Some people think marketing is marketing and whether you are marketing to consumers or marketing to businesses, you are still just marketing to people. But business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing is different because, emotionally a person buying a product for themselves verses buying for their company is a very different.
Building a strong brand that is able to set a company apart from other business is always an important job. Depending on who the intended client is determines how the company will build their brand.
A brand is defined as a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or any combination to identify goods and services of a seller or group of sellers. (2007). According to Walter Landor, founder of the Landor Associates, the world’s leading brand consulting firm; a brand is a promise that the company will provide satisfaction and quality. (Burgess, C) While many things in branding are the same, building a brand that supports brand to brand, B2B, or brand to customer, B2C, sales has slight differences.
The table below summarize the differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing.
Business to Business(B2B)
Business to Customer (B2C)
Small, focused target market
Large target market
Brand identity created on personal relationship.
Brand identity created through mass communication like TV, radio, magazine advertisements.
Maximize the value of the relationship
Maximize the value of the transaction
Rational buying decision based on business value
Emotional buying decision based on status, desire, or price
Multi-step buying process, longer sales cycle
Single step buying process, shorter sales cycle
The bottom line is that the difference between B2B and B2C marketing comes down to the buyers’ emotional perspective about the purchase. Consumers make buying decisions based on status, security, comfort and quality. Business buyers make buying decisions based on increasing profitability, reducing costs and enhancing productivity.
Finally, B2B business focuses on, offering products and services to other businesses, and marketing dollars into marketing programs and materials that offer the target what they need to make a rational buying decision and helping them determine the value of the product and service offered through quality materials, testimonials, and other activities that build credibility.
B2C business focuses on, understanding what motivates the buyer and the emotional aspect of their buying decision and creating compelling materials that build awareness of the brand, enhance their comfort in buying and project quality service and best price.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2012). – Marketing Management – 14 Edition. Pearson Education Inc./Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Murphy, D (2007, April 6), Social Media Marketing, Marketing for B2B vs. B2C – Similar but Different. http://masterful-marketing.com/marketing-b2b-vs-b2c I think, Yes, Cisco’s plan to reach out to consumers is a viable one. According to the case study and as the book has mentioned,…