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  • Pete Steege

B2B vs. B2C - What's the Difference?

Updated: Jan 27, 2021






I have a question for you: What is the difference between B2B and B2C when it comes to your marketing program? The answer is. "Quite a lot." But it does boil down to two essential things.


  1. Who is the buyer?

  2. How does that buyer make their decision?


Those two simple things have a broad impact on how your B2B marketing program works and how to make it successful.


So for who the buyer is in B2C it's the consumer; it tends to be one person. In B2B, it's quite often a multiple of people - a team - and that team of people has to make that decision together in order for the purchase to be made


As for how the decision is made, consumers tend to have a higher level of emotional input in their decision, whereas businesses are usually using more facts and data and the decision tends to be more intellectual.


Not black and white


But these two factors are not black and white.


For example, if I am a family that's buying a minivan, there are probably going to be multiple people involved in that decision, and they're probably going to use some data and do some research to help them make that decision.


These two factors very simple, but they have a very broad impact. So let's talk more about how they affect B2B. What do these two simple things mean when it comes to how you go to market?


Multiple buying roles


First of all, that team selling that has a huge impact.


When you have multiple people that are involved in the decision, any one of them can stop it from happening. So you have to target, market and sell to multiple personas.

And they have different needs.


Who is the buyer different places you need to speak to them makes it much more involved


Long sales cycle


The sale cycle tends to be a lot longer as well. That's partly due to this fact of people needing to come together and make a decision.


But another part of the multiple-person dynamic is a budget process, and the price points tend to be bigger, too, because sometimes those decisions are made for an ongoing decision, not just that initial purchase.


Complex purchase


And then finally, the purchase process itself is can be much more complex.


An easy example of that is the difference in feature sets between eCommerce platforms for consumers versus B2B, because of the the ongoing purchase capability.


Who has permission to buy? Do you stock items in inventory? Are they multiple locations?


Rational buying decision


There are all kinds of different elements to the more rational decision process for B2B.


There tends to be a vetting process involved, which means you as a marketer have to have your ducks in a row - the data and the business proof, if you will - that support those decisions.


These are just a few of the ways that B2B marketing is changed by the buyer and the decision process.


In a lot of ways B2B buyng is more complex than B2C buying decision.


That said, there are ways that you can learn from B2C and improve your B2B marketing program. I'll talk about that in my next video.

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