The Difference Between B2B and B2C Buyers

Marketing to B2C buyers is the same as marketing to B2B buyers, right? Not one bit and to understand why you need to start by examining the buyer.

In a B2C market the buyer is spending her own money.
In a B2B market the buyer is spending his company’s money.

In a B2C market the buyer makes the purchase decision without needing the input of others (except maybe my wife).
In a B2B market there is likely multiple buyers fulfilling different roles: the one with the budget, the ones who will use the product, and the ones who have to make sure it will work.

In a B2C market we connect with the buyer’s pain, fear, and guilt.
In a B2B market we connect with a business problem that needs to be solved.

Trying to use B2C marketing approaches in a B2B world (and vis-a-versa) can be costly and ineffective.

The moral of this story is to get a deep understanding of your buyer and what makes them tick before you waste your company’s resources.

Jim Semick

Jim Semick

Jim Semick is co-founder of ProductPlan, a leading provider of cloud-based roadmap software for product and marketing teams. For more than 15 years he has helped launch new products now generating hundreds of millions in revenue. He was part of the founding team at AppFolio, a vertical SaaS company. Prior to AppFolio, Jim validated and created version 1.0 product requirements for GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). Jim is a frequent speaker on product management and the process of discovering successful business models. He contributes at www.productplan.com/blog. Follow Jim on Twitter at @JimSemick.


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