyers are companies. Companies buy certain products (such as equipment) to optimize their own business processes or for resale. B2B deals are not done quickly. It may take several months from the presentation of products to signing a contract. But in this case, the sales volumes are much higher. B2B businesses can range from woodworking companies and manufacturers of technical equipment to video cloud providers and AI platforms etc.
We can conclude that the main difference between B2B and B2C sales is working in wholesale or in retail. Moreover, a company can work in both segments at the same time. For example, construction stores sell tiles in retail to private customers (B2C) and in wholesale to firms that perform repair projects (B2B). Such companies with different directions need diverse marketing solutions and business growth strategies.
For example, MyOperator is a cloud telephony company and builds cloud communication solutions for businesses like toll-free numbers, IVR solutions, cloud call centers, etc. It markets its products to business owners by showcasing how MyOperator call management solutions can help them do better sales and services. Since MyOperator sells its products to businesses, it’s a B2B company making B2B sales.
B2B and B2C Sales: Important Aspects
We have collected the main differences between B2B and B2C sales. It directly affects the profitability of the business.
The tools of working with the target audience in the case of B2B and B2C marketing are very different. In the B2C sphere, a client wants to get:
The quality of services and products;
Convenient delivery options.
The relationship between the client and the business, in this case, does not play a big role.
In the B2B segment, relationships play a very important role. Clients in this field value responsibility and reliability.
The Consciousness of the Purchase
In the B2B sales model, there are no unconscious purchases. This decision is usually made by more than one person after the presentation of the product, analysis of its pros and cons, calculations, etc.
The B2C market is characterized by quick emotional purchases. If a product or service meets expectations, the person makes an order right away.
For the B2B segment, the presentation of the service or product is much more important than brand popularity and recognition. A buyer in such a sphere wants reliability and quality from a brand.
In the B2C segment, brand recognition plays the most important role. It helps to earn the trust of the buyer. Therefore, companies in such an area try to work on popularization and building a strong brand.
B2B and B2C companies also advertise their goods and services differently. In B2C, the most important role is played by exciting, bright, creative advertising. Such advertising should have an emotional impact on the person, causing a desire to get hold of your product. Moreover, B2C-buyers can be poorly versed in products, ordering them on the advice of friends, the recommendation of a blogger, etc.
For the B2B segment, it is better to choose the advertisement which will present the main information about the product in compact form. In this segment, it is better to influence with facts and statistics, rather than with emotions.
Based on the information given in these points, it will be easier for you to decide on the choice of marketing strategy for your business.
Some professionals believe that, while there are fundamental differences between B2C and B2B audiences, the key factors of marketing and selling to these audiences remain the same.
Datis Mohsenipour, Director of Marketing & Partnerships at Outback Team Building & Training shares this belief.
“If you ask me, selling and marketing B2B vs B2C is no different than selling and marketing two different B2B products. It all boils down to understanding your audience, aligning your product or service with their needs, finding the channels where your target audience spends their time, and creating value.” says Datis.
Datis adds that “The channels, the methods, the language – everything will be different for every company you work for (regardless of B2C or B2B) because every business, and every audience is unique.”
How to Increase B2B Sales?
B2B Facebook Ads could be the solution.
In recent years, Facebook has quickly become one of the best advertising platforms for pretty much any business, especially business to business. B2B Facebook ads are easy to manage, versatile, and when combined with the right tools, provide for a well rounded marketing arsenal.
That being said, B2B Facebook ads are not as straightforward as B2C Facebook ads. There needs to be a very well defined strategy in place in order to really grab the attention of another business.
And that is why we’re here today. Although not easy, creating a significant B2B Facebook ads campaign is very possible.
Understand the Сhallenges of Your Customer
Only if you understand the challenges that your target audience faces, will you be able to correctly make a commercial proposal. Present the product with the key benefits for the partner and show your own expertise. You can understand the customer pain-points by conducting regular customer satisfaction surveys using a survey software.
Use Digital Channels
With the active transition of businesses to the Internet, B2B website development, SEO, and social media engagement tools are necessary steps in the promotion of the company. Digital channels allow you to attract a “fresh” audience and manage your reputation.
And, of course, you can’t forget about social media channels, especially LinkedIn for B2B lead generation and sales. Finding prospects’ contact information on LinkedIn is very simple and with the right set of tools in place, you could also export leads and expand your email list for your sales campaigns.
Another major digital channel is email marketing. This channel will require some preliminary work on building an email list of potential clients. Needless to say you will need email marketing tools to take this on. Beyond that, any company that relies heavily on email communication to conduct business should not overlook their email signature for marketing and branding campaigns. Both B2B and B2C can benefit from using an email signature generator to create a consistent company-wide signature.
Partnerships between companies can last for years. In the B2B sphere, it is important to communicate with clients regularly to collect feedback. It is needed to find out when you need to improve your own product, to offer something else. Implementing tools like two-way SMS is an accessible way to collect feedback and solve customer queries swiftly.
Structured cases, training guides, statistics and forecasts, webinars with experts will allow you to “hook” a B2B client. Of course, don’t forget to credit those experts through something like author boxes.
How to Increase B2C Sales?
Build a Strong Brand
B2C consumers trust famous brands and are willing to pay more for their goods (even if an unknown competitor offers a better, cheaper product).
One of the best ways to establish your brand is on social media. It gives your customers to get an idea of who you are – your visuals, what you talk about, what’s important to you, and the world you’re trying to build for your ideal audience.
Ensure the Convenience of Ordering on the Site
If a person has to fill in a dozen fields in the registration form to buy one cup, he or she will immediately close the tab. Buying should be easy. (Which, incidentally, should be taken into account at the very beginning while developing a web store). Conducting customer journey surveys using a customer experience tool ensures that your organization can keep track of customer satisfaction across touchpoints.
Stimulate the Purchases
Discounts, sales, promotions, bonuses for large or repeated purchases will help you increase sales. It stimulates your customers to purchase.
For the promotion of B2C products, use advertising content that evokes a lot of emotions. Don’t overload it with facts, numbers, statistics.
How to develop B2C & B2B solutions faster?
Any business web application is resource-intensive as it always involves time and money. However you can save much of the time using a web app scaffolding tool to build database-backed software applications in a few easy steps. With a web app generator you compile the whole structure for any software solutions, B2B or B2C.
Built-in options of web app generators allow you to generate a live demo to preview the application and edit it if needed. You choose a design, e.g Google material, front-end, back-end, and database forming the basis for your business application. Then you click on generate an app button, and see the generated result. Plus code preview option helps you to make sure the code you get is clean and double check all your settings.
Web app generator can contribute in creating high-quality digital solutions both for the B2B and B2C sector.
Although B2B and B2C companies have the same goal – to give customers what they need, the approaches to marketing are different. If you want your business to develop steadily and bring profit, you need to pay special attention to the analysis of the target audience, making a competent strategy for promotion, implementation of the most effective methods to attract and retain clients.
Interesting Related Article: “Secrets of Successfully Onboarding a B2B SaaS Customer“