B2C Marketing (Business-to-consumer Marketing) is among the most popular and widely known model of sales. Generally, the idea of B2C Marketing was first utilized by Michael Aldrich in 1979. Above all, who used television as the primary medium to reach out to consumers.
In general, B2C Marketing traditionally referred to mall shopping, eating out at restaurants, pay-per-view movies, and infomercials. However, the rise of the Internet created a whole new B2C business channel in the form of e-commerce or simply selling goods and services over the Internet.
Although many B2C companies fell victim to the subsequent dot-com bust as investor interest in the sector dwindled and venture capital funding dried up, B2C leaders such as Amazon and Priceline survived the shakeout and have since seen great success.
Any business that relies on B2C sales must maintain good relations with their customers to ensure they return. Unlike business-to-business (B2B), whose marketing campaigns are geared to demonstrate the value of a product or service, companies that rely on B2C must elicit an emotional response to their marketing in their customers.
What Is B2C Marketing?
Simply put, the term B2C Marketing (aka Business-to-Consumer Marketing) refers to the process of selling products and services directly between consumers. In that case, who are the end-users of its products or services. Most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies.
Basically, B2C Marketing became immensely popular during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. Especially, when it was mainly used to refer to online retailers who sold products and services to consumers through the Internet. As a business model, business-to-consumer differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to commerce between two or more businesses.
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Decades after the e-commerce boom, B2C companies are continuing to eye a growing market: mobile purchasing. With smartphone apps and traffic growing year-over-year, B2C companies have been shifting attention to mobile users and capitalizing on popular technology.
Throughout the early 2010s, B2C companies were rushing to develop mobile apps, just as they were with websites decades earlier. In short, success in a B2C model is predicated on continuously evolving with the appetites, opinions, trends, and desires of consumers.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
In B2B, you are interacting with many individuals at each customer, giving you a better understanding of the customer as a whole. It is also often the case that B2C products are sold through a 3rd party. Such as retail, wherein B2B the most common transaction is directly between the supplier and the purchaser.
In a B2B environment, many individuals are using the product within each customer company. So if there is an issue with the product, you could have multiple people calling about the same issue within that one customer. Likewise, you may have multiple people from one customer contacting you about different issues.
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In either case, the support rep should have access to any other tickets created by the company so they can see the full picture and potentially spot underlying issues.
B2B sales require deliberation from prospects, and more people tend to engage in the buying process. Customers also need to validate the return-on-investment (ROI) of their transactions before making a purchase.
Most B2C buyers purchase based on emotions rather than logic. Always remember, buyers can be anyone in B2C. While in B2B, customers are part of a segment of an industry.
Unlike the B2C business model, pricing structures tend to be different in the B2B model. With B2C, consumers often pay the same price for the same products. However, prices are not necessarily the same. In fact, businesses tend to negotiate prices and payment terms.
B2C Business Marketing Models
As mentioned above, the business-to-consumer model differs from the business-to-business (B2B) model. While consumers buy products for their personal use, businesses do so to use them in their companies. Large purchases, such as capital equipment, generally require approval from those who head up a company.
This makes a business’ purchasing power much more complex than that of the average consumer. And, because of the nature of the purchases and relationships between businesses, sales in the B2B model may take longer than those in the B2C model. There are typically five types of online B2C business models that most companies use online to target consumers.
1. Direct Sellers
This is the most common model, in which people buy goods from online retailers. These may include manufacturers or small businesses, or simply online versions of department stores that sell products from different manufacturers.
2. Online Intermediaries
These are liaisons or go-betweens who don’t actually own products or services that put buyers and sellers together. Sites like Expedia, Trivago, and Etsy fall into this category.
3. Advertising-based B2C
This model uses free content to get visitors to a website. Those visitors, in turn, come across digital or online ads. Media sites like the Huffington Post, a high-traffic site that mixes advertising with its native content is one example.
Sites like Facebook, which builds online communities based on shared interests, help marketers and advertisers promote their products directly to consumers. Websites will target ads based on users’ demographics and geographical location.
