What is B2C marketing?

With B2C marketing, you’re selling to a consumer or someone who can decide to purchase your product or not and has the means to do so if you’ve targeted your prospects correctly. The buying cycle is typically shorter than B2B marketing because individuals do not need to consult with others to purchase the product or service. They’re looking for a solution to their problem – if it’s thirst, they’ll purchase water, a soft drink, juice, or whatever quenches their desire.  Also, the market size is generally greater than with B2B marketing, although it depends on the product or service being consumed.  (For example, the general population may be interested in buying a soda to satisfy their thirst, but only businesses or organizations would likely be interested in purchasing a vending machine for dispensing soda, water and/or juice.)

Know what drives customer purchasing behavior

The consumer’s motivation for purchasing your product or service may be rational or not, being based on emotion, convenience, or some other factor; this is why understanding your customer’s purchasing habits and decision influencers will be key to developing effective communications and knowing how to reach them.  Consumers also tend to place more value on vendors they trust, so brand recognition plays a larger role than in B2B relationships.

Higher priced items may have a longer buying cycle

While both businesses and consumers focus on value – getting the best quality for the price they’re willing to pay – consumers tend to be more price sensitive than business buyers who are using someone else’s account to make their purchase. The more expensive an item is, the higher the probability is that more people will be involved in the purchasing process.  For instance, a person can buy a soft drink from their local grocery store without others being involved in the decision making process, but if they were to buy a house, the typical buyer might consult with a spouse, their parents or kids, and require a loan to be secured, which means an appraiser and loan officer from a bank may be involved in determining whether the house is ultimately purchased.  Also, a higher price tag means the perceived value will be given more attention; this is not to say emotional appeals won’t be effective, however.

Tips!

  • Consumers are solution seekers with purchasing power and the ability to drive immediate sales transactions.
  • Vendor trust is important.

Additional factors to consider

When preparing your marketing strategy, keep these other B2C marketing aspects in mind:

  • When (time of day), where, and how consumers shop
  • Convenience or safety will play a larger role in the transaction
  • Trigger events that inspire purchases such as the birth of a child, a wedding, or an illness are more personal in nature than business events, which tend to revolve around conventions/award ceremonies, networking events, natural disasters, or key meetings
  • Product/service information tends to be described at a high level with benefits being more easily identifiable
  • External factors are more likely to influence buying behavior

Discover more…

  1. DeMers, Jayson. “How Do Content Strategies for B2B And B2C Businesses Differ?” Forbes Media LLC. Last modified April 6, 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/04/06/how-do-content-strategies-for-b2b-and-b2c-businesses-differ/.
  2. “11 Best Examples of B2C Marketing Automation.” Emarsys. Accessed July 30, 2019. https://www.emarsys.com/en/resources/blog/11-best-examples-of-b2c-marketing-automation/.
  3. Harvey, Steve.  “The Essential Guide for B2C marketing: Indispensable Ideas for Cultivating More Customers.” Fabrik Brands. Last modified April 6, 2018. http://fabrikbrands.com/the-essential-guide-for-b2c-marketing/.
  4. Leopard, Sherri. “B2B vs. B2C marketing — do the differences matter?”  Denver Business Journal. Last modified April 2, 2006 (10:00 p.m. MDT).  http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2006/04/03/focus2.html?page=all.
  5. Murphy, Debra. “Marketing for B2B vs. B2C – Similar but Different.” Masterful Marketing. Last modified April 6, 2007. http://masterful-marketing.com/marketing-b2b-vs-b2c/.
  6. Ritchie, Anna. “B2B vs. B2C Marketing: Where Passion and Practicality Collide?”  B2B Perspective (blog).  Last modified October 31, 2011. http://www.business2community.com/b2b-perspective/b2b-vs-b2c-marketing-where-passion-and-practicality-collide-074172.
  7. Smiciklas, Mark.  “Some Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketing.”Intersection Consulting LTD. Last modified July 20, 2010. http://www.intersectionconsulting.com/2010/some-differences-between-b2b-b2c-marketing/.
  8. Spenner, Patrick. “Eight ‘Behind The Curtain’ B2C Marketing Trends For 2015 – Part I.” Forbes Media LLC.  Last modified January 12, 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickspenner/2015/01/12/8-behind-the-curtain-b2c-marketing-trends-for-2015-part-i/.
  9. Spenner, Patrick. “Part II: ‘Behind the Curtain’ B2C Marketing Trends for 2015.” Forbes Media LLC. Last modified January 26, 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickspenner/2015/01/26/part-ii-behind-the-curtain-b2c-marketing-trends-for-2015/.