Business and Consumer marketing; is there any difference?
30th July 2015
Business to business vs business to customer marketing; basic differences
The idea behind why this is very different is outstandingly obvious to some, and not so much to others. The approach for this is different, for a business to market sales towards a customer they need to attempt to make an immediate sale. Customers are a one item at a time purchaser, and a long term relationship does not need to be acquired because of this. Also the reasons for a consumer to purchase a product are often based entirely on their emotions, and consumers do not need to consult with other people before making a purchase.
Business to business on the other hand is entirely different, with the focus being on developing long term business relationships even if the business does not have the funds to complete an order straight away. With business to business relations the sales are all in bulk, and the focus is far from attempting to make a quick sale. A business purchase requires for the purchaser to convince his/her boss that the product in question is financially viable.
Length of contract and its effect
The way that a b2b market works is focused heavily around the length of collaboration. If you can secure providing another business with your products or services for a long time and you develop a strong relationship with this company then you are sitting on a valuable relationship. This contractual length provides the opportunity to develop a sense of loyalty to another company, and allows future collaborations etc.
With consumers this is completely different, the relationship is still there but the effects of it are completely different. With a consumer the relationship you have with them is worth less in terms of profits directly, but if you can provide them with first class service and support then they become more valuable than you may think. A customer that advocates your brand is worth 100 adverts, with word of mouth from a friend or family member being worth 1000 online 5 star ratings. If you gain a customer’s trust and they become loyal to you then you have achieved every companies end goal. Customer loyalty is more than just a display of your exceeding services or products, but is also a great way of reaching further customers that may not have heard of your brand in the past.
What’s the end goal?
The end goals of the two are different, and the length of the process between reaching the end goal is significant. With consumers your marketing can have an immediate, hard impact that sometimes makes consumers go out and buy the product there and then. There is no reason needed for a consumer to buy something, it does not matter if they require the item or service, they often do not even know a huge amount about a product before they buy it. This is why the end goal in consumer marketing is to secure that one sale, with the prospect of securing that customer as a long term loyal user of your brands services being a major added bonus, although not required.
With a business it’s different to consumers in a handful of ways, and these reasons go far and beyond what you might expect. Businesses need to evaluate your services against a set of thought processes that delay the investment or purchase time by significant margins. This sort of delay in consumer decisions would be destructive; if all consumers thought logically like businesses then most businesses would not exist. Remember consumers are easier to sell to, but you have to sell to a lot of consumers to get the sort of return that you would get from a business deal.