the differences, how to do marketing and how to sell to each of them – WAU
Segmentation has never been more important to business success than it is today. In general, adopting a unique strategy for all types of public is a sure recipe for failure. Therefore, it is up to the CEOs and directors of marketing and sales to pay attention to the different aspects that affect the way […]
Segmentation has never been more important to business success than it is today. In general, adopting a unique strategy for all types of public is a sure recipe for failure.
Therefore, it is up to the CEOs and directors of marketing and sales to pay attention to the different aspects that affect the way the company must communicate with the public.
One of the main factors to be observed is the operation model used in the business.
B2B and B2C companies sell to totally different audiences and need to take this into account in planning to have positive results.
Do you want to know how B2B and B2C operations are different from each other and what to do to sell a lot in each one? So come on!
In this post you will see:
- what are the differences between B2B and B2C market;
- what are the types of B2B and B2C operations;
- how to do B2B and B2C marketing;
- and how to sell to B2B and B2C.
What are the differences between B2B and B2C market?
B2B Business (from English, Business to Business), in which it is sold to companies, are very different from B2C (from English, Business to Consumer), where the customer is an individual.
It is really important that you understand the differences between them well to fully exploit your type of operation.
It is not possible to say, necessarily, that one is easier than the other, not least because engaging the public and attracting them in the midst of strong competition can never be classified as an easy task.
What will determine the size of the challenge, whether you sell to B2B or B2C, is the quality of your marketing work and sales process.
See some of the main differences between B2B and B2C and how they directly affect the entire communication process with customers from the initial interest:
The 1st difference between the 2 types of business is, without a doubt, the time of relationship between client and company.
In the B2C market, in which it is sold to the final consumer, the relationship is more immediate, and the entry and exit barriers are lower every day.
If today the customer buys the washing powder of a brand, tomorrow he can choose the competitor’s product without any problem.
In the case of a company (B2B), it is crucial to calculate very well before buying any product, and even more before making a change.
Using the same example as washing powder, imagine that the company needs a lot to wash employees’ uniforms.
The purchase has to be made in large quantities. So, choosing a product that is too expensive or without quality would cause damage.
In addition, changing the soap brand frequently would increase the risk of problems with washing.
Thus, it makes sense that while the B2C customer has greater freedom to change products without major consequences, B2B needs guarantees and usually chooses a solution to maintain for a long time.
The decision criteria change dramatically when comparing B2B and B2C sales. While the B2B client is based on reason, B2C is more often carried away by emotion, even without realizing it.
This is because, in the case of B2B sales, it is necessary to prove the reasons for each purchase, that is, show why product A will be more advantageous than product B.
This requires data, analysis, case studies from other customers who have already achieved good results with the product or service in question and so on.
In the case of B2C, this need is not so strong. The client does not need to justify the logic of his choice to someone and, even when he does, it can be using subjective criteria.
Any simple phrase, such as “for me, there is no equal” already serves as a reason to explain why the choice of a certain B2C item, even if it is more expensive than similar ones.
In this regard, factors such as packaging, brand strength and recommendations from others help to leverage a B2C product.
Number of people involved in the purchase process
Again, the B2B buying process is more complex in essence.
Due to the justification we mentioned above, there is usually a greater number of people involved in the B2B buying process versus just 1 in B2C: the consumer himself.
In some cases, the interest starts with a price quote or an initial survey by someone assigned to it and gradually reaches decision makers.
In other situations, it is the decision maker himself who researches the desired solution from the beginning, but needs to consult other sectors within the company itself before closing the purchase.
The bigger the company, the more people will be involved in the buying process.
B2C, on the other hand, is also not 100% dependent on the person making the purchase. As well?
The modern consumer also wants some guarantee, even as a way to filter the infinite options of products on the market.
For that, they resort to social networks, evaluation sites, recommendations from friends and so on. In other words, the final decision is up to the customer, but he will seek information from trusted sources before choosing.
Sales cycle length
Collective decisions will always take more time than individual choices, and this is reflected in the length of the B2B and B2C sales cycle.
The B2C client, even when searching the internet and asking for opinions from others, will make his choice much faster than a group of company directors.
In B2B businesses, negotiations can take up to months due to the “back and forth” of information that needs to be studied and evaluated until it is decided which way to go.
Why is it important to know this? Because preparing for a short sales cycle is totally different from what is required for a longer cycle.
The content changes and the marketing strategies need to be different, as well as the sales process.
