B2B and B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference?


Marketers of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) aim to attract the attention of two separate audiences. And even though these types of marketing have many similarities, how they engage audiences on each channel is actually quite clearly different.

What Exactly is B2B Marketing?

B2B marketing simply refers to marketing for business-to-business.

For example, if British Airways tries to become the preferred travel provider for your company and is marketing to you accordingly, then that would be B2B marketing.

Or, as another example, if a business is trying to sell you a huge piece of machinery to assist with your production line, B2B marketing would be involved.

It’s what one business does when they try to sell to some other company and/or partner with it.

B2B marketing’s focus tends to be logical. You want to focus on the product and its characteristics, what it has to offer the company to which you are trying to sell.

Why’s that?

Because in a B2B purchasing decision, there tends not to be much emotion involved.

It’s all about how much it costs for your product and what you offer for that cost.

The focus of B2B marketing should be as follows:

  • How does your brand improve productivity?
  • How does your brand offer tool that nobody else can provide?
  • How money and time are saved by your product?

If you focus on those three things, then you’ll be able to build yourself a solid B2B marketing strategy.

What is B2C Marketing?

While B2B marketing focuses on marketing for business-to-business, B2C marketing focuses on consumer marketing. It literally means “marketing business-to-consumer.”

Examples of B2C marketing include McDonald’s trying to pursue moms to purchase happy meals to their children. Another example, when Tesco tries to convince you to do your shopping there, you can’t get anywhere else by offering deals.

When making a B2C buying decision, consumers are much more emotional than when someone makes a B2B buying decision. As such, it is necessary to focus B2C marketing on the following:

  • Creation of content for their brands and businesses
  • Creating a brand connexion with their customers
  • Selling individuals, the benefits offered by their product(s)

One of the biggest and most important parts of B2C marketing is advertising. (Besides having a great product.)


Because customers don’t want a lengthy, drawn-out ad. Rather, they want something short and snappy that catches their attention and gets right to the point.

Consumers who make buying decisions for B2C don’t want to work hard to understand what you sell and why. They want the advantages made clear to them quickly and easily and the reason for buying. To understand your message, they shouldn’t have to work.

Major Differences Between B2B vs B2C Marketing

The main difference between B2B and B2C marketing has to do with how the buyer is attracted to you. You connect with a consumer differently than you do with a company.

And in order to actually make your sale, you need to make sure you sell the correct way.

Here are just a few of the differences between B2B and B2C advertising.

1. What's Driving the Purchase Decision?

A B2B audience makes very, very different purchasing decisions from a B2C audience.

Your B2B buyer will concentrate on whether or not, along with lots of expertise, you can offer them an effective product. Your B2C buyer will be focused on finding a good deal with lots of value for fun or entertainment.

Thus, focus on logic and the expertise you can provide for B2B marketing. For B2C marketing, appeal to the feelings of your customers.

2. To Use Industry Jargon or Not

It’s straightforward. You should use industry jargon with B2B sales-actually, it will probably make a potential buyer feel more comfortable because it demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about and know your way around the industry.

You absolutely want to avoid the jargon of industry with B2C sales. A customer will not know what it means, and it will be a very quick and easy way to turn your product off.

3. Content Marketing

Your content will differ widely between B2B and B2C advertising. You want lengthy content for B2B marketing that answers lots of questions, has a lot of buzzwords and industry jargon and goes into your offerings in great detail.

You want to concentrate on pith and humour for B2C marketing, as this is most likely to engage consumers and keep your brand top of mind for them. And for you, this will translate into sales.

4. Who's Making the Purchasing Decision?

In a B2B purchase decision, there are a lot more people involved than there are in a B2C purchase decision.

What is that supposed to mean?

Well, with a B2C purchase decision, the decision is usually made by just one person. Sometimes the decision is made jointly by a family or group of friends, but there are still a relatively small number of individuals.

There is a whole chain of command with a B2B purchasing decision that has to weigh in.

Before the decision can be made, you have to send it up the chain of command and get input from a whole bunch of people.

5. Building Brand Relationships

For a consumer, it is not about building a relationship with your brand that drives their purchase decision. It’s about satisfying an immediate desire or need.

That’s not to say consumers aren’t becoming loyal to the brand. It simply means that when they make their purchasing decision, they’re not thinking about a relationship.

They often look for a company to build a long-term relationship with you and your brand. They want someone with whom they can partner so that they don’t have to spend time vetting candidates over and over again and making purchasing decisions.


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