4 Key Differences Between B2C and B2B Digital Marketing

Gone are the days when being found online is a good-to-have. Today, your business existence lies on being found online. This makes digital marketing a crucial tool in any marketer’s toolbox and being able to understand the difference between B2C and B2B digital marketing is essential for an effective campaign. Before we begin, let’s find out what is B2C and B2B.

B2C vs B2B

B2C and B2B are simply the two different main types of customer transactions. Often times, many people confuse the ‘C’ in B2C to refer to customers. They are correct in some sense, but technically, they are wrong. B2C and B2B refers to business-to-consumer and business-to-business respectively. Their similarity lies in that both consumers and businesses are customers. In short, B2B end-customers are businesses while B2C end-customers are consumers who are the general public.

Most business are a mix of B2C and B2B so as to maximize their potential revenue. A good example is your local banks. They have products and services that target the general public (B2C) and very likely also have another business division catering to companies by providing slightly different products and services (B2B).

Now that we know what B2C and B2B, we can begin looking at their differences.

1. Audience Buying Process

The audience buying process involves two components: the audience and their respective buying process. We know B2C and B2B audience are different because their end-customers are different. Because of this, the market size for B2C and B2B are different. B2C companies have a larger market size because their market involves everyone (before segmentation). B2C customers also are quicker to decide because they can make the final decision.

B2B transactions on the other end take longer. This is because there may be many layers of hierarchy to seek approval. The marketing executive may have to seek approval from his manager who then need to seek approval from his director. Closing a B2B deal may take many weeks or even months.

2. Campaign Goals

With different audiences and sales cycles, the campaign goals are also definitely different. Hence, it is not logical for both to have the same objectives. For B2C, the goal is to get as much traffic to the website or landing page as possible. This is because consumers tend to make quicker decisions, it is possible for consumers to make a purchase on the first visit to the website. Think about how often you enter an e-commerce website and make a purchase before you leave the website.

With slower sales cycle and longer buying process, the goal of B2B campaigns is to reach the correct and qualified person. If the decision maker is the marketing director, there is no point in targeting the human resource executive who does not need your products. B2B can also be seen as playing the long game because it is not enough to just create awareness to your target audience. The long buying processes require constant efforts to remind the decision makers and that involve re-targeting.

3. Keyword Optimization

Different audiences also mean different keywords are used when searching for products. B2C keywords are also more competitive because of a larger market and also because they are more generic. Whereas, B2B keywords are more niche to their industry and may not be as competitive.

Both B2C and B2B also have their own challenges in keyword research. The challenge for B2C keyword research is in finding keywords that are not too saturated but still have a decent traffic level. B2B challenge is in finding keywords that are technical but not too niche and still informative to all who are involved in the buyer’s journey.

4. Content Strategy

Content is a big topic and content can exist in countless formats. The content strategy here would refer to the approach B2C and B2B uses to attract their audience to their website or landing page. As mentioned, B2C buying process is quick and the objective is to get the most conversions in a short period of time. Hence, the content focus on flashy promotions or to a certain extend click-bait. You may have notice that your favorite retail brand often attracts you using sales promotion. Most of the time, the promoted discount is not applicable on your desired product.

B2C content strategy is less effective for B2B. Due to longer buying process, the content focus is on providing informational and valuable content to the user. This is to assist their buyer journey to help making a decision on choosing their product or service. Since B2B target audience are normally not found at where B2C audience normally hang out, you will seldom see their social Ads on Facebook or Instagram. B2B focus would be on customer case studies or white papers.

A Final Note

B2C and B2B digital marketing strategy are very different and require different approach. B2C may see more immediate results which make B2B seems like more work. However, B2B sales tends to be of higher monetary value and a single deal may be worth the entire B2C revenue of the quarter. There are benefits to both B2C and B2B but what is important is knowing the difference. It may make sense to outsource your marketing needs if you don’t possess the relevant expertise. Whether it is B2C or B2B Digital Marketing, contact MarketingGuru to find out how we can improve your marketing results.

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