Business to Business Marketing – is it all that different?

18th August 2022

B2B? B2C? What’s what and where are the similarities and differences? Sales and Marketing Coordinator Alex hopes to clear things up a little:

In the world of marketing and sales, there has always been a clear distinction between business to business, and business to consumer. There’s a good reason for this – a person spending several thousand pounds of company money will make the decision in a different way to Joe Bloggs who might be tempted to part with a fiver if he sees a bargain. The process will be more drawn out in B2B, often requiring more touches, more encouragement, and more reminders of who the hell you even are ready for when the requirement comes up.

Business to business (B2B) marketing has historically been far more formal and rigid in its delivery. Those people you’re hoping to reach are, after all, at work. The very important thing to remember about these people is that they are also, in fact, people. They might stick on a suit and sit in an office for a good chunk of their day (though that’s getting less and less likely in a world where remote working is the norm) but they’re still the same person as they are a few hours later, sat in their pyjamas in front of the telly twenty minutes after walking through the door. Yes, that’s an oddly specific example, and yes, I might be revealing a little too much about my own routine.

The point is that decision makers in businesses are still humans. They still have a sense of humour, a desire to be engaged and entertained, and limited attention spans when it comes to boring stuff. As this has been realised and sped up by the impact of the WFH phenomenon, the lines of B2B/B2C marketing have blurred somewhat in recent years.

You’ll notice that, despite around 90% of G&W work and target market being businesses, a lot of the content that we put out is fairly light-hearted and conversational. There’s still an obvious difference in where we reach people. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever see me on Teleshopping shouting “YOU NEED TO PICK UP THE PHONE NOW IF YOU’RE INTERESTED, THERE ARE ONLY 3 WAC TESTS LEFT AND WHEN THEY’RE GONE, THEY’RE GONE!”

We’ll stick to LinkedIn, Emails, and in-person events for the moment (If we ever have the time, TikTok isn’t going to know what’s hit it) but there need not be a massive difference in how you get the message across. Tell your customers how you’ll improve their lives and how much it will cost them. The basics are the same regardless of what you’re selling, and to whom.

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