It may sound simple, but the first step businesses need to take before establishing a marketing plan is understanding who their potential customers are and how they should be engaged with.
The Importance of Knowing Your Customers
Anyone who has invested any time into this problem quickly learns that the devil is in the detail, and that things get increasingly complicated the more questions you ask—are my customers businesses or individuals? What are the different ways a product can be marketed to these different groups? What is the best way to communicate with this group?
In this blog, we'll identify the difference between business-to-business customers (B2B customers) and business to business customers, also known as B2C customers.
Target the Right Customers: B2B vs B2C
It's easy to assume that companies and people can be marketed to in the same way, but this is far from the truth. There are emotional differences between:
- targeting customers who are buying a product or service for themselves
- and targeting customers who are buying a solution for their company.
For this reason (and others), B2B customers and B2C customers warrant their own categories, which means you need to carefully consider each audience's unique characteristics before establishing an effective marketing plan as part of an overall inbound marketing strategy.
Related Article: What to Expect from an Inbound Marketing Strategy
The Difference Between B2B Marketing & B2C Marketing
Generally, B2C marketing is more product-driven and geared towards maximizing the individual transaction’s value. On the other hand, B2B marketing is focused more on the relationship between two businesses.
The other major distinguishing factor is the size of the target market, as B2C tends to have a large target market, while B2B is more focused.
As a consumer, you will be much more familiar with B2C websites, e-commerce platforms and services. However, if your target market is other businesses, then you may be much more concerned about how you can interact and connect with these businesses than about the how the information is displayed to the outside world.
Identify the Right Strategy for Your B2B Company or B2C Company
So how do these differences in targeting customers play themselves out as marketing strategies?
Well, B2C companies need to target large groups of people on a more immediate level. Often B2C customers are satisfied by efforts like coupons and displays, which are both eye-catching and promise instant value to the consumer.
Consider sites like Amazon or Airbnb. These sites must target a large potential market while also understanding a significant amount of data in order to effectively target solutions in ideal customer might be interested in.
At the other end of the spectrum, B2B strategies use tools that engage and foster relationships. B2B websites are often more geared toward services or products that businesses own and use rather than what an everyday consumer may be looking for.
Consider, as an example, a construction site that is looking for service offerings to keep their heavy equipment maintained. That's not an everyday search on Amazon!
Related Article: Transform Your B2B Company with the Right Business Strategy
Learn More About Targeting Customers
Of course, all of the ins and outs of customer-targeted marketing go well beyond these basics.
If you're interested in learning more about the importance of targeting customers or you'd like to understand more about B2B marketing and B2C marketing, we can help! Schedule a time to talk to a growth strategist to get started! Our team can help you develop a strong and proven marketing strategy unique to your business. As well, we can help you execute that strategy, or simply coach you and your team along the way.