Do you know the difference between B2C and B2B? No, these aren’t text message abbreviations like LOL (laugh out loud) and BRB (be right back). Instead, they’re business terms that are of particular importance for marketers.
B2C stands for “business to consumer,” and B2B stands for “business to business.” These abbreviations are most commonly used in reference to marketing strategies.
B2C and B2B strategies have many crucial differences. Think about it: you wouldn’t sell a set of home kitchenware in the same way you’d sell an array of industrial ovens. Likewise, everyday consumers and businesses have different wants and needs. In this post, you’ll learn all about the B2C world; lookout for a future post explaining B2B.
What is B2C?
As stated above, B2C means “business to consumer.” This describes any business selling products and services directly to everyday customers. So, for example, a B2C business might sell cars, auto repair services, airplane tickets, clothing, meals — anything meant for personal use. Examples of traditional B2C businesses include restaurants, movie theaters, and any business in a mall. The modern B2C model includes all these businesses, yes, but it also consists of a new category of business brought to life by the internet: e-commerce.
E-commerce is precisely what it sounds like: selling goods online. Platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, and Big Cartel have made it relatively easy for enterprising business people to build digital shops and sell directly to consumers (D2C). D2C is a third model, similar to B2C but with one crucial difference.
D2C companies sell directly to consumers without an intermediary. For example, a clothing boutique is a B2C business that likely stocks clothing from various manufacturers; they purchase that clothing and then sell it to customers at a markup. A D2C clothing company might not even have a store or market to stores; it just ships clothes directly to consumers via an online shop.
Let’s return the focus to B2C and discuss marketing.
While consumers sometimes make long, drawn-out purchasing decisions, that’s not always the case for more accessible, cheaper items. For example, buying a shirt or a hamburger isn’t something most people have to think too hard about. So, B2C marketing campaigns tend to appeal to emotion.
Marketers at any business, whether B2C or B2B, must understand their audience. Know who you’re selling to, understand your demographics, understand their needs, and understand where you need to place advertisements to reach them. Think both in the short-term and the long-term. You want to reach people now, as soon as possible, and develop an audience that will stick with your business in the future.
It’s important to have a deep and frequently updated understanding of your audience as a B2C brand, and it’s just as important to understand your competitors and how you can stand out from them. A defining feature of any B2C niche is that there tends to be a lot of competition, whether you’re in the restaurant, fashion, auto repair, or other industries.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, a few basic marketing channels tend to work across the B2C market. Billboard advertising has been around for a long time and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. A well-placed billboard catches consumers on their daily commute, as well as anyone traveling through the area.
Grocery store advertising is an excellent way to get consumers’ attention for a solid chunk of time every week, with shoppers spending about 41 minutes shopping about once per week. In addition, shopping cart advertising rates are quite affordable, and services like Cartvertising are well set up to help you reach consumers at the supermarket.
B2C Marketing Tips
You should now have a decent understanding of what B2C means and how it should be used as a lens to define your marketing strategies. We’ll leave you with a few great B2C marketing tips.
1.Use emotion in your marketing
Since you’re selling to individuals, think about what’s important to them emotionally. For example, if you’re selling food, communicate in your advertisements that your audience will have a great time hanging out with friends at your restaurant. If you’re selling auto repair services, share how your team’s work will help ensure safe driving
2.Use promotions in your marketing
Customers love a deal! Offer small discounts and prioritize them in your advertising. If you run a restaurant, advertise your happy hour! If you run a salon, promote a niche, special deal — something like “half off hair coloring if you bring a friend.”
3.Define your niche
If you try too hard to market to a broad audience, you risk not appealing to a more specific audience. People want to feel seen! So always try to define your audience very specifically, and communicate directly to the needs of that niche.