B2B and B2C marketing – the difference

Jelba focuses entirely on online B2B marketing. Arwen Obermeyer, co-founder of Jelba, explains why B2B and B2C marketing are two different branches of the same sport.

B2B Marketing another branch of the same sport

“The basic principles of marketing are universal, but B2B and B2C marketing are two different branches of the same sport. Arwen Obermeyer explains. “It requires a different approach and a different focus. And sometimes B2B marketing also demands other means.”

Not good deals but a good relationship

“The biggest difference to business-to-consumer marketing is the strong relationship-focus of business-to-business marketing. We see that brand loyalty among consumers is decreasing. The ‘scoring’ of good deals is increasingly central. In B2B the ‘scoring of a good deal’ is not the reason to choose certain products, services and suppliers and that is mainly due to the factor ‘repeat purchases’. B2B companies are looking for suppliers for the long(er) term which means that a number of other factors strongly influence the decision making process. Of course, B2B buyers are also sensitive to a competitive price but it’s more about value for money than always looking for the cheapest offers and best deals. This also means that marketing must focus on building the relationship with the potential customer, meeting the information needs of the buyer and emphasising issues such as delivery times, purchasing advantages, security of delivery in the future etc.”.

The B2B PIM system: the same but different

There are also a number of crucial differences between B2C and B2B marketing in terms of the use of resources. “The PIM system is a fantastic system for managing and distributing data and content. We absolutely believe in the use of a PIM system but we do believe in a B2B PIM system, such as Greedy Bean. Business-to-business agreements are often made about prices based on purchase volumes. It is of course extremely sloppy when different prices are communicated in different places. The ‘webshop of all of us’ has the same price for every product for everyone. In the world of business-to-business this is a bit different. B2B PIM systems are designed for these specific situations. The same, but slightly different. Links with the ERP system are therefore indispensable in a B2B PIM system.

Lead generation vs. instant sales

“The purchasing process is also slightly different in the B2B world. Lead generation comes first, only then hard sales follow. That also requires a different approach. There is no point in pushing for ‘instant selling’. It calls for a smart lead generation model. The use of a CRM system can be a valuable addition to ensure that leads are really followed up and that the relationship with the customer can be maintained. A strong technological framework is therefore a must”.

Customer vs. end user

“In B2B, the customer is not always the end user. That is also a strong difference with B2C marketing. So we think along with our customers not only about how they can find customers but also about how they can reach the end user together. This gives resellers a reason to enter into cooperation with our customers. This way of thinking is sometimes also reflected in the policies of major brands that try to get their products into crowded supermarkets with the help of displays and other sales support. For B2B however, this support is almost a prerequisite for getting on the shortlist with potential suppliers,” Arwen explains.

Simple solutions for complex products

“At Jelba we often (and happily!) work with customers with complex products. Buying a shampoo is not really exciting but investing in a loading robot is. It is not really convenient to request a few details online and to manually create a ‘tailor-made quotation’. The B2B buyer is also used to the conveniences and speed of the internet, so expectations in that area have changed a lot. You have to consider that the B2B buyer can put together (and order) his own laptop in a few clicks and buyers are increasingly demanding this convenience in their work. Makes sense, right? Configurators are simple solutions for complex products. Customising is hot in the world of B2C but in the complex world of B2B products it is simply a must.Tot slot


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