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Marketing Differences in B2B and B2C Businesses

Explain how marketing differs on a B2C site compared to a B2B site. Give specifics.

I am trying to understand the relationship of marketing to business to customer and business to business at it relates to web sites. Is the marketing different in this aspect? If so how and why?

Thanks.

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B2B and B2C Marketing Strategies

Marketing is an integral part of any business operation, regardless of platform or environment (brick and mortar versus virtual); type of product sold or service rendered and target market. With the advent of Internet technology, new business models or sites such as business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C), have emerged which require the employment of different marketing strategies and tools to attract and retain customers. The following sections will provide a comparison of the marketing strategies employed and tools utilized by B2B and B2C e-business sites.

Business owners, members of the management team and key decision-makers are primarily the target for B2B marketing programs. According to Management Centre Europe’s website, “B2B marketing is the process by which your company builds and maintains strong and profitable relationships with business customers - by creating value for current and potential customers and then by ensuring a fair price from them in return.” B2B companies cater to other organizations by offering products and services that directly benefits the company. Companies benefit from these products/services by increasing the efficiency, organization and profitability (sales and savings) of the company. Such products and services include software, office supplies, maintenance and consulting services.

On the other hand, B2C sites allow companies and consumers (public) to interact and conduct business electronically or digitally. There are three main B2C models which include auctions, online stores and online services. Amazon.com, ebay.com and overstock.com are just some of the thousands (if not millions) of B2C sites in existence.

Despite having different target customer (business vs. consumer), the purpose of marketing initiatives for both B2B and B2C sites are the same, which is to attract and retain their target market. However, the marketing approach and tools used to reach out to the general public (consumers) and business customers are very different.

Steve Minnett stated in his book B2B Marketing (2001) that one of the major differences between B2B and B2C sites is that the latter is determined or influenced by fashion or trend while B2B, is driven by technological progress. Furthermore, B2B is driven primarily by need ...

Solution Summary

The solution is comprised of a 1372-word discussion of marketing strategies with references.

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