What’s the difference between B2B and B2C lead generation?

Lead generation gets defined in lots of ways. Some companies call data on prospects or a list of email addresses a lead. Others call a sales qualified meeting a lead. The difference between the two definitions is huge. None of them are wrong either – they are all “leads” in a sense, but some are much more likely to turn into sales than others. 

If you look at the B2C (business to consumer) market – leads are generated by brands sharing their message socially, by video or other scalable approaches, like SEO and PPC. 

In B2B (business to business) markets that’s not going to work, because executives act and think differently. It’s a different beast entirely – much more complex and much more involved. 

The aim of B2C marketing is to form an emotional connection between the brand and the buyer and play on impulses, but when you’re selling to a business, the prospect’s decision is a lot more pragmatic. Chances are they’re more knowledgeable about the market you’re in and what else is out there. 

You’ll have to be able to stand up to that kind of scrutiny. You have to build a business case for working together. To get there requires a specific approach to marketing. You see, executives don’t spend as much time on social media, or reading blogs, or really anything apart from attending meetings and reading their email. So, unless you are referred to them, or happen to be speaking on stage at an event they attend, the likelihood of you gaining their attention is slim. 

After all, the stakes are higher. If they’re going to sign a six, seven or eight figure deal with you, they’re going to need a lot of information before they take that call. When you’re considering your marketing approaches to gain executive attention – think longform emails with case studies, complex value propositions and plenty of hard figures on the benefits of your offering. Without that, you might still get leads, but they won’t be with the higher ups you need to close big deals.