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Marketing And Supply Chain Differences B2b & B2c

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B2B vs. B2C Marketing and Supply Chain

Lorraine Scott

E-Business

EBUS 400

Raejean Kyle

May 21, 2006

What are B2B and B2C?

B2B and B2C are two of the major categories of Electronic Commerce, or E-Commerce. (Schneider, 2004) B2B is the term used to describe Business-to-Business transactions that take place electronically, more specifically on the World Wide Web. (Schneider, 2004) B2C represents the Business-to-Consumer transactions that take place on the Web. (Schneider, 2004) From what I have read, I believe that Business-to-Business is one business selling, or attempting to sell products to another business, while Business-to-Consumer is a company that sells directly to individuals.

With these two different types of customer bases, the marketing methods used to reach and attract businesses can be quite different than those used to reach directly to individual consumers. This is an important step in marketing, for if you do not cater to your specific customer base, your customers will not be able to find you when they need you. As with the marketing, the supply chain of these companies can also be very different when dealing with different types of customers. Each supply chain must ultimately meet the needs of your customers, and in order to do that, the company must know what each customer wants and needs.

What is Marketing?

All too often people assume that marketing is another word for advertising. In reality, there is much more to marketing than just a billboard or magazine advertisement. According to Scott Donaton's article titled It's time to take a fresh look at the definition of marketing, he suggests that we possibly look for new words to describe the new marketing world in which we live. (Donaton, 2004) Donaton feels that the current definition of marketing can not truly define what marketing is in this day and age. It encompasses more than just the way companies bring their products to the consumers. (Donaton, 2004)

Karen Carpenter on the other hand, feels that people often have a hard time deciphering between marketing and sales. (Carpenter, 2004) She notes that the Webster's Dictionary use the terms "market" and "sell" in the same context. (Carpenter, 2004) Within the article, Carpenter quotes the American Marketing Association (AMA) with using this as the definition of marketing: "an organizational function and set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders." (Carpenter, 2004)

According to the Webster's Dictionary, the definition of marketing is: 1: the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service or, 2: an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer. (Merriam-Webster, 2004) And according my Marketing text book, marketing deals with identifying and meeting human and social needs; or "meeting needs profitably". (Perreault & McCarthy, 2004) While all of these definitions fit, no one of them can fully explain the depth of marketing in our current business environment.

My personal definition of marketing would have to be the way in which companies present their products to the public in order to reach the widest variety of audiences. It is the way in which companies entice people to want and need their products. It is also the method in which companies predict and decipher what people will want and need in the future, and the process in which the company will introduce the products to the public and entice them to purchase such product.

Marketing Differences

These definitions of marketing are very important in the business world. It is crucial to understand that there are many different ways to deliver products to customers, and knowing your customer is the most important part of marketing. Since Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer selling involve very different customers, I feel it is important for companies to market their products specifically for the intended buyers.

One of the most important differences between Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer marketing strategies is that Business-to-Business marketing can be a slow, drawn out process, while Business-to-Consumer marketing should be short and to the point. (Anonymous, 2006) Business-to-Business marketing is not always about the sale, but more about the relationship. (Anonymous, 2006) When companies buy from other companies, they are usually buying large quantities of product and spending enormous amounts of money on one transaction. Therefore, the purchasing company needs to have a solid level of trust in the supplier. (Anonymous, 2006) In order to gain the trust of buyers, the businesses market their products slowly and meticulously and form strong relationships with their buyers. Business-to-Business buying is very rarely spontaneous. Typically there is much research done on the products available, and educated decisions are made based on product quality price and overall value the product will bring to the company. (Murphy, 2006)

Business-to-Consumer on the other hand, markets their product much more quickly, and to a larger audience. (Murphy, 2006) Many consumers purchase brands they are familiar with, while others purchase based on price and value, while others still do impulse shopping, and buy what sparks their interests. (Murphy, 2006) Individual consumers are also looking to make quick transactions once they have found the product of their choosing. Consumers do not need to create relationships with the company selling the product; however, I believe if a customer likes the product, loyalties to that company may occur. These purchasing decisions can make marketing to consumers that much more difficult for businesses. Discounted price points, coupons, and bonus incentives are all potential marketing strategies companies use to entice individual consumers. (Murphy, 2006) Bright, bold advertisements and emails, as well as repetitive advertising and photos are good ways to capture consumer audiences. (Murphy, 2006)

Business-to-Business marketing does not have the need for extensive bright and bold advertisements, and repetitive advertising, as businesses are not usually attracted by flair, but rather by the quality and value of the product in question, as well as the trust and relationship that can be built between the buyer and seller.

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