B2B vs B2C: How different are the communication tactics?

We, as communication professionals often face challenges while drafting industry-specific communication. The strategy which is good for B2C may not work well for B2B, and that’s where our role as communication experts, comes into significant play.

The way in which we promote a B2B product may not be apt for a B2C product.

Communication geared towards direct consumers necessarily needs to be relatable and simple in language. Communicators can use industry-specific jargons in B2B copy to enhance readability. These terms very well convey the message to the ideal customers and are not really meant for the layman.

Direct consumers seek attractive deals, offers and entertainment tactics. Whereas B2B clients want to perform and get recognition for their achievements.

Role of communicators becomes crucial while trying to gain trust and build relationships with B2B clients. We must position ourselves as a partner for which we must share regular and relevant information to help them and in turn help their customers. A continuous flow of information is very important in B2B segment.

B2B marketing communications must be genuinely appealing since the consumers often need to obtain consent from multiple stakeholders before a purchase is made. Hence, there should an emphasis on logic, commercial benefits and strong supportive data while drafting a B2B marketing communication strategy.

Talking of B2C marketing communication, we should target the emotional nerve of consumers, there should be an emotional connect. Clients seek entertaining, useful and shareable content instead of too many details so the B2C communication must be brief and benefits-driven. It should be crisp and to the point.

A B2B audience is used to being catered by sales and marketing professionals offering detailed descriptions of products or services, as well as technical specs. It is vital for communicators to link features and specs to benefits in their marketing communications to help client make the decision.

A lot of clients purchase a product to help them make a statement so there must be a social influence in the messaging by B2C communicators. Whereas B2B clients base their decisions on how a product or service can benefit the organization and how it can be effective in getting things done.

B2C clients often buy a product for an immediate need. They make quick decisions. Communication message for B2C products or services mostly emphasizes instant gratification, convenience, and ease of use. On the contrary, B2B buys have much longer buying cycles and require more efforts from the communications perspective.

B2C communicators must create marketing materials that can capture immediate attention and get consumers to make a quick purchasing decision. Whereas B2B clients spend time on understanding the nitty gritties of a product or service. Hence, the communication material must be designed to retain their attention with content that helps to educate them and to help them in decision-making.

A very significant difference is the fact that the focus of B2C communicators is on generating brand awareness whereas the B2B communicators put more efforts on prioritizing customer satisfaction and retention since each customer represents a sizable revenue over a longer term. Losing one customer typically has a higher impact on a B2B than a B2C business.

B2C marketing communication is often targeted on several broad and large lifestyle segments like the youth, young moms, babies, as these segments have a direct emotional impact on people in general. On the other hand, B2B marketing communication is more likely to use predictions that help in constructing highly detailed individual customer profiles. This, in turn, helps them create personalized offers for each client.

I would like to conclude here by saying that B2C communication is much exciting, innovative and is capable of striking an emotional cord with the client. As compared to this B2B seems a little limited in approach, may be conventional but is much more flexible and personalised to suit the client’s requirement.

Both are different yet absolutely essential to promote a brand.

Ritu Bararia
A passionate Public Relations and Communications professional with a progressive experience of over 18 years, Ritu is an expert in the realm of Travel, Hospitality and Aviation. Her forte lies in strategising communication plans basis the essence of a brand with a strong focus on media management aiming to create focused visibility and awareness.

Some of her professional milestones include, setting up of Aviation Industry Group for CII, facilitating launch of India’s first Premium Airline – Kingfisher Airlines and establishing the brand in media as the official spokesperson, facilitating launch of Luxury Retail Brands like Porsche Design, Bally and strategising and executing launch of the brand Roseate Hotels and Resorts.

Prior to founding Little-joy Communications, Ritu was Group Head - Corporate Communications with Bird Group/Amadeus India.

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