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B2C vs B2B: Marketing Ideas for Events


The key to a great marketing strategy is understanding the needs of your target audience.

When it comes to B2C vs B2B marketing, businesses are aiming to capture the attention of two very different audiences: consumers vs other businesses, and therefore need to adopt different approaches to succeed.

In this post, we’ll discuss the main differences and similarities between B2C and B2B marketing, as well as our top tips for successfully engaging with your customers at events.

What is B2C Marketing?‘B2C’ or ‘business to consumer’ refers to any business that sells its products or services directly to consumers.

Examples of B2C companies:

  • Brick-and-mortar or online retailers
  • FMCG companies
  • Consumer tech companies
  • Car manufacturers

Examples of B2C marketing:

  • Targeted social media advertising
  • Marketing emails
  • Loyalty schemes and incentives for referring new customers
  • Brand partnerships with influencers

B2C event marketing ideasFor B2C events, the goal is to create a memorable experience for customers that in turn will create a positive view of your brand. You could try the following ideas for brand activation:

  • Product giveaways
  • Photo Booths
  • Immersive or sensory experiences

In addition, partnering with artists and creators can encourage consumers to interact with your brand at events, and also post about their experience on social media.

Consumers are more likely to have the purchasing power to make on-the-spot purchases compared to business customers. Use this to your advantage by having plenty of your products ready to sell at events, and offer incentives such as offers and discounts to generate sales.

What is B2B Marketing?B2B, or ‘business-to-business’, refers to companies that provide goods or services to other businesses, rather than to consumers.

Examples of B2B companies:

  • A company that creates HR software
  • An agency that creates websites for other businesses
  • A firm that offers consultancy for businesses

Examples of B2B marketing:

  • Showcasing products and building relationships with customers at conferences and trade fairs
  • Advertising in industry-specific publications and websites
  • Hosting networking events, conferences and workshops for a particular industry

B2B event marketing ideasIn the world of B2B marketing, building relationships is key. Make sure that staff representing your company at events are focused on networking and building relationships with potential customers, and not just on making sales.

To secure B2B sales, you need to convince customers that your product will benefit their business. In order to do this, you need to provide as much information and statistics about your product or service as possible. You could try using methods such as:

  • Interactive displays
  • Customer testimonials
  • Product demonstrations

These can be a more engaging way to educate customers compared to traditional communications materials.

Differences between B2B and B2C Marketing

  1. Business v.s Personal decisions: For B2B customers, decisions will tend to be informed by business reasoning; taking into account costs and benefits of purchasing and how likely it is to provide a return on investment. Consumers, on the other hand, are more influenced by how the brand makes them feel, rather than the potential costs and benefits of a purchase.
  2. Relationships v.s. Transactions: When it comes to making B2B sales, businesses are likely to be operating in a smaller market, with fewer potential customers, so it is vital that your brand can establish good interpersonal relationships with potential clients. B2C companies, on the other hand, are more interested in transactions (generating sales) than with building relationships with their customers. Of course, B2C companies still want customers to have a positive view of their brand, but because they operate within much bigger markets, their relationship with customers tends not to be a personal one.
  3. Decision Time: Business decisions are rarely made by one individual, instead, the purchase of a new product or service will probably require time taken to make cost comparisons and discuss with management before the sale is actually made. In comparison, the time it takes for consumer decisions to be made tends to be much shorter, and are more likely to make impulse purchases if a product is instantly appealing to them.

Similarities between B2B and B2C marketingAlthough there are a number of differences between B2B and B2C marketing approach, there are also a number of similarities.

Whether your customer is a business or a consumer, they expect an excellent customer experience and a high-quality product or service that provides value to them.

When it comes to marketing at events, both B2B and B2C customers will want the chance to interact with your products, as well as with those representing your company in order to learn more about your brand.

For both B2B and B2C events, it is important that you have a stand that is visually appealing and engaging to customers.

Getting Booth Visitors Via Online & Social Promotions White Paper

In this book Skyline has compiled 26 blog posts originally published in the Skyline Trade Show Tips blog. The posts combine information about social media tools and tactics, pre- and at-show promotions, digital marketing tools and general marketing tips.

From experienced trade show consultants, traditional marketers and digital marketing practitioners, these authors know Trade Shows and how to leverage modern marketing tools to help draw new and returning visitors to your trade show or event.

About the Author

Nicola Crichton was the Marketing Manager at Skyline Whitespace, located in London, England.

One response to “B2C vs B2B: Marketing Ideas for Events

  1. Good post, Nicola. Product giveaways are definitely a key mart of B2C marketing campaigns. BUt they are also just as great for B2B marketing, but you can tailor your exhibits more for the B2B audience. You are right, either way customer service is most important.

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