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Marketing: B2B vs. B2C

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Marketing: B2B vs. B2C

Post  Pete2002 on Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:12 am

Marketing plays very important part within an organization. Marketing allows organizations to promote their products or services with the intent of maximizing their profit and gaining consumers’ confidence. In today’s society, marketing the correct product or service can be difficult but implementing the marketing process and planning accurately can alleviate potential obstacles. This week’s paper will discuss the meaning of marketing, define business-to-business (B2B), define business-to-consumer (B2C), and compare how marketing differs between B2B and B2C websites.

In marketing, there are 4 Ps. In order to determine how marketing differs on a B2C site compared to a B2B site, we would have to focus on the 4 Ps of marketing which is Product: This includes packaging design, branding, trademarks, warranties, guarantees, product life cycles and new product development. Price: Setting profitable and justifiable prices. Place: This covers the physical distribution of goods. Promotion: Encompasses personal selling, advertising and sales promotion. All of the 4 Ps will apply to both B2C & B2B sites, however the only difference is that the 4 Ps for a B2C site would relate to a business to consumer and the B2B site would be related to a business to business. The mixing or blending of the 4 Ps is such a way to attain both the business and target market’s goals and objectives is the key to success. The correct marketing mix, or blend, will help both a B2B and B2C site develop a successful marketing strategy plus a highly effective marketing plan.

As part of the marketing mix, B2C sites add a fifth P to the mix, which is people. Being a business that caters to consumers, people are another aspect that must be analyzed and addressed. Through market segmentation and data research, B2C sites can develop the other four Ps to spark the consumer’s interest. Additionally, many B2C businesses do data sharing of consumer information where they pool their consumer files together creating a listing of highly responsive consumers. Sometimes this listing turns out to be spam emails. B2B sites have not grasped this concept yet. Most B2C business has done extensive research into the types of consumers interested in their product and will spare no expense to capture that target market’s interest.

B2C marketing campaigns usually focus on the transaction and not the relationship like a B2B marketing campaign. B2C sites are after the number of transactions they can receive rather than the number of relationships or the duration of the relationships. This is because the relationships that are developed between a B2C business and consumer are normally shorter in duration than the relationship between a B2B business and their customer.

B2C marketing usually concentrates primarily on the consumers. B2C sites attempt to determine consumer needs and desires. B2C sites want to educate the consumers about their product, the availability of the products, and the important product features. Thus, B2C develop strategies to persuade consumers to buy the product. To do this, B2C sites aggressively go after consumers with package deal, promotional and price activities than B2B sites. B2C site will often use coupons, flashing banners to attract consumer to buy their target product.
B2C sites normally implement product-based marketing strategies as part of their web site development because most B2C businesses believe they are in existence due to their product line. Web sites such as Wal-Mart and Target have designed their web sites with a product-based appeal instead of customer-based. This type of design usually helpful to the average consumer, but those that have specific needs and wants might have a more difficult time in locating what they’re looking for. However, most consumers browsing on the internet are normally in the mood to purchase the product immediately or reading product information, features, or reviews. Accordingly, a web site should be designed to capture the consumer’s attention and interest to look deeper or further.
B2B marketing differs with B2C marketing on a wide range of grounds. B2B marketing is relationship driven and aimed at maximizing the value of the relationship with the customers. B2C's marketing strategy, on the other hand, is product driven and aimed at maximizing the value of the transaction. The target customer or market for the B2B customers is quite small and focused. It aims to strengthen its relationship with its small and focused target group for a longer term period. B2C's customer base can be very large. B2C sites usually engage themselves in mass marketing. Further, since the engagement with the customer is for a longer term, the sales cycle in the case of B2B is quite longer as compared to B2C's sales cycle.
Differences in marketing between the two types of sites also arise due to the profile of the buyer. The buyer is much more sophisticated, educated and informed in the case of B2B, as compared to the average B2C's customers. Therefore, quality of content is critical for B2B marketing. One needs to educate and inform the customers and create awareness in an effective manner in B2B marketing. B2B marketing is usually to create leads in the first stage and then goes through several stages before final sale is made. B2C marketing is quick and aimed at creating immediate interest and immediate sale.
On the other hand, B2C customers are price conscious, and thus, often needs to be enticed by point of purchase activities or merchandising activities like coupons, discounts, etc.
Although branding is critical for both the websites. For B2B, branding is important to be considered by the customers. For B2C, branding is extremely essential to induce customers to buy, pay a premium price and become loyal customers. Marketing is more personalized in the case of B2B as compared to B2C. Further, the choice of media is more specialized in case of B2B marketing, such as trade journals, etc. rather than mass marketing media that are used for B2C marketing.



References
B2B agency survey: Digital switch. (2005, Dec). Precision Marketing
B2B Marketing: The land of the B2B. (2005, Sept). Brand Strategy
Murphy, D. (2006). Marketing for B2B vs. B2C. Similar but Different. Retrieved on June 19, 2008 from http://www.vista-consulting.com/marketing-articles/b2b-b2c-marketing.htm

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Pete2002

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Thank you!

Post  PapersQueen on Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:10 am

Hi Pete,

Thanks a lot of this essay. It gives me many ideas to write my term paper for this week.

PapersQueen

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