The Key Differences Between B2B & B2C Marketing, Part I

The ultimate goal of every marketing strategy is the same: to connect with buyers and coax them down the path to purchase. But the approach, content, and channels can vary dramatically based on whether the target audience is a consumer or a business.

In this guest post from Gina Casagrande, Personalization Evangelist and Team Lead, Adobe, we’ll look at at three ways in which B2B marketing differs from B2C.

Difference #1: It’s less emotional and more rational.

Individual consumers are more likely to buy a product or service because it makes them feel happy, confident, entertained, or satisfied. With B2B, purchases are more focused on completing a task or moving a project forward. There’s less feeling and more thinking.

B2B marketers should tailor their campaigns to the specific attributes that are valued by businesses, such as cost, value, quality, speed, and proven results. While consumers react more to concise, high-level messaging, businesses are usually seeking more detailed, informative content that justifies their investment.

Difference #2: The sales cycle is longer.

From cheeseburgers to cars, consumer marketing campaigns are geared more to split-second, impulsive decisions. But when it comes to business products or services, such as enterprise software or technology support, companies need more time to evaluate their options and weigh the risks and rewards. There are typically multiple interactions to guide the buyer through the sales process. Marketers can take advantage of this longer sales cycle to nurture stronger relationships with target businesses and develop a greater sense of loyalty.

Difference #3: It’s a more diverse mix.

According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, the average B2B marketer uses 13 different content marketing tactics, with the strongest focus on social media, blog articles, newsletters, in-person events, case studies, videos, whitepapers, webinars, and infographics. A good analytics tool can help you determine which formats and approaches are working, and which are floundering.

To connect with professionals, make it personal.

Personalized communications are essential in any marketing strategy, but even more so when targeting a business. With Target’s personalization capabilities, B2B marketers can effortlessly deliver customized content based on real-time data.

Check out the Adobe blog for Part II in this series, a Q&A with our own Louis Moyihan. He’ll talk about how Demandbase enhances Target’s personalization capabilities by tapping into company-level data.