Direct-to-consumer sites like Netflix charge a fee so consumers can access their content. The site may also offer free, but limited, content while charging for most of it. On the other hand, The New York Times and other large newspapers often use a fee-based B2C business model.
How To Develop Effective B2C Marketing Campaigns
In today’s age of Internet interconnectivity, an audience is likely to spend a significant amount of time online. Because of this, some of the rules for developing an effective B2C campaign have changed.
Companies must know who their customers are, what they want, and the messages they respond to. In addition, doing market research enables companies to craft effective messages and select campaign elements that engage specific audiences. They are other crucial elements of B2C Marketing too.
Consider the following:
- Know your audience
- Own your brand
- Take advantage of user-generated content online
- Take action to respond to negative feedback
- Build brand loyalty
A winning B2C campaign should take the Internet into account, using tools such as company websites, affiliate programs, quick response (QR) codes, and social media. All in all, B2C marketing campaigns begin with comprehensive market research.
Which Marketing Platforms Should You Use?
In reality, B2B’s and B2C’s should be using different social media platforms to communicate, as different platforms have different types of users.
For B2B’s, I would recommend using LinkedIn and potentially also Facebook. At this point, LinkedIn would be best, as it is the least saturated, making content created more visible. The platform is also primarily for those who are interested or are already in business.
Additionally, many businesses have their own company page. LinkedIn also has detailed targeted when creating adverts, you are able to target people in specific job roles, industries, and more.
Why You Should Use Social Media Networks
Social media is a common method of reaching large audiences and connecting with them on a more personal level (See also Facebook Marketing).
For example, if a satisfied customer “likes” a page on Facebook, all of their online relationships will see that. Building a fan website therefore automatically garners a company’s advertising. Additionally, it allows them to see what customers are saying about their products, giving them more ideas for new campaigns.
Finally, companies also develop customer loyalty programs through their social media initiatives, offering special discounts to customers who have bought from the company before, are following them online, or have commented on their site. This can motivate additional repeat business — a key to any long-term business success.
How To Prioritize Social Media Platforms
For B2C’s, I would recommend using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. You’re more likely to find consumers on these platforms, and consumers also want to see things more visually. As an example, Instagram and Pinterest are highly visual, and you can inspire the consumer through imagery that may feature your product or the outcome of your service.
Equally important, Twitter is great to be used as a customer service platform, where consumers can get in contact with the business quickly and usually get a response quickly. Facebook allows really detailed targeting. Enabling you to easily remarket to those who do end up buying or getting close to buying from your business.
While a business will likely conduct extensive research before investing in new software, office space, or a large acquisition with another business, B2C transactions are frequently more impulsive and instantaneous.
Consumers generally seek out goods and services based on an immediate need, and make purchases more quickly, with less research and due diligence than a business would conduct. This grants B2C marketers a much smaller window of opportunity to influence consumer behavior.
For these reasons, successful B2C campaigns typically trigger emotional reactions or responses, while B2B marketing campaigns focus on offering immediate value. Understanding these differences and making the appropriate changes to your marketing strategy will improve your outcomes.
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Businesses that focus on B2C marketing observe trends closely. They also research their customers’ purchase habits and closely monitor their competitors’ tactics. Simply, because it’s critical to know the challenges — and then, understand how to break through all the noise to find success.
Finally, I hope you’ll find the above-revised guide on B2C Marketing is useful. Especially in your next Business Plan and Market Strategy. So, with this in mind, are you looking forward to digging deeper? If you need more help kicking your B2C and social media marketing initiatives into high gear, please Contact Us for more support.
Related Topic Links:
- What Is B2B Marketing?
- Why is Mobile Marketing important?
- What is Marketing Leads conversion?
- Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI)
In addition, don’t forget to have a look at Small Business Marketing Ideas that can make a huge difference today. As well as, Digital Marketing Strategy with 12 Tips & Tools to Get Started while Marketing Small Business.
All in all, feel free to share your additional contributions, suggestions, and opinions thoughts. Or even more related marketing and advertising questions in our comments section below this blog.