Marketing to Businesses vs. Consumers: What's the Difference?
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
There are two main divisions in marketing: the business-to-business (B2B) and the business-to-consumer (B2C). When you are creating B2B content, you are addressing other professionals while they are at work. In contrast, although the members of your B2C audience probably all have jobs, you are addressing them as if they are out shopping. There are a few differences to remember when creating content for these audiences.
1. Choosing the Right Language
The words you use will greatly affect how your readers respond to your content, and it can be tricky to find the balance. You want to provide enough information so that your readers are not lost. However, you don’t want to over-explain anything or you might come across as condescending or simply bore your readers.
B2B content can often make use of industry-specific terminology because you can probably assume that your readers all speak the same industry language. B2C content, on the other hand, should usually avoid too much jargon unless it is a very specific niche industry (i.e., specialized sporting equipment).
2. Targeting the Right Motives
B2B audiences are often researching solutions that must then be presented to someone else up the chain of command. They are probably weighing several options and plan to take a while before making a final decision. To meet these needs, B2B consumers are looking for long, detailed content or several pieces of content that cover the material from several angles. If you can cover all the bases, you’ll be much more likely to close the deal.
B2C audiences, on the other hand, don’t have time for all that. A few may take some time to contemplate a purchase, especially for big-ticket items like cars or high-end electronics. The rest, however, would like to make a purchase as soon as possible and the better you can facilitate that, the more successful you will be. Lists, benefits, features, comparisons, and emotional connections presented quickly and with a bit of entertainment will usually get the job done.
3. Building the Right Relationships
Creating lasting relationships is the key to turning one-off buyers into loyal customers. Understanding the needs of your audience is the key to building the right kind of relationships with them. For example, B2B customers are generally looking for long-term relationships from the start, either to sign a contract for extended service or to make future purchases from. They appreciate great customer service but are usually more driven by quality and price assurances.
B2C customers tend to lean towards ideas like brand loyalty and great customer service. They are definitely motivated by price and quality, but many will often shell out a few more bucks to buy from a company they like, especially if they are looking for a service rather than a product.
Writing it Right
As a content writer and marketer, the first step is always to evaluate the audience. Understanding the differences between business-to-business and business-to-consumer content will help you reach your audiences better and provide them with the information they need to be confident about their purchases.