B2B vs B2C PR: What’s the difference?
The fundamental elements of PR apply to every campaign regardless of whether you are working in the Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C) sector. With one target, to establish and maintain goodwill and a mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics, every PR professional aims to provide a good service for their clients, if that client is a leading sweet manufacturer or a high-tech financial firm.
There are, however, some key differences in the approach to how campaigns are structured, and press releases are drafted; complementing the specific requirements of each sector.
Tackling the target audience
The main difference between B2B and B2C PR is who the target audience is and how this target audience can be reached.
So, which sector targets who? Well, the clue is in the name! B2B public relations focuses on targeting a business audience, selling a product from one business to another business. In contrast, B2C PR concentrates on targeting the general public, presenting a product or brand directly to the consumer. Although both are technically customers, and human beings, B2C and B2B tend to differ in their approach.
It is important to remember what drives each target audience when considering your PR approach. Working towards approaching a business market, B2B PR professionals are engaging with business buyers who are driven to buy products that will help their company be profitable. This is in contrary to the consumer-driven B2C PR campaigns, which are directed at you, the public, who buy based on emotions associated with status, desire and price.
A reputable relationship
With a focus on brand awareness, B2C PR is motivated by style, working towards building a product that is reputable amongst its relevant verticals. Similarly, B2B PR works to build a reputation within the targeted field. The B2B sector uses strong relationships to drive their clients forward, concentrating on maintaining communications with key influencers and businesses’, as well as educating buyers on how the product in question will add value to their company.
While the methods may differ between sector, the overall objective is to create a trustworthy relationship between the brand and the targeted audience.
Driving your audience
Driving your target audience to purchase a product, service or brand is not always black and white, the process can be blurred when it comes to B2B and B2C PR. With each sector, a different approach should be adopted to reach the desired audience. A consumer’s buying decision is, in theory, a quick, sometimes spontaneous process, therefore a B2C PR campaign should focus on getting information across to the customer exactly when and where they want and need it.
The B2B buying decision is, on the whole, a much longer and thought-engaging process, and that needs to be considered when it comes to constructing a PR campaign within that sector. PR professionals should craft assets that support the buyer’s changing needs and accommodate a longer buying process.
Know your niche
As you can see, the distinct target audiences in B2B and B2C PR necessitates separate approaches. But, with PR experts working across both sectors, every client’s needs are accommodated for, creating campaigns that are uniquely suited to the situation at hand.
However, that’s not to say that there isn’t something that B2B can learn from B2C – sometimes every campaign needs a bit of creativity to liven it up, and we hope that’s where we come in!
If you feel like your PR campaign needs jazzing up and an injection of creativity this year, give us a shout on 01296 733 867 or drop us a note: firstname.lastname@example.org