July 22, 2021 in B2B Data, B2C Data, Customer Marketing

The Difference Between a B2B and B2C Audience and How to Speak Their Language

business and consumer audiences

B2B and B2C businesses have some things in common, most notably that they are both engaged in marketing their goods or services.

The main difference in the two is who the target market is and how that will affect your marketing strategy.

Target Market/Audience

Consumer database marketing is heavily reliant on customers and how purchasing your product for themselves will make them feel. This can often be done by stories of how other people have purchased this product and improved their lives by owning it.

Business campaigns are more targeted and defined, normally targeting a certain contact within the business who makes those purchasing decisions for need. B2B campaigns working well rely on a logical and efficient message to show how this purchase will improve your business.

Why Purchase?

B2C or consumer audiences tend to be emotionally driven, with consumers purchasing a product because of how it looks and feels to them. They must also feel to be getting value out of their purchase most of the time.

B2B or decision-maker audiences are more business requirements-driven, making purchasing decisions based on business needs and careful budgeting considerations. What’s best for the business?

When running a campaign, and dependant on your consumer or business audience – it is good to ask yourself if the purchase decision is based on the “heart” or the “head”?


As you would expect, the way you communicate with the heart differs from how you communicate to the head.

B2B customers expect a professional, more formal tone of voice, punctuated with terminology that tells the customer you know your detail and you can be confident in making this purchase.

The tone of voice you would use for a B2C customer can be lower on the formality and higher on the emotive language. Pull at the heartstrings, make them feel like they need this product.


When looking at both B2C and B2B the purchase cycle is very different. B2C can be a sprint while B2B can be a marathon.

B2B customers are willing to take the time required to make an informed, educated decision. They want all the information on the product and are happy to take that extra time. A B2B catalogue can sit on a shelf or table for months before being required. Our B2B catalogue customers have anecdotally told us of the “long tail” that can exist when their catalogues are used as reference or purchase library material.

B2C customers, however, want to be delighted and feel like they need this product to improve their life right now. Take too long and the B2C customer will lose interest.

Contact List Factory

If you are looking at running a mailing campaign, please get in touch as we have your data selection covered. We manage both B2C and B2B marketing lists to make sure your campaign hits the mark.