Comparing B2B versus B2C Marketing

B2B versus B2C marketing comparisons are important to understanding when choosing the most effective marketing approach for your small business. Many of us really don't think about the differences between B2B versus B2C marketing. Not understanding and realizing these differences could cause you to waste a lot of time and money in your small business marketing decisions.

Here is a quick chart to compare B2B and B2C marketing attributes and their differences affecting small business marketing.

B2B Vs. B2C Marketing Differences

Size of B2B vs. B2C Markets  
B2B markets are generally small vertical markets, often niche in size, comprised of a few thousand sales prospects to maybe as large as 100,000 prospects B2C markets that are typically large broad markets of tens to thousands to millions of sales prospects
Purchasing Process  
B2B sales typically have a purchasing process that is usually defined in months and the sale is complex, often taking additional months to complete. B2C sales have short purchasing periods of anywhere from a few minutes (the impulse buy), to a few days and is a simple sale consummated immediately.
Sales Process  
B2B sales require consultative selling (selling based on understanding a client's needs and developing a relationship of trust) sometimes from a two-step level sales organization including the seller's sales force and distribution sales force. B2C sales are usually direct to the consumer or involve a retailer. The sales approach is a traditional product sell of "convincing the consumer" they need the product or service being sold.
Cost of a Sale  
B2B sales are "higher ticket" purchases usually costing from just a few thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars. B2C sales can range in cost from a dollar to a few thousand dollars. Except, for cars and homes.
Purchase Decision  
The decision to purchase in B2B sales is generally driven by need and budgets, therefore; it tends to be a very rational decision. B2C purchase decisions tend to be made based on want more than need or a budget and, therefore, are triggered by more emotional decisions.
The Value of Brand  
Brand identity in B2B markets is created through personal relationships and consultative selling. Brand identity in B2C markets is created through advertising and now social media.
Lifetime Customer Value  
The lifetime value of B2B customers is much higher due to the higher cost of sales and the likelihood of repeat or add-on sales to the same customer. The lifetime value of a B2C customer is lower than B2B because of the lower cost of individual sales and repeat sales are generally fewer.

These B2B and B2C marketing differences are crucial to your marketing strategy and tactics. Knowing your target audience, developing an appropriate B2B marketing message, and the distribution methods of your communication messages are very different if you are a B2B as opposed to a B2C Company. Using big business consumer marketing tactics are not cost effective and are not likely to produce the new business-to-business clients you seek.

Your Bottom Line:
B2B sales prospects are very different from B2C. B2B sales prospects are found in small vertical markets require consultative selling and take longer to sell. B2B sales are "higher ticket" sales driven by a rational sales approach that requires developing personal relationships. The payoff for B2B sales prospects is a high lifetime customer value.

Knowing the marketing differences between B2B and B2C are just the beginning steps to achieving B2B sales lead prospecting success.