We still read every day about the differences between marketing to a B2B (or business to business) company and a B2C (or business to consumer) company. Depending on the business or the consumer, a brand must determine its voice, message, vision, and communication style. As a general rule, the differentiation is helpful.
When marketing to the consumer, the conversation takes a more intimate and sometimes even irreverent tone. The brand voice does, of course, rely on the brand itself, but the words used are directed to an individual. In many cases, even with highly professional brands, the content is more laid back, conversational, and even humorous.
This is all to build trust between company and buyer, to convince the buyer that a relationship is being built. It’s only natural to speak with individuals in a one-on-one fashion, right? We also relate to them better when we turn to humor or start conversations like we’re already old friends, right?
When we bring professionalism into the mix, our tone sobers immediately. Even when selling to a brand that has a reputation for being irreverent and wild, we tend to cool our own message and give just the facts. We focus on the business—on the needs of the business to which we’re marketing. Laughter and heartfelt conversation just don’t have a place in a Business to Business transaction.
Or do they?
Marketing to People
When creating your marketing strategies, whether for B2B or B2C, one thing is glaringly obvious and yet often ignored: people will consume that message. And, at the end of the day, a person makes the decision to buy. Maybe a team of people investigate the products and services in a corporate or business setting, but a human being still weighs the pros and cons, engages with the business for more information, seeks out answers, reads reviews from previous customers, and ultimately decides yes or no.
In other words, no matter how you market, you’re reaching people. Whether they’re making decisions for their own individual needs or working to meet the needs of a whole company, these men and women are still people. They’re consumers, just like you and me.
What Does This Mean?
There are reasons that B2B and B2C marketing took such different tracks, and some of those reasons are even valid. You do want to ensure your brand message is reaching the right audience. B2B messaging often focuses on value, service, and reasons to trust the seller. B2C marketing taps into the emotions of consumers while touting either lower prices or luxury living. Wouldn’t both groups be interested in value for the money? Wouldn’t even the biggest of businesses make decisions based on their emotions, such as fear, happiness, and even instant gratification?
Just don’t forget that you’re selling to people at the end of the day. You’re working to build relationships, and you can’t do that if you don’t take the human element into account even with the largest of corporations. If you need some help tweaking your marketing message or brand voice, reach out. We’re here to help at any time.
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