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3 Key Differences Between B2C and B2B Marketing Strategies

So, you think you got what it takes to be a successful B2B marketer?

Everyone remembers Michael Jordan as one of the best—if not the greatest—basketball players of all time. His dynamic playing style, incredible athleticism, and a knack at breaking records led him to be one of the most memorable names in sports.

What you probably don’t remember, however, are his post-retirement attempts at two sports other than basketball: golf and baseball.

The truth is that despite his athletic gifts and undeniable talent in basketball, #23 was pretty terrible at anything outside of his wheelhouse.

Perhaps, you have plenty of experience in B2C marketing and your contributions to campaigns have helped you, your clients, and former employers sell thousands of dollars of products and services to consumers.

Maybe, you’ve found plenty of professional success in traditional business to consumer marketing and you’d like to take a stab at a different market.

Now, B2B and B2C Marketing do have a lot of things in common.

However, to succeed in B2B, you’ll need to recognize the differences between the two fields, use new tools, learn new skills, and put the same effort into your new career as you did into your old one.

Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of becoming the Michael Jordan of B2B Marketing.

Let’s explore some of the key differences between B2C and B2B Marketing Strategies:

1. The Target Market

This may be the most obvious, yet most often overlooked aspect of B2B marketing. In fact, it’s part of the definition.

If you thought that consumers were immune to blatant advertising, how do you think the businesses that create the advertisements feel about them? You’re dealing with a whole different level of skepticism when dealing with businesses and you’ll have to learn how to convey honesty and genuine authenticity with your marketing efforts.

You can use many of the same advertising methods as you would in B2C, but you’ll have to completely change your approach and your tone. Try to establish a relationship that’s mutually beneficial for both parties and centers around trust.

In the following video, Richard Robinson from Google UK explains further on how to conduct great B2B Marketing in a digital world:

2. The Decision-Making Process

Before an average consumer makes a purchase, their decision-making process is actually quite simple.

First, they’ll weigh the benefits and the drawbacks of a particular product or service, evaluate the price of the offering, and then decide if the purchase fits within their personal budget.

The B2B decision-making process isn’t all that different, except that a B2B buyer is held under extreme scrutiny when using company money to buy something. They don’t have to luxury of making impulsive purchases for instant gratification—they have to justify their purchase the second they spend a dime.

Why does this matter? Because, by adding more decision makers to the equation, the complexity of the situation grows. You don’t just sell to an account manager, but also to his boss, and his boss’s boss.

There’s a whole strategy for selling B2B and you need to know how to pass through each round of the decision-making process.

3. The Purchasing Process

Getting the average consumer to make a purchase is a breeze; there’s no bureaucracy involved.

Once you’ve gotten him to click “Buy Now” and pull their credit card out of their purse or wallet, you’ve already won.

Yes, they may want to ask their spouse for a second opinion, but ultimately, decision-making in B2C is made by one person: the end consumer.

Selling to an executive, on the other hand, requires convincing an entire boardroom, and possibly stockholders and investors, that your product or service is worth its salt.

You’ll need to provide serious financials, metrics, and other types of hard evidence that would convince even the most die-hard skeptics to make a purchase.

Conclusion

Succeeding in B2B after a great career in B2C can seem like an easy transition. However, resist the temptation to rest on past credentials and don’t assume that you already know everything you need to know.

Instead, try to keep an open mind and search for experts that have a proven track record in the field of B2B. You may find that the same techniques that helped you succeed in B2C are actually harming your efforts at B2B.

If you’re struggling in the field of B2B and need help finding leads, schedule a quick chat with me and find out how Sales Buddy can sync your CRM and deliver guaranteed, hot leads directly to your inbox.

About the Author Corey Singleton

"As a business owner, I put big money into sales and marketing without ever really knowing what results I was going to get. Tired of this ambiguity, I decided to create a new kind of sales support company: one that provides a guarantee.

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