The WHY and HOW Guide to B2B & B2C Marketing

The WHY and HOW Guide to B2B & B2C Marketing

Marketing and media are intrinsically linked in this day and age of technological innovation.

In the media landscape, there are three spheres of people: audience, advertisers and the government. 

Leaving the government sphere aside (as it is not so relevant in this discussion), the interaction between the audience and advertisers differs depending on the advertising context.

On SavvySME, there are numerous B2B and B2C marketing guides available for your consumption. But have you ever wondered why we advise you to do certain things?

How are B2B and B2C marketing similar?

Both B2B and B2C marketing strategies share several characteristics. These include the importance of the 4Ps of the marketing mix:

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Pace
  4. Promotion.

One is selling a product offering or an idea that aligns to your customer’s interests.

B2B companies are not that much different to B2C companies because on the other side of the  “regards from the blah blah team” is a human. Therefore, B2B marketing is essentially appealing for human interest.

Sound familiar? Yep. Exactly the same as B2C.

What is the biggest difference in B2B marketing?

One significant difference in marketing strategies between B2B and B2C companies is what you actually market.

B2C marketing is all about you - how you use it, what you experience and why you use it.

Customer relationship management is crucial because once a company loses a customer, the company loses the entire potential stream of purchases the firm could enjoy from a lifetime of customer patronage.

In the case of B2B marketing, there is a certain psychological shift from ‘you’ to ‘me.’ We are cool. We can do this. We will help. In addition, customer relationship management has taken on a new level.

Not only do suppliers need to market themselves as being trustworthy, but they should also develop long-term quality service at an effective price. It is more of an issue about the ‘value delivering network’.

The textbook definition of this is “the network made up of the company, suppliers, distributors who partner with each other to improve the performance of the entire system.” But of course, real life is more complicated than that.

It probably sounds like something from a supermarket jingle, but failure to do so would result in a domino effect of business collapse and the destruction of business reputation. Because the last thing any business owner wants is a PR disaster.

Let me provide you with some examples. Having awkward, damaging and angry posts from customers on the company Facebook such as, 

“I've heard that KFC uses Ingham Chicken. I was shocked last night when Lateline on Channel 2 showed footage of Ingham Chicken/Turkey workers beating, kicking, stamping on live birds. It is an absolute disgrace and I would hope that a large company like KFC would be able to do something about killing the birds humanely before serving them up in burgers.” 

Another marketing tool where poignant differences between B2B and B2C marketing can be observed are websites. B2B companies streamline their audiences and customers.

There is a need to look professional and convey the message: that WE are here.  Therefore, companies don’t want to clutter their webpage with useless information, because, more often than not, customers know what they want.

In contrast, B2C companies want mass appeal to their target market, sell their brand to consumers, and build customer equity. Therefore, they can afford to look cute, modern and chic.

An interesting example to use is Telstra, who caters as both a B2B and as a B2C. Its website separates the two different audiences very effectively which can be observed in the significant changes in website layout. Clicking the ‘Personal’ tab will navigate you to a colourful page in high saturation.

It also features an image of a little girl, suggesting its family orientation. Clicking the ‘Business’ tab takes you to a totally different webpage. It is highly formalised, and it uses a plain typeface. Even the picture subjects differ significantly.

There is a ticker of people in different work environments, such as a labourer on a construction site juxtaposed with a lady in a small shop and men in suits.

Ultimately, it is a showcase of its wide diversity of business partners.

So, considering the information above, what mediums should you use for a B2B market campaign?

What channels should I use for B2B marketing?

Important options to consider are industry-specific expos, conventions, meet-ups and trade shows. These allow both buyers and suppliers to gather and interact with each other.

It also ensures that you can showcase your offerings to relevant audiences. Similarly, there are industry-specific print media such as magazines and newspapers. A quick Google search will offer publications such as the ‘Plumbing Connection’ and ‘Gold Mining Journal’ (a million bucks for guessing right who the target audience is!)

For social media, the answer lies in the following statistics courtesy of which depicts what successful B2B marketers do. It was found that on average, B2B marketers use 12 content marketing tactics.

In addition, 83% use LinkedIn, 80% use Twitter and Facebook and 67% rate in-person events as the most effective content marketing tactic.

Yay, or nay?

Ling Lee

at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding