B2B and B2C: A Basic Guide On The Difference


There aren’t many who think about the differences between B2B and B2C marketing. But in order to have any effective marketing strategy, understanding the comparisons can save up a lot of time and money from common misconceptions.

Business-to-business involves mostly inter-company based exchanges while business-to-consumer dabbles with the mass market. You can categorize their differences among several characteristics: The target market, length of the process, their means, and their products.

Business-to-Business

  • Target Market – Mostly restricted to clients that are involved in larger companies or other similar organizations. To give an example, known companies like Nvidia tend to sell their products to other large company brands like Asus and Gigabyte rather than sell it directly themselves.
  • The Length of the Process – There are many factors involved which naturally makes for a really long process. It involves projecting large figures and dealing them to potential clients so that the end result would present lesser risk. You usually discuss proper management protocols that include logistics, payment timelines, order approvals and other applied practices which in turn require marketing to the people in charge of them.
  • The Means – Most of the clients would look at their transactions more critically in order to build up relationships for future goals. Many outsourced lead generation services provide B2B marketing methods like telemarketing, lead nurturing, and appointment setting in order to help a prospect arrive at a sound buying decision.
  • The Product – The type of products/services are always complex. They could involve large numbers of people who also have their own requirements. Going back to the earlier example with Nvidia, their hardware technology usually comes in the form of graphic processors or the complete product like a whole video card. However, selling their technology isn’t something temporary so it means they not only sold a physical unit like the video card but also the idea and blueprint of what Nvidia’s technology holds.

Business-to-Consumer

  • Target Market – The target audience are broader and diverse in retrospect since they are more expressive and act on either impulse or long term fascination. Their variety can range from a niche group of individuals to entire demographics. The type of people you can draw will also range up to brand companies as well.
  • The Length of the Process – The entire process can is the quicker of the two since it mostly ends with consumers directly purchasing the products and services. But setting that aside, the ways it can happen still vary from something small like a random passerby who buys a burger within minutes to something even bigger like buying an imported high class car from an official car dealer, which takes weeks or even months to complete the transaction.
  • The Means – Relationships with the customers tend to be limited at times.  There can be little to no interest with the company itself and more on just buying the product. In such cases, businesses use highly dynamic means of marketing their products to attract potential clients to build brand loyalty and fanbases (e.g. advertising, sports events, endorsements).
  • The Product – Consumer products aren’t really hard to figure out. They’re the things you see on commercials! You have everything from consumable supplies to electronics. One example is HP All-in-One Desktops, where a person can buy one in an official retail store for personal use.

It’s always important to take note of how you are going to sell your products /services and to whom. Knowing the difference between the calculated, long-planned B2B strategy and the dynamic, speedy B2C strategy is a good start.