Sunday, August 30, 2009

Differences between B-to-C and B-to-B

The character of the product is different. Industrial goods are used as raw materials or other types of input to further production. Spiller and Baier (2005, p 318) inform us that B2B is marketing and sales to “industrial market intermediaries.” Such sales usually involve the sales teams of the seller visiting the buyer, whereas with B2C sales the customer visits the seller (p 319).

Furthermore, the buyer is different. Unlike with B2C, the buyer is really the buyer team. It’s more than the purchase agent. As Spiller and Baier observe (p. 331), it is more likely that “engineers, chemists, architects,” and other specialists will make the decision. The purchase agent is the liaison between the real buyers and procurement.

Another difference is the nature of the market. Industrial markets are much smaller in number (see Spiller and Baier, p. 326). In addition, there is a greater diversity of activities in each market so market segmentation is more important in B2B than B2C. This naturally brings us to the customer database. Cluster analysis (p. 330) using statistical techniques such as correlation and regression, are an essential part of the B2B marketing effort.

Spiller, Lisa and Martin Baier (2005). Contemporary Direct Marketing. Pearson/Prentice-Hall

No comments: