B2C Marketing: Brief Summary
B2C (business-to-consumer) refers to a process or business model where products and/or services are sold via a commercial transaction between a business and an end consumer. This includes retail companies and almost any other organisation where transactions from individual customers are the aim. It is primarily contrasted by the B2B (business-to-business) model, where transactions occur from one business to another, like when a business buys from a supplier.
With this in mind, B2C marketing refers to marketing strategies, techniques and efforts used by a business, in order to attract customers to their products or services. Essentially, this means that consumers are the target audience. A distinction between B2C and B2B marketing efforts is usually made, because the two marketing concepts require different approaches, with B2C marketing tending to be broader in scope, targeting a more diverse range of people.
B2C Marketing: Detailed Summary
In practice, B2C marketing describes almost any marketing strategy or technique that primarily targets consumers or customers, rather than businesses. Generally speaking, most consumers make purchasing decisions based on needs or perceived needs. Therefore, most B2C marketing efforts are focused on trying to communicate to customers why they may need a particular product or service, and how it can help them or otherwise be of use to them.
Within marketing circles, a distinction between B2C and B2B marketing efforts can be useful, because the two approaches require different strategies. For example, business-to-business transactions tend to be larger in volume, because businesses buy from suppliers in bulk. At the same time, from a marketing perspective, B2B can be reasonably focused, because most marketing efforts will be aimed at a small number of businesses, operating in the right industry.
By contrast, business-to-consumer marketing tends to involve transactions that are lower in volume, with customers often buying just one product each. However, in terms of target audience, B2C efforts need to be much broader, because businesses are trying to reach a range of different people, who may live different lives, have different tastes and interests, work in different industries and require products or services for different reasons.
The umbrella term of B2C marketing encompasses all of the different components that make up what is known as the ‘marketing mix’, including the so-called Four ‘P’s: price, product, place and promotion. This means pricing strategies, the product itself, the distribution method(s) that provide access and the various ways the business promotes its products or services can all be altered in order to generate interest and increase overall demand.
When it comes to pricing strategies, there are various options available, depending on the nature of the product and who is likely to buy it. For instance, revenue-oriented pricing is a strategy based on covering costs and making a profit. Discount pricing involves selling products at a lower price – often for a limited period – in order to increase sales. Image-based pricing involves setting a high price and attempting to position a product as desirable or ‘luxurious’.
In terms of product, a business operating on a B2C model must consider what consumers want or need and try to create products that fulfil that need. Meanwhile, in relation to place, B2C transactions now take place either offline or online, and businesses need to decide whether to prioritise physical retail spaces, e-commerce or a combination. Place also covers distribution, such as selling directly to customers or using online marketplaces like Amazon.
With that being said, when people talk about marketing, they are often talking primarily about promotion. With B2C marketing, there are many different ways to reach out to consumers, in order to achieve marketing objectives. Businesses need to give careful consideration to the types of people they want to target, the channels they use to reach those people, and the specific messages they promote, in order to attract interest and improve sales results.
B2C Marketing Channels and Strategies
B2C marketing efforts can take place across a wide range of channels and can involve the use of many different techniques or strategies. However, some of the most important of these are as follows:
Paid Advertising – One of the most widely-utilised marketing strategies, paid advertising can include online display ads and paid search engine advertising, as well as offline advertising, such as television adverts, radio adverts and print adverts seen in newspapers and magazines. Paid advertising tends to be overtly promotional, and consumers may adopt a sceptical approach. At the same time, it allows for excellent reach and can be carefully targeted.
Social Media – Social networking platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, offer a number of useful ways for B2C companies to reach their target audience. Posts can draw attention to your products or your content marketing, while competitions and hashtag campaigns can be effective too. Businesses may collaborate with influencers, who already have an established and trusting audience. Additionally, most platforms offer paid advertising options.
Email Marketing – Email marketing allows businesses to promote products or services to consumers on a more personal level. These emails can be overtly promotional, advertising special offers or sales, or can be more general, keeping subscribers up-to-date with company information and helping to build a closer relationship. Businesses often use email marketing strategically, offering discount codes or recommendations, in order to encourage return business.
Mobile Optimisation – Increasingly, B2C marketing needs to be concerned with mobile users, and there are a number of ways that mobile optimisation can help. This can include making sure the company website functions properly when viewed on mobile, developing a mobile app, making use of location services to send push notifications, and using text messages to send updates on deliveries, new products or services, and sales or special offers.
Search Marketing – Finally, a large part of B2C marketing involves making products and services as easy to discover as possible. Search engine optimisation is a strategy which often uses a combination of online content and web design to place high up on search engine results pages. Paid search marketing is another option, with businesses paying for a link to their website to be displayed to customers who search for specific search terms or ‘keywords’.
To make the most of many of these channels, many B2C marketing strategies depend on the creation of content, which can range from web pages, articles and blog posts, through to social media content, search engine optimised content and email marketing campaigns. This content can be created in-house, but many B2C businesses lack the expertise, which is why it is common for marketers to turn to content creation marketplaces, like Textbroker.
B2C marketing is a type of marketing where businesses target consumers or potential customers, with a view to increasing demand for their products and/or services. It includes the Four ‘P’s of product, price, place and promotion, with the latter being especially important for sending the right message and creating demand. Some of the major channels and methods include social media, email, paid advertising, search marketing and mobile optimisation.
A distinction is drawn between B2C and B2B marketing, because the former needs to be aimed at a broader audience, buying in smaller quantities, whereas the latter involves targeting specific businesses, who typically buy in larger quantities. B2C marketing relies heavily on content creation, with web pages, articles, blog posts, social media content and email marketing messages all playing a key role in many business’ online promotional efforts.