A lot of businesses today, thrive by focusing on providing goods and services directly to consumers. This model is known as Business-to-Consumer (B2C). The goal is to identify certain needs people have, and then offer products that will satisfy those identified needs at a profit. The business environment is constantly evolving, and for any company to profitably stay afloat, strategies need to be adopted. The purpose of regularly coming up with relevant business strategies is mainly to increase market share and drive more customer loyalty.
For consumers to purchase the products offered by a business, the entity has to effectively promote the goods and services to the target audience. Technological advancement has greatly increased the various channels companies can use in campaigning to their target consumers. The effective or most popular channel for any business depends on the characteristics of its target demographic. Currently, the web serves as the most universal tool for consumers to research on their shopping requirements. Other media and non-electronic promotion channels also play significant roles in creating consumer product awareness, interest and purchase.
What is B2C Marketing?
B2c marketing deals with the strategies, tactics and best practices that are used to encourage consumers to purchase the products on offer. B2C marketing techniques vary from B2B marketing in a number of notable ways. One of such is that the B2C marketing campaign framework is tailored to appeal to the consumers’ emotions rather than only demonstrating product value. The B2C marketing and sales cycle is shorter in comparison to other business models, so the marketing effort is focused directly on the consumers. The consumers are appealed to, and encouraged to immediately purchase the product. The price, product features, and emotional appeal considerably affect the eventual purchase decision.
What is B2B Marketing?
For some businesses, the products and services they offer are targeted at other businesses. This is the Business to Business (B2B) model. The sales process is usually complex and takes longer to complete. Also the monetary worth and volume of the product is high, so decision making may occur at different levels. B2B marketing messages are based on product value, and features service effectiveness, and building a lasting business relationship with the business customer. The marketing efforts here are best directed through channels that the target business would use. For instance, instead of using the general media as applicable in B2C marketing; business magazines, industry publications, tech shows and trade shows would be much more effective.
What is B2B Sales?
Selling to business customers require a different, customized approach in contrast with selling to the direct consumers. B2B sales are those sales made from a business entity to another business. The following steps basically explain the processes involved in a B2B sale:
The business seeking to sell its products to the other business must first identify the specific business needs of the buyer. Ensure that the business customer has the required financial strength to go through with the purchase. This way, the features lacking in the business customer’s current system is identified, and a solution that fits the available budget is offered.
After the need is identified, a customized solution that both fit the need and budget is developed. The need may be for tangible products or services.
The developed solution is then evaluated with the business customer. If any modifications are necessary, the required adjustments are made to the offered solution.
When satisfactory terms have been agreed on, a binding contract or purchase agreement is signed by both parties. This signifies that the business terms have been finalized. The sales process is complete and the implementation phase commences.
B2B vs B2C
While both B2B and B2C business models deal with selling products and services to a target market, there are differences between the two models.
- A business audience is likely seeking expertise and efficiency, while a large percentage of a consumer market is looking for the best deals and satisfactory entertainment.
- The chain of command in B2B transactions is lengthy due to the complex process involved in selling business products. However, consumers typically make their own purchase decisions.
- The products in B2B transactions are often expensive, technical and need expert knowledge. On the other hand, in a B2C transaction, a consumer can easily get recommendations and suggestions; and use those as basis for a purchase. The person can easily research on the internet to get complete knowledge of the product without consulting an expert.
- B2B products are typically used in further manufacturing processes. They can be raw materials or partly finished goods. Consumer goods are manufactured to be used without further technical processing on the part of the buyer.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
- B2B campaigns often require the use of peculiar industry jargon, while simpler language is used for consumers for better appeal.
- B2B marketing requires detailed content from a sales team made up of field experts. While in B2C, the prevalent social media message needs to be informative, engaging, humorous and shareable with other people.
- A B2B purchase contract can span several months or even years considering that the purchase decision has a significant value. For B2C, the buying cycle ranges from a few minutes to hours for more complex consumer products.
- A business seller needs to prove its expertise in the industry so the campaign content is often lengthy. Consumers prefer short, direct promotion messages.
- B2B target markets are seeking to get as much information as possible and to build lasting business partnerships as well. B2C brand followers do not necessarily seek continuous business relationship. A consumer of a particular brand can easily go for a competing brand.
Business products are mostly involved in a continuing production process. Examples of B2B entities are graphic design and web hosting services, property owners who lease office space, advertising agencies, office furniture manufacturers, and specialized industrial transactions. For instance, in an automobile manufacturing market, the various business products there include tires, car seats, car engine, car paint, car lamps, etc. Those parts are likely to be sourced from other business sellers to complete the car manufacturing process.
The internet has made the B2C platform much more accessible and profitable. Consumers can research, order and pay for their desired items online. B2C e-commerce simply refers to online transactions between businesses directly to their consumers. Most companies now have websites through which they sell their products and services. Some businesses are virtual companies, that is, they exist fully online. E-commerce is currently the preferred purchase channel for a lot of people due to the increased ease it offers.
Both B2C and B2B platforms have their similarities and differences. The type and specification of the products best determine the suitable business model to use. Also, the marketing strategies need to be periodically improved on to keep up with the changes seen in the business environment. The role of technology in achieving business targets cannot be undermined. Evolving with technological advancements is the sure way for businesses to keep up with the current trends.