Trends, fads and motivation (why B2B is easier than B2C)


I often think that selling and marketing B2B products and services is far easier than doing the same in a consumer market.  This is, of course, a relative statement.  In any context, successful selling takes hard work, and what works is constantly changing.

But in a B2B market – no matter what the audience or industry or target – the motivation is often the same.  Make money, save money, reduce cost, reduce risk.

In the consumer market, motivations change frequently and often unpredictably.  Trends and fads drive far more of what’s working, and what’s selling, right now.  The fickle nature of consumer buyers, and the unpredictable nature of the size and duration of the dynamic markets they create, makes it all the more difficult to build a business at the right time, in the right place, to make money.

B2B markets and motivations may change too, but not as quickly.  And more often, short-term strategic motivations for B2B organizations (go green, go paperless, go virtual) are all tied back to the higher-level motivations that revolve around money and risk.

Put another way, B2B motivations are more often rational and predictable.  Consumer motivations may revolve around a similar set of ulterior motives (money, recognition, love, etc.), but the means by which consumers go after these goals don’t always follow a straight line.

I’d love to hear those of you with deep consumer experience debate the other side of this.