Those who have extensive knowledge of the business world will recognize that marketing is not a homogenous activity without distinction. Often there will be variations in practice and purpose between various forms of marketing. One such distinction is the one that is created between consumer marketing and business marketing.
The most obvious difference between the two concepts is that business marketing tends to concentrate on the sale of goods and services between businesses. On the other hand consumer marketing is just that…it tends to concentrate on the sale of goods and services to consumers.
In this article we will give an overview of the fundamental difference between the two marketing concepts which can have implications on the way we do business. The distinction may appear superficial to lay people or people who are not particularly interested in the science of business practice. However it is very important to grasp the differences between the two issues if you are to run a successful business. Once the subtle or not so subtle differences are understood, then the manager is in a position to adopt an appropriate strategy for dealing with each arm of the business.
Business marketing has been in existence for a very long time in its various forms. The need to create a sales distinction between wholesalers and retailers has been fundamental to almost all business activity. In fact without the role of business marketing there would be no basis for modern economies. Whole profitability structures are constructed and delivered around this distinction.
For instance we understood that the retailer will be dealing in bulk, will enjoy economies of scale, will be able to provide better credit systems on a long-term basis and will ordinarily never be dealing with the public. The retailer would then make a profit by charging for the convenience of delivering the goods and services to the customer direct.
Despite this long history, the real understanding of the concepts of business marketing did not take place until within the last twenty five years. In that period various academicians and professionals defined the characteristics of business marketing and defined rules which would enable the practitioner to make their marketing strategy. Ordinary entrepreneurs then had an opportunity to apply some of these concepts to their own organizations with varying degrees of success. Management courses will now offer distinct learning paths for each of the concepts.
Consumer marketing has been visible to the public for roughly the same period. It has been both formal and informal. Furthermore it has been repeated over and over again to the extent that the consumers have entered some form of clandestine pact with the retailers to develop conventions and systems that ease the path towards trade.
Issues such as credit and barter as well as cyclic price fluctuations are quite familiar to most consumers. They are nevertheless less comfortable with the concepts of business marketing which tend to be the domain of senior management and long standing retailers. However because of the inter-connectivity of economic activity, there is scope for both types of marketing to be working together.