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.
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
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