Is b2b or b2c more complex?

B2B buyers look to the long term, which means they spend more time researching and seeking recommendations. In general terms, B2B is more complex than B2C. Products and services, buyer journey, distribution channels, and the number of people influencing a decision are often significantly more complex. That doesn't mean that success is more elusive or expensive than it is 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 in different ways, leveraging different data and calls to action that reflect a more thoughtful buying path. In B2B, customers tend to expect more educational content. You can use industry jargon or business-friendly terms. Think of a complex article about how to combine data points along the customer journey.

If you've worked in the digital marketing world, you're familiar with B2B and B2C business types. But you might not be familiar with B2B and B2C marketing strategies. Most of the time, B2B marketing (also known as business-to-business) focuses on logical, process-based purchasing decisions, while B2C (also known as business-to-consumer) marketing focuses on emotionally-driven purchasing decisions. It is true that the cost of a sale for the b2b market can be more expensive than the B2C market.

The easiest way to explain this is that a B2B transaction often requires more consideration, involves more people, and requires more decision makers. The buying cycle can be much longer than for B2C. While this doesn't mean that quick decisions and impulse purchases don't happen, B2B customers often form much deeper emotional connections with a brand. Many marketers believe that reaching a B2B customer means reaching them in their workplace, through something like a mass email or even a traditional direct mail campaign.

The differentiators between B2B and B2C marketing are not always the same, and there are cases where similarities turn into differences and vice versa. While B2B marketing focuses on building personal relationships, B2C marketing has a slightly more transactional approach. At the top of the conversion funnel, a B2C marketer must be able to create influential ads that give the consumer the need for a product. By having a sophisticated understanding of B2B and B2C marketing strategies, you can easily apply these tactics and increase lead generation and revenue for your business.

Once you understand these five key differences, you can take advantage of certain tactics that only apply to B2B or B2C companies. In B2B, you tend to have longer sales cycles and therefore need to be nurtured for a longer period of time before a sale is made. It doesn't matter if Vanessa deals with other companies in her role as CMO (B2B) or buys new hiking shoes for summer (B2C), she wants to be approached as a person. Because of this, B2B companies often use social media and content marketing to keep in touch with their current or past customers, to keep them in mind for another project or a reference.

This isn't always straightforward, of course, sometimes there's overlap, but these differences between B2B and B2C search marketing are significant. You learned that you're not limited to a few marketing channels just because you do B2B or B2C marketing and that you shouldn't limit your ideas to the B2B and B2C boundaries. As B2B marketers, understanding your audience can help you understand the decision-making process that can apply to them. If you're not sure how to structure your marketing budget, Marketo has a good high-level B2B budget that can help you allocate your funds in the right areas.


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