B2B and B2C: Is There a Difference?

I read this blog post about the difference between B2B and B2C.

But think about most B2B purchases. If we’re looking at buying a new rack of servers, or supply chain management software, where’s the fun in that? The only real emotion at play here is the risk of screwing up and being fired. Emotions in B2B purchases are heavily biased towards risk mitigation.

At first glance, this struck me as insightful, but later, I felt it was somewhat short-sighted. If you are an IT manager, wouldn’t buying the right servers make a difference to your job? I’d say you would be interested in the outcome beyond risk mitigation if you think that new rack of servers is going to make your work easier. If I, for instance, am looking at email marketing solutions for my company, I know what results I want from it, and how I expect it to make my work easier. I’m not a purchasing manager, I’m a marketing manager. And I’d go about this (arguably) as diligently as I would if I were buying an AC for my home. Risk mitigation is a factor in either case: I don’t want to buy a faulty AC and waste all that money (and the time I spent shopping for the AC and getting it installed). I don’t want to buy a subscription to an email marketing system that doesn’t work well and then have to explain my decision to my bosses.

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Why Be A Marketer?

It was when I was in b-school that I realized that marketing is the most important function in a business. Finance and human resources are important, but come later, once you have a business and people. Product development and operations seem more fundamental, but think about it: until you think of the customer, of who you’re making the product (or providing the service) for, you haven’t got much of a business. And that, that thinking of the person who’s going to pay you for doing what you do, and thinking of how you are going to get them to buy what you have to sell, how you make the product better so they want to buy it: that’s marketing.

And when you put it that way, it’s what you start doing before you set up a business and hire people; before you start working on that marvelous new software idea you have. It starts when you say, “Oh, this will be a great concept, and this product is going to help people do that.”

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