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H2H, not B2B or B2C

    B2B and B2C

    Marketing is full of acronyms. Two that may be past their prime are B2B and B2C (and their child B2B2C).

    B2B is Business-to-Business and refers to companies selling to other companies, for instance, companies in the automotive supply chain. B2C is Business-to-Consumer and is all about companies selling to the end-user, such as retailers. That makes B2B2C Business-to-Business-to-Consumer.

    Are they different?

    Marketers love to bang on about the very different marketing strategies that B2B and B2C require. And it’s true, consumers and businesses are often looking for different things, and we need to approach customers in different ways in order to be successful.

    But the differences between B2B and B2C are as big as the differences within each category. For example, we don’t seriously believe that a company in the automotive supply chain is driven by the same needs and imperatives as a company buying or selling educational software, do we? Likewise, consumers buying wedding dresses are motivated by different factors than those buying home insurance.

    Emotion matters

    It could be said that emotion is what splits B2B and B2C. Consumers are more overtly emotional than companies, no doubt. But companies aren’t always driven simply by cost or time. What about the restaurants which buy from local farms and suppliers, or the company which actively employs ex-prisoners, or gives a significant percentage of profit to charity? Not even mentioning all that vanity advertising out there. Cynical positioning or human emotion?

    In most organisations, deals are done by and with people. You meet at trade exhibitions, sit around the board table, use Skype or Zoom, send and receive emails and calls, shake hands on a deal.

    Marketing strategies are designed to deliver the bottom line by appealing to decision-makers. Those decision-makers in most instances are people and understanding those people is what makes a successful marketing strategy.

    Forget B2B and B2C. Marketing is about H2H; Human-to-Human communications.

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