B2B and B2C Strategies to Improve Marketing and Sales

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 6, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are two common types of business structures for companies that sell products or services. They either sell to businesses, which is called a business-to-business model, or B2B, or they sell to consumers, which is a business-to-consumer model, or B2C. Learning more about these structures and how to use them can help you target your marketing to a specific audience to improve brand awareness and sales. In this article, we explain what B2B and B2C strategies are and discuss different strategies you can use at work.

What are B2B and B2C strategies?

B2B and B2C strategies share some similarities, but they have distinct differences that help companies target their specific audience. Business-to-business companies focus their efforts on serving other companies. They may offer wholesale prices and marketing to attract companies that want to make large purchases. Business-to-consumer companies focus on consumers' needs and interests. Some companies may even market to both businesses and consumers. For example, an interior design company may decorate consumers' homes and hotels.

Related: What Is Business-to-Business? (With Jobs and Skills)

B2B marketing strategies

Here are some examples of marketing strategies a B2B company may use:

Industry events

One of the most popular B2B marketing strategies is hosting or attending an industry event. This helps companies get to know other businesses within their industry to form strong, professional relationships with them. This can help companies improve brand awareness and form mutually beneficial relationships to increase sales. These events can be virtual or in-person and may be networking events or trade shows that allow companies to demonstrate their newest products or services. These events typically aren't open to the public, which gives businesses an opportunity to focus more on building relationships with each other.

Related: 11 Types of Networking Events to Attend for Professional Growth

Referral programs

Both B2B and B2C companies may use this marketing strategy as it involves incentivizing past customers to tell others about the company's products or services. You may offer a reward, such as a discount, to encourage other businesses to refer new customers. This can make the business seem more credible as your previous customers are offering positive reviews. It can also improve brand loyalty and help you form stronger relationships with other businesses.

Earned media

Earned media, also known as free media, is media attention businesses gain organically. This means they don't pay for the advertisement in media like television, radio, or newspaper articles. Instead, the writers of this media like what the business offers, so they mention the company for free. This can attract other businesses as it's perceived as instant credibility.

Related: What Is Business Marketing? (With Types and Examples)

Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing focuses on a targeted set of accounts by creating personalized campaigns to increase sales among these accounts. A popular audience for this strategy is users who visit a company's website but leave without purchasing anything. Companies may use an online retargeting method, which identifies these users and allows their advertisements to appear in the viewer's future web searches and interactions. This encourages potential customers to revisit your website and complete their purchase.

Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing, commonly known as SEM, is a strategy that companies may use to increase their website traffic. Companies pay for different types of online advertising to attract viewers and turn them into customers. One popular method of search engine marketing is pay-per-click links. This is when the company pays for their website to appear at the top of web searches that include keywords related to their product or service. Every time a viewer clicks on the link, the company pays the search engine a small fee.

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) also aims to attract more viewers to a company's website. The main difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO increases traffic naturally rather than the company paying for specific advertisements. To optimize their website, companies may include specific keywords or headings that appear in web searches frequently. This can help companies' websites appear at the top of these searches organically. As the website includes the information viewers are looking for, it encourages them to stay and make a purchase.

Related: SEO Beginner's Guide (Including Approaches and Benefits)

Social media marketing

Companies may create an online presence using various social media platforms to connect with their audience. To do this, they may share videos, pictures, or content regularly to gain followers. When they have a following, companies can post new products or services or promotions to increase sales. They can also use their social media platforms to answer customer queries and concerns.

Related: 15 Social Media Tools for Digital Marketing (With Uses)

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing involves producing informative and meaningful content companies can post on their website or social media accounts. The aim is to attract an audience by giving them relevant information, helping them build a trusting relationship. The information may be about the company's products or services, or it can be general information that's related to their offerings. For example, a travel agency may write articles about the best destinations to visit.

Related: Explaining Inbound Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

Content marketing

Content marketing is similar to inbound marketing, as it involves creating targeted content. The main difference is that the goal of inbound marketing is to build relationships, while the goal of content marketing is to drive customer action, such as encouraging them to make a purchase or sign up for an e-mail list. Companies may create content like blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, or webpages to get their audiences' attention and increase brand awareness.

B2C marketing strategies

Here are some examples of B2C marketing strategies companies may use:

Storytelling

Companies may create content that tells a story to engage with customers on an emotional level. Instead of including a lot of facts about their products or services, companies may focus on telling stories about the business' history, values, and goals. This can help companies build long-lasting relationships with their customers to increase brand awareness and sales.

Conversational marketing

Conversational marketing involves conversing with prospective customers when they visit your website. You may use a chatbot or include a live chat option so visitors can ask you questions about your products or services and receive an immediate answer. The aim of this type of marketing is to create relationships with these leads to turn them into customers. It helps you build trust among these leads by personalizing your approach and giving them the information they require.

Related: 10 Marketing Terms to Note (With Definitions and Functions)

Co-branding

Co-branding involves two brands creating a joint product or service together. For example, a celebrity may partner with a clothing brand to offer special merchandise. This helps brands share their audience to attract new customers. It encourages fans of one brand to see the other brand as more credible or attractive as well.

Related: What Is Co-Branding? (With Types, Benefits, and Examples)

Point-of-purchase marketing

Point-of-purchase marketing, also known as POP marketing, is a strategy companies use online or in-store to get customers' attention and encourage them to make a purchase. A common POP strategy is when stores place popular products near the checkout lane so customers see them and consider adding them to their purchase. Another example is a sign or pop up with a promotion customers can add to their purchase.

Related: Point of Purchase (POP) Displays: Definition and Benefits

Direct selling

Direct selling is when a sales representative approaches customers with their product or service. They may visit people's homes or work in a retail setting to offer more information about what the company is selling. This face-to-face strategy helps sales representatives build trust and improve customer relationships.

E-mail marketing

Companies may create content they can send to potential customers through e-mail. This may include promotions, information about new products or sales, or discount codes only e-mail customers can use. Many companies combine this strategy with other marketing strategies as many people use spam filters that can stop them from seeing company's e-mails.

Internet marketing

Internet marketing combines web and e-mail strategies to reach a large audience and drive online sales. This marketing strategy typically focuses on building a following online to help companies gain positive reviews. When prospective customers then research the company and see its positive reviews, they're more likely to make a purchase.

Related: 13 Effective Advertising Strategies to Increase Revenue

Viral marketing

Viral marketing involves companies creating content that they know may be popular to reach a large audience. They may post this content on their social media pages or website to garner attention. This can help increase brand awareness and sales.

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