When you start a job in business or marketing, two of the first terms you learn are “B2B” and “B2C.”
B2B stands for “business-to-business,” whereas B2C stands for “business-to-consumer.”
This refers to businesses whose customers are other businesses. Therefore, all of their marketing efforts are dedicated to the needs, interests, and challenges of customers who are making purchases on behalf of their organization. The sale process is more complex, the conversion cycle is long and more people are involved in purchasing decisions.
This refers to businesses whose customers are individuals. Compared to B2B, the sales process is simpler, the conversion cycle is shorter and decisions are made at quicker paces.
When it comes to the factors that influence the decision to purchase, B2B is considered more logical whereas B2C is more emotional. However, this is not always the case. The two are actually a lot more similar than they seem!
The education space is considered B2C because education organizations serve individuals (students). But despite this classification, education has longer enrollment cycles and consumers often take several months to decide whether or not to apply. For these reasons, education has more in common with B2B Marketing.
Similarities between B2B and PPC Education Marketing(B2C)
Conversion Length Cycle
Like B2B, Education PPC has longer conversion processes. The decision to apply to school is just as significant as a decision that will completely alter a business’s future. The typical call to action for education also drastically differs from B2C (i.e. “Buy Now!”) as the intention is to start a conversation with a prospective student, rather than trying to enroll them right then and there.
Emphasis on the Research
The more money spent on a product/service, the longer the research process becomes. On average, prospective students engage with more than 1,000 digital touchpoints while researching programs in a 6-week period before filling out a lead form.
B2B marketing usually caters to niche markets, so it is essential to understand the target audience’s demographic. In PPC, education clients tend to be challenged with targeting long-tail niche keywords (i.e. specific digital courses). Thus, we add these niche specifics to the sitelinks.
For both B2B and PPC Education marketing content is expected to be detailed, personalized and targeting the right people at the right time.
Longer Chain of command
While B2C customers typically make their own purchase decisions, B2B and PPC education purchases need to be approved by multiple departments (HR, Accounting, department heads, etc.). As we mentioned earlier, the sale process is more complex and more people are involved in purchasing decisions.
Business purchases and personal purchases are motivated by very different factors. For example, B2C customers usually purchase products or services to improve their life in some way. B2B customers, on the other hand, are usually purchasing with the goal of improving their business. Prospective students are doing a mix of both: making a life-changing purchase while also investing in themselves.
B2B marketing strives to build personal relationships with other businesses, since this is necessary for achieving the long-term goal. The same goes for education organizations, where developing a personal relationship with a current student can turn a recent graduate to a post-graduate student.