Are B2B and B2C communications different animals?

If you are looking at undertaking a PR campaign, the very first thing you need to consider is who your target audience is.

This might sound like stating the obvious, but if you want to communicate with a business audience, you will need to take a different approach than if you are aiming at consumers.

People who make buying decisions for businesses usually have to justify their purchase in terms of how it will improve a process, address issues, save time and of course, money. For these buyers, hard facts and figures about the features and performance of the product or service, and the pain points they address, are vitally important.

For consumers, the buying decision is a more emotional one. How many times have we all bought things on impulse, because we just liked the look of it, or because we wanted a particular brand of clothing, mobile phone, car or whatever it might be.

The easiest way to think about it is that business buyers want to know how the product will help to ultimately improve the bottom line, whereas consumers want to know how it will benefit them personally. How does the product make them feel better about themselves and how other people view them?

This has an impact on how you promote yourself and what media you use. If you are looking to get your message across to business buyers, you need to know what magazines and blogs they are likely to be reading and make sure that you target those publications and sites with articles and press releases that will be of interest to the readers.  You need to know how best to reach them directly and indirectly through key influencers such as the media.

Anything you write needs to be full of relevant facts and figures, and should focus on the benefits of your product to the business. The cost of the purchase in a B2B context is usually more expensive, so it is also important to get across the credentials of your business.

Potential customers will want to know how long you’ve been trading, what other clients you have and how financially stable you are. In the B2B sector, it can sometimes take several years before a decision is taken to buy, so you also need to take a long term approach, having one hit in the media is unlikely to be of much benefit to you.

It is also important to build strong relationships with journalists in key trade publications and build up your reputation with them, so that they will potentially turn to you if they want someone from your industry to comment on a particular issue, or to find out what is the latest news from your sector.

At Nellie, we have years of experience in B2B communications in many different industries. If you would like to find out how we could help your business, please drop us a line at

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Linkedin | Twitter

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