Nextphase Strategy Blog

B2B vs. B2C Marketing: What's the Difference?

Broadly speaking, both B2B and B2C marketing involve selling a product or service to a customer. However, there are fundamental differences between these two types of marketing.

Put simply, B2B marketing is brain-driven, while B2C marketing is heart-driven. In other words, B2B marketing makes use of logic, whereas B2C marketing makes use of emotions. Let’s delve a little deeper into what distinguishes one from the other.

B2B Marketing:

·      Centered around relationships
·      Smaller, more focused audience
·      Lower customer turnover rate
·      Educational, awareness-building work to turn prospects into clients
·      High cost of sales
·      Logical purchase process driven by business value
·      Longer sales cycle

B2C Marketing:

·      Centered around products/transactions
·      Larger, broader audience
·      Higher customer turnover rate
·      Aggressive promotional work to turn shoppers into buyers
·      Wide range of cost of sales
·      Emotional purchase process driven by benefits and desires
·      Shorter sales cycle 

The most effective marketing occurs when you understand what your specific market requires to make a purchase decision. What are your thoughts on the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing? Share your comments below.


  1. R Hart
    I like the distinctions you make -- the contrasts get me thinking of ways that these two transactional modalities (B2B and B2C) are different. I'm also interested in the ways that they are similar. In this regard I would point to the substantial body of literature that suggests all decisions, including buying decisions, are fundamentally driven by or determined at the emotional level. Following that line of reasoning, in certain contexts (such as B2B transactions and other work-related settings) we are simply more likely to use logic and reason to rationalize the outcomes of what is an inherently irrational process. In that case, maybe it’s not that effective marketing in a B2B context needs to focus on being less emotional, as much as ensuring that it employs very effective emotional triggers congruent with the business environment. In marketing to a CEO, messages are much more likely to get the emotional arousal necessary to achieve the buying decision “tipping point” if they are embedded within constructs such as “profit”, “growth”, “success”, etc., rather than in constructs that address lifestyle, etc. After all that, we're probably just saying the same thing in different ways?
    June 12, 2012

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