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B2C vs B2B marketing

B2C and B2B marketing used to be worlds apart. Now that both business to business and business to consumer businesses are doing more digital marketing, they are more similar than ever before. But there are still some big differences.

B2B marketers focus on content marketing and marketing automation

A recent report by Salesforce revealed that B2B marketers were most likely to be increasing marketing spend on content marketing and marketing automation.

Areas where B2B marketers are increasing spend, from the Salesforce 2015 State of B2B Marketing - b2b marketing

Areas where B2B marketers are increasing spend, from the Salesforce 2015 State of B2B Marketing.

These findings were also supported by other research. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the vast majority (86%) of B2B marketers are apparently now investing in content marketing (compared to 77% of B2C marketers) and of those, 70% are creating more content than last year.

According to Econsultancy, B2B marketers are also more than twice as likely (24% versus 11% for B2C) to see marketing automation such as lead identification and tracking as a top priority. 

But despite this, good old email marketing was actually the channel that drove the most revenue for B2B businesses.

B2C marketers focus on social media marketing

The focus for B2C marketers is very different. According to the Salesforce State of B2C Marketing report, social media marketing is the main area that B2C marketers are increasing spend. Social media take up is much higher by B2C marketers than B2B, with 93% now using social media compared to just 76% of B2B brands.

Areas where B2C marketers are increasing spend, from the Salesforce 2015 State of B2C Marketing

Areas where B2C marketers are increasing spend, from the Salesforce 2015 State of B2C Marketing.

The social media channels used also vary – Facebook is by far the most important channel for B2C marketers, while for B2B LinkedIn is considered more important.

most important social media channels

Source: https://blog.percolate.com/2014/05/b2b-vs-b2c-marketing-social-media-blurred-lines.

Yet despite the high investment, social media is the top revenue driver for only 6% of B2C businesses. According to a recent survey, paid search, email and SEO are actually the marketing tactics driving the most revenue.

In both cases, integrated marketing is the way forward

It’s easy to forget that none of these marketing tactics work in isolation. For both B2B and B2C, no single channel will generate results. In fact, not doing marketing in a joined up way is one of the main reasons marketing fails. So while there is no prescriptive marketing mix that will work for all businesses, it does all need to be integrated.

Content marketing needs to be supported by distribution channels such as social media and email, while social media marketing needs investment in content in order to be effective. Then there’s your website. You could be the best social media marketer in the world and still make no sales if your website is rubbish (to put it politely).

As well as containing great content, your website needs to work on mobiles, be optimised for search engines and be geared up to convert traffic – after all, there’s no point driving leads unless you can capitalise on them.

The power of integrated marketing - b2b marketing

Integrated marketing not only makes sense, it also gets better results. Companies who used four or more channels saw a 300% increase in results compared to companies who used one. If you’d like to find out more about implementing an integrated marketing strategy for your B2B or B2C business, download our free ebook.

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