B2B stands for business-to-business, while B2C refers to business-to-consumer. Both are reliable business models, yet they have some very key differences.
Why is it important to know the difference between running a B2B and B2C business?
Well, if you try to run one in the exact way that you run the other, you’re going to run into problems. There are certain things that you need to alter depending on who your target customer is. Don’t worry, this article will explain some key points for you!
Marketing your business
Marketing a B2B business is entirely different from marketing a B2C business. Why? Because your target customer is not the same.
Marketing to consumers means you are open to some of the more traditional approaches. You want to generate as much exposure as possible, meaning TV ads are used, social media marketing is in-play, and so on.
Marketing to business customers means you need a different approach. You have to market in more niche places – like industry magazines. The general tone of your marketing should be different as well. With B2B, there’s an emphasis on promoting your product as useful, cost-effective, and a great solution for a business. With B2C, the tone is more focused on convincing the consumer this product needs to be in their life.
The way you acquire your customers will also be very different. With a B2C business, customer acquisition takes on many forms. People can engage with your marketing, visit your website, and become a customer. It’s very indirect, while B2B customer acquisition is often more direct.
Yes, some business customers do find you online and buy your products/services. However, what typically happens is that you have to convince them that you should be their next supplier. This means drafting proposals for every client to show what you can do. You have to provide quotes as well, then let the customer decide if they choose you over other companies. It’s way more direct than you get with a B2C business.
The business model
Finally, your entire business model could be very different depending on what type of business you run. B2B businesses are typically reliant on long-term clients. You don’t want people to just buy things from you once; you want to enter contracts where they continue to pay you.
B2C businesses aren’t as focused on this. Yes, you want repeat business, but you’re focused on generating more sales and drawing in more customers. It’s less about partnerships and more about new customer acquisitions and repeat business.
You see, there are some fundamental differences in how both business types are run. Keep all of this in mind if you intend to start a new business soon. Firstly, consider who your target customer will be – are you targeting businesses or consumers? Once this has been decided, you’ll know what sort of approach to take. Don’t try to run a B2B business like a B2C one, and vice versa. This will only lead to you feeling frustrated and struggling to find customers.