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Key differences in Communication B2B and B2C

Ever heard of the acronyms B2B and B2C?

Each describes operations, whether sales or communication, with different premises. While the acronym B2B refers to companies or transactions that trade or communicate to other companies (business-to-business), the acronym B2C refers to business operations or communication directed at the end consumer (business-to-consumer).

While ultimately both markets have the common goal of communicating and selling to other people, whether businesses or individuals, there are obvious differences that separate them. In addition to these inherent differences in the nature of B2B and B2C transactions, digital transformation has demonstrated that it is necessary to communicate differently when working in B2B or B2C.

B2B companies usually operate in niche markets and have other companies as clients. Thus, buying is more rational and usually involves several players in a typically longer sales cycle. A good example of a B2B company is a technology company that markets business management software.

On the other hand, B2C companies work for a mass market where the Customer is an individual consumer. The purchase is more emotional and impulsive, being the client himself the only actor. As such, the sale life cycle is shorter than in the B2B model. An example of a B2C company is a brand that sells cameras to the general public.

As one would expect, each of these approaches has its own challenges, arising from the unique characteristics of each. This means that they require different methodologies when communicating and selling. Communication experts argue that while it is possible to use the same channels for B2B and B2C communication, the approaches, language and tone of the conversation should be quite different, as well as commercial conditions.

For example, social media is useful for both markets, but B2B companies should privilege LinkedIn - where more than 50% of members have decision-making positions in their companies - and B2C Facebook and Instagram.

The complexity of B2B products and services adds the challenge of demonstrating to the consumer of this market, other companies, their value and added value. This is a big challenge.

Since in the B2B market the products or services are niches, so communication should be. Communication techniques are the result of high segmentation, with great investment in lead nutrition and loyalty. Remember: here the goal is to create lasting relationships. In that sense, more technical and specialized content marketing and, above all, focused on solving customer problems, works better. The main goal is for the consumer to understand that your company will add value to it, whether it is improving processes, reducing costs, among others. One should invest, for example, in case studies.

In turn, the B2C market also has its own challenges, namely the need to create an emotional connection with the consumer. After all, it is not easy to retain a consumer who bases his purchase decision on less rational and more emotional aspects.

In this case, communication is more massive because there is no such specific segmentation, that is, the target audience is broader. The goal will be to maximize the value of transactions since loyalty is more complicated. B2C communication should appeal to the more emotional side of the consumer, creating desire and connection to the brand. B2C communication is more general, advertising being a prime example. 

Lastly, and never forgetting the specifics of each type of communication and market, both B2B and B2C communication should be client-centric and their experience. The balance between emotion and reason in interactions with customers should always have been taken into account. After all, whether in a Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer model, you're always selling people.

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