B2B marketing products can be quite different from the B2C products, even though both have similar objectives. Both have to achieve the set goals in promotion, branding, distribution, lead generation, and so on. However, differences become apparent when the functions and characteristics of the two marketing functions are analyzed.
Long Sales Cycles
B2B marketing products have to deal with extended sales process that can last several months or even more. Hence marketing to prospects that are other businesses, will require various actions depending on the stage in the sales process.
Complex Selling Propositions
Propositions is B2B selling can be quite complex, as they will have to focus on value-based differentiations, and intricate explanation of features. The differences will not only have to be properly articulated but may also have to be supported by statistics and other compelling evidence.
B2B marketing products have the challenge of dealing with a limited audience, whereas in B2C marketing the product or service can be put in front of millions of prospects. B2B products and services will have much fewer prospects and a target audience can be much more difficult to find. It may be possible to find several companies who might need a B2B product or service, but it will again be difficult to find the influential people in such companies who can make the decision for purchases.
B2C products have a relatively uniform pricing, as they MRP does not change between stores. However, B2B product pricing can be different for different buyers, and the price can even vary between sales. Most B2B products have lesser standardization, and the pricing will not only depend on the buyer, but also on the specifications and features required by the buyer. This takes significant amount of calculations, and adds to the cost of selling.
B2B marketing products have to use different set of factors for motivating a purchase. While B2C motivators can be status or impulse, the B2B motivators are usually established trust, forecasted ROI, and fear of taking the wrong decision.
B2B buyers focus on the corporate brand rather than the product name or brand. Even though practical criteria will drive selection, B2B buyers place more importance on corporate brand, as that will decide important questions like can the company be trusted, will the delivery take place at the promised time, and so on.
Extensive Research done by B2B Buyers
B2B marketing has to deal with facts and figures, as all B2B buyers will do thorough research, evaluate references, research alternative providers and solutions, before making a decision. Even though the ordinary consumer in B2C is now much more aware, and does similar research, it will not be based on complex calculations of ROI, researching the materials used in the product and so on.
About the Author: This article is written by Jeff Jackson