Business-to-business (B2B), and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing aim to capture the attention of two distinctly different audiences. While there are many similarities between the two, how they engage their audiences are very different. 

Business-to-business describes businesses whose customers are other businesses. This means that their marketing and strategies are dedicated to the needs and challenges of customers who are making purchases for their organization. This may look like an interior design agency that focuses on office spaces, a marketing software service, or recruitment software selling hiring tools to HR departments. 

Business-to-consumer describes those businesses that are marketing to the needs, interests, and challenges of individual buyers. This may be a lawn care company that sells services to homeowners or a cosmetic line selling makeup and skincare to individuals. 

Of course, B2B and B2C intersect from time to time. In fact, the same company may have both B2C and B2B initiatives happening at once! For example, the interior design company specializing in office spaces may also design kitchens and living spaces for your home. The lawn care company selling packages to homeowners may also sell their services to apartment complexes and restaurants. 

These situations and differences are not always cut and dry, and when business strategies interchange between B2B and B2C, it’s best to learn how they differ by taking a look at each marketing strategy. Ready to learn more? Allow D3 to break down the key differences between B2B and B2C that you must know to better market your business. 

Business to Consumer Marketing

A consumer following your B2C brand isn’t looking to build a close relationship with your company. These customers may be loyal to your brand, but they’re likely not as invested in your salespeople or HR team as a business-to-business customer would be. Consider these three tips when marketing business-to-consumer. 

  1. The fewer buzzwords the better! You want to be at your most relatable with these customers. In fact, 83% of customers prefer an informal tone in video content from B2C businesses! 

  2. These purchases are more emotionally driven than B2B. B2C customers are purchasing your product based on how it makes them feel because they don’t have to answer to anyone else when deciding on the purchase. 

  3. Make it fun! When buying for themselves, B2C customers are invested in their own enjoyment of the product, so make your marketing fun and entertaining. 

Business to Business Marketing

Business-to-business buyers are looking for two things: efficiency and expertise. Accordingly, these purchases are driven by logic and financial incentives, so what’s the return on investment? Employees only purchase things that they believe will benefit their business and make them money. Consider the following in your B2B marketing. 

  1. Educate your audience! These buyers want to make the best decision and look good for doing so. In order to make good decisions, they need to be knowledgeable on what they’re purchasing. Utilize content strategies to help your audience think critically, ensuring that they’ll avoid buyers’ remorse later. 

  2. Accounting, department heads, the red tape can go on and on when approving purchases in B2B buying situations. This customer needs to escalate every decision before money can be exchanged, which means that you’re not just marketing to one person, you’re marketing to a team of people! 

  3. You’re investing in an ongoing relationship! Oftentimes, business-to-business purchases are contracted and result in relationships that can last years. Consider long-term problems or projects that your audience may need solutions for, and how the user’s needs will evolve over time. Be sure that you can keep up with this growing relationship and keep an open line of communication to help progress. 

The bottom line? It’s essential that you first understand which audience you’re marketing to. Pulling together the efforts to help you take advantage of the differences between B2B and B2C customers can help you find the ultimate success in your efforts. 


Interested in learning more? Contact the experts at D3, you know where to find us…