For many businesses, the decision between B2B and B2C marketing can be a difficult one. While both strategies have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, it's important to understand the differences between them in order to make an informed decision. On average, B2B products and services tend to be more complex than B2C products and services. However, it is possible to market a less exciting B2B product or service in an engaging way.
Transactions in this marketing tend to be higher than in B2C marketing due to the higher cost of products and services. As a result, the relationships between a B2B company and its customers are often more complex than in B2C marketing. Generally speaking, B2B is more complex than B2C due to the complexity of products and services, the buyer's journey, distribution channels, and the number of people who influence a decision. That doesn't mean that success is more difficult or expensive than for our friends in the B2C world, but it does mean that you have to take a different approach to achieve it.
While many of the same strategies and tactics are used in both B2B and B2C marketing, B2B applies them differently, leveraging different data and calls to action that reflect a more thoughtful buying path. Some industries have regulations where they can't say certain things in a marketing or advertising context, which requires more creativity when it comes to promoting a B2B company with restrictions on what it can and can't say. Additionally, buyers in the B2B space expect their seller to thoroughly understand their industry and be well-equipped to answer difficult questions. Most B2B buyers are looking for products or services that integrate with their existing processes and solve any business problems they may have.
They also look to the long term, which means they spend more time researching and seeking recommendations. Because of this, B2B companies often use social media and content marketing to keep in touch with their current or past customers, so they stay top-of-mind for another project or as a reference. The advantage of this high-value, low-volume dynamic is that marketers can often reduce their goal to the individual level with highly personalized, highly relevant communications that speak to an audience of one. And that unique dynamic has a dramatic effect on the strategies and tactics that B2B marketers consider most effective.
Even when B2B products or services have a low unit cost, they are often purchased in quantities so high that someone is still writing a hefty check. And because this is a business audience with business needs, you're talking to people about something complex and highly technical that they may have spent decades studying, learning and doing every day. In digital transformation, future of work, leadership, leadership through change, e-commerce, B2B commerce, B2C marketing - nearly 70% of shoppers now expect an “Amazon-like experience” when making purchases online. Because the B2B buying cycle requires a greater relationship with customers throughout the buying process, there are more opportunities (and challenges) for marketers to consider when creating a marketing program.
Let's take a look at how B2B organizations can deliver elevated e-commerce experiences.