Before the days of social media marketing, and the proliferation of devices that allowed easy access to the world’s largest repository of information , marketing campaigns used to be geared towards either businesses or consumers. In some ways, the B2B and B2C divide still exists – you should still address business leads differently to consumers for most products, but in reality it is always people that make decisions.
Even if you target chemical factories to sell your latest industrial machinery, there is an individual somewhere within that organisation that needs to be convinced. It is they that will decide whether to invest in your product. With that said, there are still elements of B2B and B2C marketing that we can use to help improve lead generation and marketing results.
B2B - Business to Business Marketing
B2B marketing simply means that you are trying to find buyers and leads from within the business world. It isn’t possible to convince an organisation to purchase something or to use your services, but it is possible to identify the buyer or the head of acquisitions and to pitch your products at them.
When making B2B pitches, it is common to use more formal language. Most professional users still expect this, and the majority of your B2B leads will not really know you. However, business customers still have many of the same motivating factors as consumers. They want value, they want benefit, and they want your product to improve their lives. If it will generate additional profits for their business, then this will make the sale a lot easier.
B2C - Business to Consumer Marketing
Consumers also want value, they will almost certainly need to see the benefits of your products or services, and they will only part with their money if they think that what you offer will improve their lives. Both B2B and B2C leads have a budget, too, and as a marketer, it is your job to ensure that you communicate with those that are able to meet that budget and that have a genuine need for what you offer.
When communicating with consumers, it is acceptable to use more informal language, although you should avoid coming across as being creepy. Presuming to know too much about a person can instantly put them off, and some people may not appreciate the use of their first name even.
Human to Human Marketing
Whether you are embarking on a B2B or a B2C campaign, there are certain factors that are common to both. You will need to identify your target buyers, determine what they are looking for and how your business can meet those needs, and then pitch your products or services in such a way that they will have the greatest chance of making sales.
There are differences, too. The use of informal language is not always acceptable in a B2B environment, but the lines between these two types of marketing strategy have blurred. More businesses, and buyers, are on social media websites, consumer and business users are better informed, and it is easier for any lead to be able to shop around and find the best deals from the best companies.
One of the most important components to any marketing campaign, regardless of who you are approaching, is targeting. The differentiation between B2B and B2C marketing still offers benefit because it narrows your target market down. Rather than attempting to sell to the whole world, you can target the group that are most likely to want your product.
You can, and should, take your targeting much further than deciding whether to sell to business or individual leads. Consider demographics, geographics, and anything else that will help you to identify the specific group of people that are most likely to want to use your business.
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