When you’re marketing for a business-to-consumer (B2C) company, your job is to captivate everyday shoppers and show them why your brand is perfect for their needs. However, not every tactic is fit for a consumer audience. 

For the best return on investment (ROI), you need to build a B2C marketing strategy that is distinct from any business-to-business (B2B) plan you might create.

In this guide, we’ll explain what B2C marketing entails and give you some actionable tips that you can implement in your future campaigns.

What is B2C marketing?

The term “B2C marketing” refers to all the strategies and tools you use to promote and sell your products and services to consumers. Your target audience includes people who are shopping for personal use rather than on behalf of a business.

The unique role of a B2C marketer is to show how a brand can improve the daily lives of potential customers. To successfully perform this role, you must first understand what distinguishes consumers from professional buyers.

B2C vs. B2B marketing

Although the techniques used in B2C and B2B marketing campaigns may overlap once in a while, each audience has distinct traits and buying habits. The most obvious difference is that B2C companies are focused on selling to individuals who are shopping for themselves while B2B businesses are selling to people or teams who are buying on behalf of a business.

So, how does this affect the way shoppers make decisions?

First, B2B customers tend to be far more analytical than average consumers. Because their choices can have a significant and often long-term impact on the organization as a whole, B2B buyers take time to compare, discuss with coworkers, and look beyond what first catches their eye.

On the other hand, B2C customers are more likely to respond with their emotions. They will consider the value of a product or service in regards to how it will improve their quality of life. Beyond that, they’ll take into account your brand. 

Consumers must relate to who you are, not just what you sell. While consumers aren’t shopping blindly, their customer journeys tend to be relatively brief unless they’re making a significant purchasing decision.

With these key differences in mind, you may have already caught on to a few ways B2B and B2C marketing need to differ. These include:

  • Length: B2C campaigns must be concise to captivate consumers, whereas B2B campaigns can be more elaborate (but not fluffy).
  • Persuasive technique: B2C marketers should capitalize on pathos, the emotional appeal, while B2B marketers should always stick with logos, the logical appeal. Some B2C companies (like eco-friendly brands) may also find success when focusing on ethos, the ethical appeal, but B2B customers will usually consider evidence first.
  • Level of technicality: Your B2C campaigns shouldn’t be complicated, but B2B campaigns can delve into evidence and showcase a brand’s expertise. B2B marketers are more likely to thrive through technical content marketing efforts, like webinars and white pages.

The 4 best B2C marketing tips

As you now know, it’s essential to take the right approach and consider who the end-user of your product or service will be. When people are shopping for themselves, they go through a unique buying process—and you want to show up when it occurs.

Here are four consumer marketing tips to help your B2C business reach your audience:

1. Embrace social media

With nearly three billion people using social media around the world—including 72% of U.S. adults—this marketing channel is a place where you can reach consumers. However, a social media marketing plan isn’t just great for creating brand awareness. It’s also an excellent channel for you to build relationships that lead to long-term customer loyalty.

Using social media, you have the chance to do all of the following to create a more well-rounded customer experience:

  • Engage: You can start real, two-way conversations on any social media channel. You can also encourage followers to contribute user-generated content and further build your audience.
  • Display your brand: Social media allows you to put your brand personality on display and give your customers something to relate and connect to.
  • Offer value: Whether your social media presence is entertaining or informational, you can provide value beyond your product or service while keeping your messaging short and sweet.

2. Focus on omnichannel marketing

Convenience is vital for any buyer, but because consumers tend to be far more impulse-driven, it can be effective to meet them wherever they may be looking at any time. Omnichannel marketing is an approach that combines online and offline channels and optimizes the user experience for every part of the customer journey.

When you take an omnichannel approach, your marketing message is more likely to be heard by your target audience. Instead of just showing up on Google or only using in-store displays, you offer multiple avenues for consumers to reach you, so you don’t leave any potential customer behind.

Pairing omnichannel marketing with a retargeting strategy can be an especially powerful way to hone in on customer impulses. After a consumer visits your site, you can show them ads for your brand—as well as specific products or services that they viewed—on multiple channels, so they’re driven to go back.

3. Recognize your shoppers

While B2B marketing sells a solution for an entire company—and somewhat detaching the brand from individual buyers—B2C marketing thrives on customer relationships. 

When you’re targeting individual consumers, you want to make sure each person feels seen. Even if you’re using marketing automation tools, your customer interactions should still feel personalized to a certain extent.

Personalization can be as simple as greeting your customer by name, perhaps both in-store and online, but it often goes beyond that. All marketing materials you launch—whether it be an email campaign, landing page, search engine ad, or the like—should have a specific segment of your audience in mind.

As a result, your customers will recognize that you know their interests and you won’t bother them with unrelated content. This will lead to greater brand loyalty that again drives their emotion-based decision-making.

Some B2C marketers will also create loyalty programs, which recognize individuals each time they make a purchase.

4. Create a pricing strategy

While sales aren’t particularly enticing to B2B decision-makers who spend a hefty amount of time on research, consumers can be drawn in easily by perceived value. A great pricing strategy will show your target audience that you’re providing the benefit of affordability while catching their eye from the start.

Some examples of effective pricing strategies may include:

  • Competitive pricing: Offer lower prices than your competitors so consumers are drawn to you for your value.
  • Loss leader pricing: Offer an enticing sale or coupon for an attractive product or service to get consumers to visit your store and perhaps buy more.
  • Psychological pricing: Both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores can capture attention by using techniques like odd pricing (for example, $9.99 instead of $10) and words like “free” or “sale.”

Design your marketing for consumers

When you’re building a B2C marketing strategy, it’s crucial to keep your target audience top of mind. Marketing to consumers requires a unique approach that considers what drives individuals to buy, especially when they’re also the end-user of your product or service. When you start designing your campaigns for these consumers, you may eventually notice improvements in your customer retention rate and bottom line.

As your B2C marketing approach helps you hone in on customer loyalty, you can start thinking about additional ways to show your leads and buyers that they matter. Learn how to build a relationship marketing strategy that makes a measurable difference to start brainstorming today.

Matt Boyce
Matt Boyce Head of SMB Marketing

Matt Boyce is a marketing and business professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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