When designers learn how to design marketing materials, we learn how to design for B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing – not B2B (business-to-business) marketing. We’re all consumers in some aspect, we’re bombarded with consumer marketing, and it’s what we’re used to seeing – but you’re wrong if you think they’re the same.
Here are 3 significant differences when designing marketing content for B2B vs B2C.
The most important aspect of design is knowing your audience. Your audience determines everything about your design, and a B2B audience differs greatly from a B2C audience. Typically, a B2C audience is a large target audience of varying demographics, while a B2B audience is limited to people looking for a specific service. The reason for these differences is that in B2C you’re focusing on solving someone’s short-term problem, while in B2B you’re focusing on solving a business's long-term problems. This affects your design; everything should focus on how you want your audience to perceive your product or service.
The B2B buying process is calculated on how a product or service will benefit a business for the long term, while the B2C buying process uses emotion and how products make consumers feel. The decision-making process for B2B and B2C are different (that could be a blog on its own), but it specifically affects design in two ways: the tone of the design and the image selection. A B2B marketing design should include screenshots and product demos to let the audience see how products work. Prospects should feel like they learned something and that your product is beneficial to them. A B2C marketing design should include images of people enjoying themselves while using your product – a B2C designer’s job is to make it so the audience wants to feel the way the people in the images feel.
B2B and B2C companies have different goals. Typically, a B2B company focuses on building long-term relationships directly with their customers. The relationship isn’t over when the sale is complete, which requires them to constantly show their product/service knowledge and help customers with technical problems. B2B companies focus more on brand awareness and lead generation, which requires the design material to show you’re credible and can solve multiple problems, whereas a B2C company focuses on individual transactions and solving their audience’s problems. You want a design that shows people’s problems being solved; if you solve a consumer’s problem, they’re likely to come back to you when they have a future problem. The B2C space is more focused on customer loyalty and spreading the word than having a reliable solution.
Designing for B2B marketing and B2C marketing is very different, and it’s critical to know how to design for any target market. If you don’t like how your content offers look, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can talk about turning around your marketing.