What is the difference between B2B and B2C marketing today?
Are you currently working in a Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing role and wondering what’s on the other side of the fence? There can be some overlap, but they have different strategies and purposes.
What’s the core distinction between B2B and B2C?
B2B focuses on marketing to businesses or potential clients, it tends to focus more on long term relationships. There is a more niche target audience as it tends to be industry focused, the sales cycle tends to be longer as the cost is higher. The marketing materials tend to be more industry focused with more technical wording targeted at the companies they are trying to reach.
B2C however, focuses on marketing to the public, or targeted consumers, depending on the product(s). It has a shorter sales cycle, based around a transactional relationship. The marketing materials/copy are usually more playful, the message looks to emotionally connect with the customer, create loyalty and convince them to buy.
What can you expect to work on in a B2B role?
Ways of marketing for B2B often revolve around well-written, informative content, it is essential that website and blogging channels are utilised as clients will often rely on websites to make decisions on whether they sign up/purchase. The use of SEO is vital so that your company website appears in search engine results. Channels such as LinkedIn drive traction through organic content to boost branding and ensure the marketer is seen as a subject matter expert. Another useful tool for B2B marketing is email direct marketing (EDM), sent to a relevant database of people who have had some sort of interaction with the product or service. Another two great tools for B2B marketing are programmatic display advertising; matching an ad to the correct target audience and of course, the use of events such as industry conferences or engaging roundtables.
What can you expect to work on in a B2C role?
For B2C marketing, the platforms are not dissimilar. For example, the most popular platform for B2C is email marketing, targeting a relevant user base or past customers. However, there is now a huge influx and marketing spend going into social media. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have become extremely popular for paid advertising. TikTok and podcast or audio-visual platforms are also very on trend. Outdoor advertising is more popular for B2C as the target audience is broader and channels such as TV and radio are still used frequently. Pay Per Click (PPC) is potentially the most effective tool because it targets customers who have previously viewed your website and not made a purchase or have looked at similar products or companies online.
Can you shift careers from a B2B to a B2C role or vice versa?
A shift in mindset and a focus on different platforms is necessary but it is possible to be a fantastic B2B marketer and be highly successful in B2C marketing. It is all about remembering that B2B marketing is more content marketing-focused, informative and longer term. Whilst B2C is more trend and emotionally driven, needing bolder, slicker copy based around more impromptu buying or quicker decisions. There is also a possibility you can land a role that covers both sides of marketing, especially if you’re working in-house for an SME and more general marketing jobs. Although it’s a phrase as old as time itself, ‘put yourself in their shoes.’ The way they communicate, and the needs they have will differ the same way as it would if you had multiple audience types.
If you fancy checking out current Marketing jobs and talking about how your skills can transfer, browse jobs here.
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