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How B2C and B2B Marketing Communications Differ

There are important differences between B2B and B2C marketing communications in terms of the communication context (the former being formal and the latter being informal), decision makers (many versus a few) and the primary communication tools used – personal selling versus advertising and sales promotion.

Marketing Communication Programme Feature B2B B2C
Communication Context Informal Formal
Number of Decision Makers One/few Many
Primary Tool Advertising and Sales Promotion Personal Selling
Communication Content Emotion, Imagery, Information Rational, Functional
Decision Period Short Involved Long
Dissatisfaction Impact Scope Limited Wide
Typical Budget Allocation
• Low value product Advertising 50%
Publicity 10%
Promotion 25%
Selling 15%
Advertising 20%
Publicity 10%
Promotion 25%
Selling 25%
• High value product Advertising 35%
Publicity 10%
Promotion 25%
Selling 30%
Advertising 10%
Publicity 10%
Promotion 25%
Selling 55%

Marketing communication budgets are also different between the two and between ‘high value’ products being promoted and ‘low value’ products being promoted.

Derived from Richard J. Varey, Marketing Communication Principles and Practice, Routledge, 2002 ISBN 0-415-23040-3

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