B 2 B vs. B 2 C Marketing Differences Once a decision is made to develop a business, whom the customer will be is the next decision to be made. Whom will the company target as a customer? Will it be a business? Or will it be a consumer? Business-to-business (B 2 B) marketing has differences from business-to-consumer (B 2 C) marketing practices. This paper will outline these differences between the two types of e-commerce business transactions".
Traditional marketing in the business-to-business environment requires very different strategies from those campaigns directed towards the consumer market". (ExtraVision, n. d., p. 1) "Consumer competition can be a lot fiercer, with customer loyalty a constant battle". (ExtraVision, n. d., p. 1) Routes of marketing in business today include e-mail, pop up advertisement, television and banner advertising. This paper will primarily focus on e-mail marketing.
E-mail marketing is different when marketing to a business versus a consumer. Debbie Weil (2002) lists five ways business-to-business marketing is different from business-to-consumer email marketing. Weil (2002) says these five ways are: . Distance from click to sale. Permission. Copyrighting Challenge.
Lists. B 2 B: the more interesting option (p. 1) When discussing the concept of the distance from the click to the sale, Weil (2002) explains business-to-business e-mails are primarily for lead generation. On the other hand, an e-mail campaign for a business-to-consumer company is looking for a sales transaction. E-mail to a consumer will take you directly from the e-mail to a landing page.
After the consumer makes his selection from the landing page, a transition to the shopping cart and checkout page is simply the next step to complete the transaction. In a business-to-business e-mail marketing campaign the e-mail is only a part of the marketing. The e-mail to a business must contain contact information for offline communications, and an attachment for downloading catalog or price list information. The e-mail is followed up by sales representatives who will also forward quotes and snail-mail an information packet (Weil, 2002). The e-mail sent to either a business or consumer must be enticing to the customer.
It should be colorful and have pertinent information. A URL leading the customer to the landing page is imperative in order to either generate the lead for a business transaction, or lead a consumer to a "Specials" page with the current sales displayed. After the e-mail has been received by the business or consumer, the Internet website landing page is browsed by either type of customer. Here is where the business wishing to do business must obtain permission to take information from the customers or businesses perusing their landing page. When doing a business-to-business transaction, permission involves assuring the business information shared will be kept private. This will lead to more lead generation (Weil, 2002).
Business-to-consumer transactions require obtaining permission in a different way. Here a business will assure the consumer they have the ability to "opt-out" of further e-mails or specials (Weil, 2002). Copyrighting challenge is markedly different between consumers and businesses as well. When marketing an e-business to a business, the catch phrase on the e-mail subject line is important.
Businesses get inundated with e-mail soliciting all day long. If the business needs the product and the e-mail is not pushy or plain, there is an increased likelihood they will visit the landing page (Weil, 2002). In business-to-consumer e-business marketing, the WI IFM (What's In It For Me?) principle is key. Consumers need to know there is something in it for them in order to visit the landing page (Weil, 2002). Business-to-business e-mail customer lists are difficult to maintain. If a business customer employee leaves, the e-mail destination ends.
This makes finding the new business contact a challenge for the e-business marketing. Niche markets in business-to-business transactions are a challenge for e-mail marketing as well (Weil, 2002). Customer lists for business-to-consumer transactions are easier to maintain since most people keep an e-mail address for long periods of time. Additionally, this information is usually obtained from other websites the potential customer has visited and provided their e-mail address on. Weil (2002) feels business-to-business marketing is more interesting than business-to-consumer marketing. Enticing a customer to purchase multi-million dollar purchase orders worth of products versus a fleece jacket from L.L. Bean is more interesting to Weil (2002).
In conclusion, tailoring the e-mail marketing to match the type of customer wanted is key to making the e-mail marketing system effective and profitable. Weil (2002) points out five key elements and differences between the two types of business transactions. Sending an e-mail to millions of consumers for large business transaction type of marketing would not be effective. Therefore, following these key elements and recognizing the differences in they types of marketing needs is imperative to making a successful marketing plan in e-business these days.
ExtraVision. (n. d.) B 2 B V B 2 C Email Marketing, Spot the Difference? Retrieved June 23, 2005, from web D.
2002) B 2 B Versus B 2 C Email Marketing: Five Differentiators.
ClickZ Network. Retrieved June 23, 2005, from web mkt / b 2 b em mkt / article.