There are minor differences when you’re advertising to possible business connections as opposed to when you’re targeting consumers who will buy your products and services outright. Small though they may be, they’re also important differences to take into account. Here are the top three noteworthy observations that can have a powerful impact on your advertising strategy in most cases. It all has to do with knowing your audience:

1. Plan the length of your relationship. When you’re addressing clients/customers, your main goal is to close the immediate sale. Of course you want to build a relationship with someone and retain them for repeat business. But that’s a shorter cycle, and it’s secondary. With business-to-business marketing, that strategy is essentially reversed. You want to plan on maintaining a long-term relationship with another business for cooperative success down through the years. You can be less aggressive in the short-term, and expect less immediate ROI. Your B2B success is measured in terms of networking and creating down-the-road goals that put your company’s agenda in alignment with someone you hope to ultimately work with. This will happen as soon as it mutually benefits both parties, when there is already a foundation of trust and respect.

2. Choose the right tone of voice. With business-to-client marketing, you can assume that a portion of the people you’re addressing might be unfamiliar with your brand and industry. You want to reemphasize your logo, your selling points, your messages. However, when you’re speaking to people within or adjacent to your industry, the tone of your marketing changes. First of all, you can assume they already know your lingo, how you operate and where their resources might fit in. While they may not know of your brand outright, you can still give them a little more slack. You can assume that if you speak to these potential colleagues as peers and let them investigate you on their own, they’ll be much more likely to come around and choose you of their own accord – which won’t happen if they feel they’re being spoken down to or given a blanket sales pitch.

3. Calibrate your terms of success. With those buying retail, you want to finalize the contract or close the sale. Usually, business concludes neatly with an exchange of money for products or services. But with other businesses, you need less concrete ways to measure your accomplishments. You’re looking to gain new leads for future business. You need to establish close communication that builds upward. This is usually achieved through personal relationships (with an agent or sales rep) rather than trying to get a consumer to identify and bond with the idea of your brand.

Ask us how you can take what you have to offer and advertise it to both markets without changing your identity or developing two separate campaigns. We can help you set constructive goals and tweak your content to create similar but slightly different materials that you can either share B2C or B2B.