Use of communication channels
The communication channels used to reach B2B and B2C audiences can be the same, without any problem.
Especially when it comes to digital marketing, channels are easily adapted to reach different audiences with the same effectiveness.
What should change is how these channels are used. While the B2B model requires segmentation, in order to reach the needs of the chosen audience in a certain way, B2C is made for the masses.
Thus, B2B communication needs to convey the idea of specialization, and B2C is more concerned with being accessible in order to gain the volume of interested people.
This does not mean that B2C involves talking to everyone. It is still essential to talk only to the audience that fits your desired customer profile.
This makes the persona also important for B2C, and not just for businesses that sell to other companies.
What are the types of B2B and B2C operations?
Now that we have seen some of the main differences between the 2 operations already mentioned, how about observing in practice some examples of this distinction?
Think about how the examples cited communicate with your audiences in different ways.
This will help you to identify some of the differences we mentioned and think about what to do to get your communication right.
Briefly, some examples of B2B and B2C operations:
- wholesale chains (food supplies);
- consumer goods for companies (office supplies, cleaning, hygiene, etc.);
- distributors of raw materials for production processes;
- outsourced services (marketing, transportation, food, etc.);
- retail chains (supermarkets, department stores, etc.);
- sale of leisure services (theater, cinema, park tickets, etc.);
- food (bars, restaurants, snack bars etc.).
Notice how some of these businesses can easily have separate B2B and B2C versions for the same product. This is a trend that aims to expand the reach of brands and gain a larger share of the market.
As you can see, B2B transactions typically involve more expensive products or those purchased in larger quantities. B2C businesses require less commitment from customers and have a shorter and simpler sales cycle.
Thinking about these differences already mentioned, how to do marketing for each of these types of business? This is what we will see next.
How to do B2B and B2C marketing?
Marketing consists of generating value for the public from the moment he gets in touch with your brand so that he remains interested and feels more and more motivated to buy.
As we have seen, B2B and B2C are markets with different needs, objectives and concerns. What to do to meet the expectations of each one? See below:
B2B: data, decision makers and longevity
We have already talked a little about some of the criteria used by B2B customers, but we will focus on how to take into account, in practice, each one of them.
Content is one of the best ways to generate, nurture and convert B2B leads into customers.
For your business to be able to do this consistently, it is crucial that the material that the brand creates takes into account these 3 elements:
- Decision makers: your persona is likely to be the decision maker (or one of them). So, create your materials thinking about the desires, needs and expectations of that persona;
- longevity: companies like long-term solutions, because changing is expensive. Then, show the persona how your product or service can bring results for a long time.
B2C: relationship, recommendations and immediacy
What about B2C, which has some different challenges? The approach needs to be different, but treated as seriously as possible.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that B2C is easier just because we mention some complexities of corporate selling.
On the contrary: the huge amount of options on the market and the need for critical mass for a product to be successful are major obstacles.
To overcome strong competition and gain consumer preference, marketing actions must be focused on:
- relationship: strong presence on social networks, proximity to the point of sale, content marketing and loyalty promotional actions are important to win over the public;
- recommendations: “word of mouth” marketing is life for B2C businesses. So, create actions that make your customers recommend the product to others;
- immediacy: the individual does not always think as much in the long run as a company. So, highlighting the immediate benefit of your product may make more sense to attract sales.
How to sell to B2B and B2C?
The sales process will naturally follow the pattern established in the marketing team’s approach.
This means that the sale to B2B tends to be more segmented, focused on the needs exposed by the decision makers and in a way that shows the entire structure of the company to serve the customer for a long time.
The B2C sales process, in turn, tends to be aimed at attracting the masses, with less decision time on the part of the customer, and in order to achieve the greatest possible number of recommendations for other possible consumers.
But it is also necessary to consider the unique aspects that each operation usually brings with it.
For example, the average ticket is a very relevant factor in determining how the B2B sales process will be. The higher the value, the more salespeople will be required to prepare and pay attention to the lead to close the sale.
The B2C model, in turn, deals with a large mass of people with different cultures, values and backgrounds. Respecting these values will be essential to gain consumer confidence and sell a lot.
Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C is the first step to avoid the trap of doing marketing that does not bring any results or to create an inefficient sales process that wastes more opportunities than it converts.
Now it’s time to adapt your operation with the best practices listed here.
Whether your business is B2B or B2C, you certainly want to sell more, right? See how to achieve this by prospecting customers!