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Marketing automation is a technology that helps businesses manage marketing campaigns across a variety of channels. Not only does it help businesses save time. Automating marketing processes also contributes to successful lead generation and achieve greater ROI.

In this post, we talk about B2C and B2B marketing, their key differences, and how automation can make these processes so much better.

Business-to-Business vs. Business-to-Consumers

B2B companies are those that offer products or services to other businesses. Examples include web and graphic design firms, advertising agencies, and contract manufacturers. They also include industrial equipment/machine manufacturers, landlords of commercial properties, and office furniture manufacturers.

Meanwhile, B2C companies are those that offer products and services directly to consumers or end-users. Examples are retail stores (online and brick mortar stores), restaurants, resellers, shopping malls, and supermarkets.

B2B Marketing vs. B2C Marketing – What’s the Difference?

While the marketing strategies used by B2B and B2C companies are quite the same, they still differ in scope, scale, cost, and complexity.

Let’s take a look at some of the major differences between B2B and B2C marketing.

Focus

In B2B marketing, the focus is on the product and its features. What are its benefits? How can another business benefit from it?

B2B campaigns focus on how the product can save a company’s time, money, and resources. For example, if you are a website designer, you want to let your clients know that having a professional and highly functional website can help increase their online visibility and increase their conversions. However, putting up a website requires time and technical expertise. Therefore, hiring a web developer is the best way to minimize the cost and ensure a successful outcome with their digital marketing.

Messaging

In B2C marketing, the focus is to showcase the benefits of the product and appeal to buyers’ emotions. Consumers prefer a more direct marketing approach. They don’t want to work to understand the benefits of your products or services and how it can help solve their problems.

B2B marketing campaigns are logic-driven and involve in-depth promotion because B2B clients often take time to research before purchasing a product.

Whereas B2C marketing favors simple, short and direct messaging. Often, it takes just a few minutes for B2C customers to decide whether to purchase a product or not.

Whatever industry you’re in, B2B or B2C, marketing automation is something that you should highly consider if you’re after increasing your revenues and scaling your business.

Robots hands typing a message on a keyboard.

Marketing Automation Benefits for B2B

  • Increased efficiency. Marketing techniques for B2B are often complex and lengthy. An all-in-one marketing platform can significantly reduce man-hours and increase efficiency, allowing you to focus more on the core aspects of your business.
  • Identify more sales opportunities. Automation software systems are equipped with data analytics to help B2B marketers better understand how their customers react to different marketing contents, from social media posts to newsletters and marketing emails, videos, and website contents.
  • Effective lead generation. Perhaps the biggest advantage of marketing automation among B2B companies is in facilitating content marketing. Platforms like Adrack can help marketers generate qualified leads by using lead behavior to customize emails and content. Additionally, it sends the right message at the right time, and to the right people.

Marketing Automation Benefits for B2C

  • Customer-centric approach. B2C marketing automation focuses on customer acquisition and retention, along with customer spend.
  • Multichannel communications. With B2C marketing automation, marketers can send messages (email, text messages, and social ads) to different customer groups across different channels at the same time.
  • Measuring success. Marketing platforms let you identify key success metrics and analyze the performance of your campaigns by looking at conversion rates.
  • Data analytics. B2C marketing automation enables businesses to organize, optimize, and act on customer data which helps you optimize your overall strategy.

Key Differences between B2B and B2C Marketing Automation Systems

Because B2B and B2C marketing strategies have different goals, focus, and messaging, the automation needs of a business will also differ.

Marketing Data

B2B customers are businesses that have specific needs. Automation systems for this group utilize data about the company size, industry, point of contact, and specific needs. On the other hand, B2C consumers are individuals with specific preferences. Marketing data for this group includes gender, age, purchase history, and frequently visited product categories.

Communication Channels

Both B2B and B2C marketing automation systems utilize different channels to communicate with their clients. These include email, text messaging, push messaging, social media messaging, and retargeting. However, marketers will benefit from using more communications channels to reach B2C consumers.

Business woman being guided up a increased sales graph by robotic arms.

Features Needed

B2B companies need marketing automation features for nurturing leads. These include lead scoring, data analytics, performance marketing, and CRM system integration. Meanwhile, B2C companies are focused on customer acquisition and retention, therefore, they want features like retargeting, retention marketing, and reputation management.

Cost

The cost of B2B marketing automation is based on the number of contacts managed within the system while B2C automation is priced based on the volume of data. Since the focus is building one-on-one relationships, B2B automation systems would normally have 100 contacts or less, as compared to B2C automation systems that could have thousands.

Bottomline

Whether you are running a B2B or B2C company, your business can greatly benefit from marketing automation. However, note that the marketing requirements, focus, and messaging for B2B businesses differ from that of B2C companies. It’s important to align your marketing strategies with your business goals to ensure a successful outcome.

Author

This article was contributed by Mike Austin, a marketing and creative content specialist at Adrack.com and working in the Digital Marketing industry since 2009. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.