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So whats the difference between b2b and b2c marketing?

So you know that here at Bc we only do b2b marketing. It’s not because we don’t like b2c, but because it’s sooooo different (some might say ‘special’!).

We were talking with some b2c friends the other day (OK, we were down the pub!) and someone said ‘Aw come on, b2b’s not THAT different... is it? 

Well, that got us thinking about what it really is that makes b2b so different from b2c marketing– and what does that mean for b2b marketers... here’s what we came up with :

You’re almost always selling to a group 

Normally we’re talking about decisions by committee, with all the different agendas, politics and gatekeepers that involves. This is where marketing and sales need to work together more closely than Stan and Laurel to get the job done.

Lonnnnnnnnnnng sales cycles 

Not many impulse purchases in b2b! Sometimes b2b sales cycles can go on for, well, literally years. Probably because a lot of b2b purchases are big-ticket items : normally (but not always) it’s the big deals that take the time to close. Again this requires a different sort of sales strategy, smart use of social and educational elements, and LOTS of talking between your sales and marketing guys.

The purchaser isn’t always the end user 

What we mean here is that quite often the people who are doing the purchasing are not the people who will be using the product or service in the end. This means – from a marketing point of view – you have to see the product benefits from two (or more) angles. Not a problem, but worth remembering!

It’s still about the guy (or the girl) on the end of the phone 

Relationships are big business in b2b. The sales team have always been a vital part of any b2b business, and they still are. Modern b2b marketing supports the sales team with information, education and relationship-building material, with online and social playing a big part. (We’re doing a lot of thinking at the moment about using marketing to support sales in their ‘lead nurturing’ – give us a shout if you want to talk more about this)

There’s a lot to talk about!

Whether it’s product specs or the nitty-gritty of a sales deal, there’s always but always a lot to communicate in b2b. For marketers this means smart use of a range of different media and formats to communicate what we’re trying to say: think about webinars, webcasts, functions and social: or else it’s death by white papers!

If you'd like to learn how inbound mareketing can help your b2b tech business, download The quick-start guide to inbound marketing for technology companies today!

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