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The Differences in B2C & B2B Marketing and How You Can Succeed at Both

The Differences in B2C & B2B Marketing and How You Can Succeed at Both

Both B2B and B2C industry models have experienced exponential digital growth. Many opportunities exist to go either from B2B to B2C or vice-versa, as the many available channels have made it more possible as eCommerce evolves. There is a wide variety of marketplaces, tools, and solutions to make B2C and B2B marketing processes easier.


Despite that, balancing B2B and B2C marketing can be difficult. Each model requires completely different target audiences, messaging, and business approaches, so there’s a lot to juggle to apply both successfully.


What is more critical than any of these things, the fuel that can be used to drive B2B and B2C marketing simultaneously is organized product data. After all, product data is what will attract and inform both B2B and B2C audiences, be enriched to disseminate the right message, as well as propel transactions, be it long or short sales cycles.


That being said, let’s first address the main differences between B2C and B2B marketing when it comes to managing product data before discussing how you can implement both.


How B2C Marketing Works


B2C marketing aims to garner the attention of individual consumers, usually end-users of a product. The B2C business model focuses on attracting a high volume of customers to make small-scale buys. Think of a CPG brand trying to sell as many paper towel rolls as possible. As a result, while customer experience continues to be important, there is less of an emphasis on involved relationships. They remain transactional.


The main goal of a B2B marketing strategy is to attract and convert as many consumers as possible. The target audience is based on a larger-scale market, which allows for more opportunities but also requires narrowing in on several buyer personas.


B2C messaging focuses on emotion, to drive revenue with more views, clicks, shares, likes, and of course, impulse buys. Marketing copy has to be more straightforward and resonate with the audience.


The major channels for marketing are social media, Facebook, Instagram, chatbots, and retargeting campaigns.


Product data is essential for B2C: Product specs must be accurate to attend to fast-paced decisions. In addition, teams need the infrastructure to be able to update marketing content promptly.


The goal of managing product information properly is efficiency; to sell more products fast. Delivering product data fast drives an excellent customer experience and can result in repeat buyers. Product pages must include concise, yet comprehensive product descriptions, giving shoppers the right information in seconds for well-made purchase decisions. Speed and accuracy are the pillars of B2C sales.


How B2B Marketing Works


B2B companies sell to other businesses or third-party retailers, that will then market to consumers (or in some cases, other retailers). With multiple pricing tiers or custom pricing, B2B websites’ main objective is to offer educational content and an account dashboard for clients to manage higher order volumes. The longer sales cycles require continuous communication, so relationships are critical to success.


The main goal of B2B marketing is to generate leads while maintaining these strong customer relationships. For this, brand consistency is the cement that keeps customers trusting. Because of the narrower pool of potential customers, B2B companies need to focus on a specific niche and match that profile with the right messaging.


With marketing, logic overshadows emotion. To grow the B2B buyer’s confidence, a robust comprehensive set of information is critical, especially when paired with personalization: speaking directly to and delivering content customized to the potential customer.


Important B2B marketing channels include LinkedIn, email, messenger, SMS, SEO, and paid ads.


B2B buyers do extensive research before making a purchasing decision. Companies need to compare services between competitors to find the right product that a) aligns with their long-term goals and b) matches their specific needs. To address that, product specifications must be accurate, standardized, and credible. Companies will see product data before they ever engage with you.


Moreover, it’s important to deliver product data in detail, in longer forms than that of B2C marketing, to build interest while communicating your products’ value in-depth.


B2B customers require education-focused content sprinkled with industry jargon, rational benefits, and an extensive set of technical specifications, attributes, safety data, and other files.


The Differences between B2C and B2B Marketing


In short, B2C marketing focuses on straightforward, emotion-evoking messages for the average consumer, highlighting benefits and solving pain points. B2B marketing drives business by appealing to logic, emphasizing long-term advantages for buyers regarding cost, time, or resources.


How to Succeed at Both B2B and B2C


First of all, why go down both avenues? Here are just a few reasons:


  1. There are more retail opportunities at your disposal; strategize ways to sell to more by targeting specific personas in either camp.
  2. When you go from B2C to B2B, the higher AOV per customer boosts revenue. When you’re B2B and start selling to consumers, you can have a near-automatic system of receiving sales with digital self-checkouts.
  3. Adding a channel can be fairly straightforward, especially with a PIM/DAM solution.


Success Starts at Product Data


While differences are clear, B2B and B2C do share common ground. For instance, product data serves as the essential foundation for reaching and informing the right audiences in B2B and B2C marketing.


In order to succeed at both, you must know both your B2B vs B2C audiences, create the websites, manage the right channels, and deliver relevant messaging to each respective channel. To get this right, using an automated product data management system will help in the following ways.


Optimize product data


For more efficient marketing measures, you need to optimize your product data while retaining accuracy. Storing assets and data in one source, for instance, gives you access to all necessary content: attributes, specs, documents, photography, descriptions, and more. A database with good taxonomy, like PIM, improves findability so marketers can find products in less time. While you publish products to B2C sites in less time, you can also have a branded portal ready for B2B buyers to access marketing data in a self-serve manner.


Enrich product data


For marketing purposes, initial manufacturer data must be enriched to represent the product well to emotional buyers. It’s necessary to construct rich, accurate content that is compelling. Enrichment is what drives engagement, improves SEO, and provides readable product information for both B2B and B2C audiences. It helps to deliver custom data to specific B2B leads, while simplifying the B2C on-store decision-making process.


Improve product data management processes


The best way to make quality product data accessible to all parts of your business is by centralizing it. One source of standardized product data reduces costs on both B2B and B2C fronts. Reduce costs by standardizing your information from the beginning system, and with better information transmission with trade partners and retail channels.


Reduce complexity, hone success


Simultaneously managing B2B and B2C can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be. With a PIM tool, you can have product data organized and ready to go, comprehensive, etc. Sift through highly organized product data easily to publish to either B2B or B2C channels. Despite the requirements, each one needs, set yourself up to add a new avenue whenever you’re ready.


Founder of Catsy

Catsy, a product information management and digital asset management software. He started in the trenches of eCommerce as a software developer and was soon challenged with the complexities of product content that powers eCommerce. This led to the development of Catsy as a product information management system: purpose-built for brands that sell through distributors, retailers, direct-to-customer channels.

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