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4 Key Differences between B2B and B2C Direct Marketing

Here are 4 differences between B2B and B2C direct marketing environments.

1. Telesales are used more in BtoB new business acquisition — especially lead generation as part of the channel mix. Marketers have complete freedom to access this powerful medium because businesses do business by phone and current law does not restrict its use as it does in B2C.

2. Lead and sale cost allowables tend to offer more flexibility in B2B because the average sales are often much higher than for B2C.

3. The contact quantities for B2B are lower. This increases the need for sophisticated CRM. While still critical in B2C, B2B sales cycles are often much longer .

4. The database requirements make B2B direct response extremely complex. You are still selling to individuals, but the buying decisions are heavily influenced by multiple individuals who are tied together under a corporate umbrella. Keeping up with file changes makes sloppy database discipline a sales killer. One could argue that poor database discipline hurts both B2B and B2C. But I consider B2B more complex in this regard.

There are other differences and even more similarities between these two segments. But these come to mind as the most important differences from a strategic perspective.

For example, I do not see a big difference in the need for solid benefits in the messaging that are tied to emotional appeals for both categories. After all, business people are still people both at work and at home.

What other differences have I missed here?

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