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We’re often asked about the difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing.

“Marketing is marketing, right?” — whether it’s for Business to Business or Business to Consumer.

Well, sort of.

The end goal is the same: to sell a product or service. The path to arrive at that goal is what changes. Here are five key differences to consider when forming your next marketing strategy.

Language

One of the biggest differences is the language you use. Marketing to consumers needs to have a broader appeal and approach than when you’re marketing to other businesses.

While industry buzzwords and jargon are acceptable — expected, even — in B2B marketing, marketing to consumers requires language that’s easy to comprehend. A consumer might not understand that a product will help them “free up more bandwidth.” They will, however, understand that it can “save time.”

Motivation

Although emotion is an important factor in any marketing campaign, B2B communications tend to center more on logic. Company decision-makers focus on knowledge, trust and efficiency. They want to know the benefit of a relationship with a vendor, and that they’re getting a good return on their investment.

Consumers, on the other hand, are more interested in the benefit of a product or service — is it going to elevate their status? Save them money? Make life easier? They are less interested in forming an ongoing relationship with a company.

Tone

In B2C marketing, the tone can be conversational, informal — even humorous. There’s often a focus on “infotainment.” B2B marketing, on the other hand, is expected to provide facts, and the message revolves around service, trust and value. Marketing content can often be more detailed for B2B, because decision-makers want to gather as much information as possible. B2C content works best when it’s short and sweet.

Placement

If you open almost any publication, flip on the TV or radio, or look up at a billboard, you’ll see ads for consumer goods. They are placed where consumers live and work. B2B efforts, on the other hand, focus on industry publications such as flyers and trade magazines; sponsorships and banners at events; and targeted digital advertising through search engines or on social media.

Timeframe

Sales cycles for B2B campaigns tend to last longer than B2C campaigns. While any marketing effort needs to focus on generating leads, B2B marketing must also build connections with people who may not have an immediate need for your product or service, but might in the future. The use of social media, direct mail and email campaigns are all great ways to stay top of mind.

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