The media tends to focus on catchy and digestible stories for readers, which leads to disproportionate coverage of B2B vs B2C, namely in the high-tech sector. To find out why, Yann Gourvennec, CEO of Visionary Marketing, asked Dave Sobel, host of the Business of Tech podcast and a leading voice in the delivery of IT Services, to shed light on this topic.
B2B vs B2C: Why B2B matters and deserves more media coverage
I am currently a university student about to graduate and the clock is ticking to find a job in an industry that is lucrative. All students eventually face this plight and I cannot be the only one feeling stressed.
This is all that I have been working toward. I see my older friends landing jobs with companies such as Apple and Facebook. I will undeniably admit that saying you work for a large tech giant has a nice ring to it and will turn heads.
But a recent podcast on B2B vs B2C services made me conduct further research and question what many of us have been indoctrinated to focus on when it comes to job search.
B2B vs. B2C: why is everyone focusing on B2C?
Throughout my business studies, I was taught to think solely about the consumer.
What do they want? What do they need? This business model is commonly known as Business-to-Consumer (B2C) or Direct-to-Consumer where a business focuses on selling products directly to customers.
I had previously not thought about the transactional services established among businesses, especially in the tech sector. Business-to-Business (B2B) is when one business makes a commercial transaction with another business, whether it is a service, product, or collaboration. Below are key differences between both models.
Why is there less media attention on B2B in the High-Tech Sector?
I remember a professor mentioned the name “B2B” briefly in a passing sentence and then moved along with the lesson. He did not establish B2B’s significance so how could anyone else in that classroom care?
Yes, students learn about how businesses source materials for their output or outsource production… But this seems as sort of the prologue for a product. I along with my peers are encouraged to step in at the climax of the product’s story and Market definition in B2B and B2C - The very notion of "market" is at the heart of any marketing approach. A market can be defined... and sell and deliver to the consumer.
There is little discussion about B2B services after the product is manufactured and no emphasis on actual B2B opportunities.
There is also not a lot of popular media on this topic.
I believe that perhaps I was not taught in-depth about B2B because there is a lack of attention to it in the media. The media tends to focus on B2C and since that is given more attention, there is the misconception that B2C is driving more commerce, gaining more revenue, and is thus more important.
Dave Sobel: B2B takes a good deal of attention and research
Dave Sobel, the host of the Business of Tech and a leading voice in the delivery of IT Services, makes his living off of this disparity. In a podcast with Yann Gourvennec, Sobel explains, in short, that it is because “it’s hard.” Understanding niches within B2B is very complex. There is also the added challenge of making those topics digestible for a general audience.
So it’s hard. It takes a good deal of time and attention and research. That’s not necessarily a broad engagement when you’re thinking about news and journalism. You’re trying to make it really broad. You’re trying to make it interesting to an end consumer
People love to read about start-ups and gadgets but tend to ignore services.
Focusing on broad concepts pushes out the ability to publish about particular niches which include most discussions surrounding B2B services.
B2B vs B2C in the High-Tech Sector
In order to better understand B2B services, Sobel suggests an exercise.
Ask any business possible about who helps them with their technology or computers. You will learn “there’s probably a company all the way down to one or two independent consultants that do that work.”
Those are all businesses with jobs that involve leadership, project management, technical skills, or sales and marketing.
In particular, “all the technical skills are where technology is desperate for more people” and there are plenty of job opportunities.
This can also be great to start in one of these small organizations and then move up quickly.
For every dollar of sales force that is sold, there is only $8 of services. Compared to a company like Microsoft, there is $12 of services for every dollar in sales
Overall, B2B companies tend to perform better when compared to B2C companies, Sobel says.
Ignoring the money talk, B2B services can result in helpful change. Sobel acknowledges how B2B services can address intellectual challenges.
Medical data processing integration can sound awfully boring. However, there has to be a solution to protect people’s privacy while also making that information available when necessary as it moves between systems.
That is a complex issue that B2B services can address.
This helps many people in the process “as opposed to selling them some disposable photo editing app.”
Opportunity is not always present in the most obvious ways.
For the same reason that we may not all be professional football players, you need to understand that the actual opportunity is in lots of really boring things. What’s interesting about these ‘boring things’ is they become really fascinating when you go deeper
These are jobs that can be lucrative and can make a difference. There is beauty in complexity and a blessed future in learning to understand that complexity. Once I graduate, I aim to turn toward making a career in B2B services and you should too.
Be sure to check out Dave Sobel’s podcast, The Business of Tech, here or on most podcast hosting platforms.
To learn more about B2B, visit these articles:
- B2B Sharing Economy: A multi-trillion-dollar market
- Networking and Growing Your B2B Business with LinkedIn
- B2B Marketing: are we all potential opinion leaders?