2B or not 2B? It can be 2C as well!
B2B and B2C marketing – knowing where to start
Whether it’s B2B or B2C marketing, the starting point is almost always the same: identify the need. As a marketer, filling that gap is exactly where it all begins. What separates these two groups (businesses and consumers), and ultimately dictates the type of marketing or advertising campaign, is their behaviour and reaction, which we hope is to buy the product or service.
In most cases, a business is usually fulfilling a collective need, such as, bringing down costs or implementing a new computer system, that will help the company’s overall well-being. Whereas, an individual consumer tends to have a more emotional or psychological need, which could simply be liking a product for its style, taste, status, etc., which invokes the urge to buy something specific.
The 4 P’s – yes, again
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the right marketing strategy can start with the 4 P’s, however, let’s not forget that, in today’s changing marketplace where technology and social media play a huge role, whether it’s business or consumer marketing, they should be tweaked. (If you need a 4 P’s refresher, read our blog post, “Building a strong marketing strategy – it’s not just about the 4 P’s anymore!”)
That said, as marketers in the B2B environment, we must ensure our product/service appeals to the company’s end goal, whatever that may be. In certain cases, the place includes face-to-face meetings to effectively promote and sell the product/service; especially when the decision makers consist of a committee or board within the company. And promoting doesn’t stop at the product, it’s also about promoting yourself so they trust you enough to sign that service agreement or buy all your equipment. And the price, as always, must be right.
Conversely, marketing in a B2C environment appeals less to a common end goal but more to an often-individual need or want, which means advertising to the psyche or emotions of a potential consumer. Promotion tends to be snappier or more exciting, making them happy to buy a brand, and there could be more options for placement i.e. online shopping. And, thanks to social media, including blogs, online ads, personal reviews and posts from target age groups, consumers can make a decision and act on it almost instantly. While the price still has to be right, if the potential consumers’ emotions and wants are that strong, they are almost willing to pay anything if they deem the product worth it. Check out our top social media picks in our recent blog post, “Social Media – a game changer for your business”.
On a final note, with both B2C and B2B, the ultimate marketing goal is to keep your brand top of mind with the loyalists who will spread the word and give it great reviews. Either way, when marketing a product or service to a company or individual consumer, it’s important to build, gain and, most importantly, keep their trust – this is done with honest marketing and reliable after-sales support.