The difference between marketing to a business and marketing to a consumer are apparent to say the least but once you drill down into laying out the strategy do you really understand how important these differences are.
A business or customer wants tangible bullet points with facts. A person or consumer wants an idea or a painted perception to take them to their happy place so to speak, logic vs. emotion. There are exceptions to this ideology but for the most part rings true.
Defined as purchases by a business for resale purposes or for direct use in production.
From a buying perspective, most business purchases are based on logic and confined to a budget. On a large business or corporate scale, budgets are set by VP’s, allocated by a CFO, and approved by the CEO or president. The person doing the buying is usually a purchasing agent or a manager in a department. A large purchase gone badly can have some pretty awful ramifications to the business and sometimes to the employment of a few different people. On a small scale is an entrepreneur or office manager that makes the purchase.
Either way, most of the time each purchase is carefully researched and executed repetitiously. Each purchase is measured by the return on investment, how it will benefit the company, and what resources will be created or saved such time and money.
The B2B buying environment is one of logic and calculated risk.
So when marketing to a business you want to highlight the Features, Attributes, and Benefits (FAB) of the product or service. Strategy relies on accurate, in-depth information made very apparent in the initial proposal or set of collateral. Not a lot of emotion is in this process so don’t try to appeal to a personal side; it’s a waste of space and time. Know your buyer, the structure of their company, and know their business.
Defined as purchases by the consumer that are not for profit.
Right to the point, the perspective of the buyer in a B2C environment is one of emotion. It’s not entirely based on reason or fact so you can exploit this and set a tone or mood for the consumer. The purchase is usually personal, for themselves and they want to know how they are going to look and or feel after the purchase, how it will benefit their social or emotional state.
Perspective is reality so getting inside their head, igniting that flame of emotion is the goal of an effective strategy.
B2C marketing must also pay close attention to their channels. Each partner in the process should be consistent with that engineered mood. A retail channel that interacts with the consumer should continue or even enhance this. It’s almost as if there is a single song that each channel must sing exactly the same so it hits the ears of the consumer as it was intended. Manufacturing brands such as Apple have taken the vertical step into retail to ensure this strategy is unvarying which has proven to be most effective. This also increases margin but that’s for another discussion.
So to tie this comparison up, know the buying environment and how to engage the buyer through logical fact or emotional perception. If you still don’t get it, watch and compare a car commercial vs. a commercial for copying machine. Emotion vs. logic.