Many marketers today define themselves to be in one of two categories; either you are a B2C marketer or a B2B marketer. First things first, what’s the difference?
According to Answers.com:
“B2C is an abbreviated term for business to consumer marketing. Business to consumer marketing is when a business markets products to a consumer market. A consumer is a buyer of products that are not business related.”
“B2B is the practice of individuals, or organizations, including commercial businesses, governments and institutions, facilitating the sale of their products or services to other companies or organizations that in turn resell them…”
Now, let’s try to simplify those answers to say, B2C is businesses marketing to consumers and B2B is businesses marketing to other businesses who will turn around sell it to consumers.
Let’s break it down a little further. B2C marketing means that you are targeting a single individual to purchase something, maybe in the case of a product targeted at children, you are also targeting the parents, so then the parents become the decision maker and the child becomes the influencer in the purchase. But in the case of B2B marketing, you have multiple parties to influence; you have the decision maker, the influencer and the user. Check out my other post for more details, link to post.
If you ask most marketing professionals about how you are supposed to target B2B customers, they usually will go into some long theoretical presentation on targeting buyer personas and how you need to place yourself ONLY in media that speaks B2B. I agree that there is great importance in targeting B2B customers in specifically B2B media channels, but that’s not going to get you the full attention of your target prospect.
Even though your target prospect is a business professional, it does not mean that they aren’t also like average consumers that use traditional consumer outlets everyday to shop, read consumer product reviews and browse comments on Facebook. Remember also that this influence (even if place in consumer media) is part of the attribution process, it’s part of the demand generation funnel that gets them through the different stages in the sales cycle. The influence of awareness ad placed in consumer media could be just the thing that pushes the prospect from pre-purchase to awareness, or from awareness to consideration.