You might have watched PR people and lobbyists on televisions, and marvelled at the glamorous lifestyles they lead and the superb interactions they have at every touch-point. However, most PR people will agree that this isn't true in several cases. The simplest distinguishing factor is when the client industry is different.
B2B vs. B2C
As opposed to B2C PR which are targeted towards a larger user base of consumers, B2B PR campaigns are focused on a business audience. If you are a B2B company and are just starting your PR journey, it helps to be cognizant about the difference in PR (from a business point of view) so that you can consistently maintain the right expectations and chalk out sound strategy based on these facts.
Since there is a lot of difference between how consumers and businesses buy products or services, it’s important to understand the difference between the PR strategies to adopt in the two cases. So, here we have listed down the four primary differences between B2B and B2C PR.
1: The end customer matters
B2C PR often finds several unique and creative methods to influence the end customer or consumer. The buyer could range from anyone between a housewife to a student. Grabbing their attention in a manner that triggers an inquisitive response, most often results in converting them to try your offering.
B2B PR relies a lot on influencing the influencers, which is where media and bloggers play an extremely critical role. Their take on your product or service can make or break the way you penetrate the market.
2: Put the product ahead
Getting featured in product placements and reviews plays an integral role in turning customers into advocates. These are commonly used strategies in B2C PR. These allow the product or service to gain direct visibility with the end consumer.
In the case of B2B companies, the product is supposed to solve an existing problem or create new opportunities. Therefore, B2B PR should be focused on educating the audiences first and providing a larger picture that helps position you as an expert in the area, which can in turn lead to the purchase of your products or services.
3: Target media
B2B companies rely heavily on media that is unique to their market segment as well as the audience they are trying to target. B2C companies, on the other hand, can be present any place that the common user of their product would view or read. To better explain this with an example, a B2B company selling servers would look to position themselves in IT magazines which the IT director of a company might read. A company selling cellular SIM cards or electronic products might benefit from a story in any publication as their user base is much larger.
4: Wait time
B2C stories that are about offers and promotions usually have a shorter wait time. This is usually owing to the fact that the offer might run only for a shorter period. B2B stories that are educational in nature typically have longer wait period before publishing owing to their shelf life. However, it is always prudent to position the urgency of the story with facts highlighting market changes and adoption to gain a faster time to publish.
As a B2B company, these are the key differences that need to be kept in mind when interacting with the media or devising your PR strategy. Companies that understand this difference and plan their Public Relations activities accordingly can benefit significantly in the long term.