B2B and B2C membership sites share a lot of similarities, but there are a few key differences you need to be aware of.
Of course, the main differentiator between the two is the target audience.
Business-to-business (B2B) are businesses who sell to other businesses, while business-to-consumer (B2C) are businesses whose customers are individual consumers.
Both B2C and B2B businesses can run very successful membership sites.
No matter what market or niche you’re in, B2B or B2C, you can apply many of the principles we teach inside the Membership Academy to your own business.
However, there are some key differences between the two when it comes to positioning, marketing and pricing your membership.
These differences are important because they can potentially impact how you approach your strategy, marketing, and even your mindset when it comes to your membership site.
So, what are the main differences between B2C and B2B memberships?
And, why you should you even care?
Let me share…
1) The problems and solutions are more varied with B2C memberships than with B2B
One of the biggest differences between B2C and B2B memberships is the fact that B2C memberships tend to deal with a greater spectrum of problems and solutions.
Also, the level that members are invested in the membership varies greatly with B2C.
For example, hobbyists join memberships to improve their hobby.
Perhaps they want to get better at painting, quilting or fishing.
My point is that it’s a hobby that they enjoy, but it’s not necessarily going to be life-changing.
On the other end of the scale, you’ve got people who join B2C memberships because they do want life-changing results.
Perhaps they are dealing with a chronic weight problem and need to lose weight for their health.
Or, maybe they have crippling anxiety or a severe lack of confidence and they need help.
For these people, being a member of a memberships that can help them solve these problems holds a great amount of importance.
With B2B memberships people usually join because they want to develop skills to use within a business.
So, you’re more likely to find business owners joining as a logical investment rather than an emotional commitment.
They will be more likely be looking for a return on investment from the membership.
While there are a few exceptions, B2C memberships tend to be a lot broader with the range of problems and solutions on offer in comparison to B2B memberships.
So, what does all of this mean for you?
Well, you should probably spend a lot more time researching and assessing where your membership fits on the scale to make sure that you are approaching your marketing and how you position your membership accordingly.
2) B2C members tend to be more price conscious than B2B members
Attitudes towards cost and affordability vary between members of B2B and B2C membership sites for obvious reasons – given the target audience.
With a B2C membership, people are more likely to view their monthly subscription as a cost.
It’s going to go right alongside their bills and the cost of living.
When things get tight, they aren’t going to think twice about leaving your membership because when it comes down to it, they have other things placed higher on their priorities than being a member of your site.
It’s the sad truth, because even if you are offering a life-changing solution with your membership, a member is more likely to leave you than cancel their Netflix!
This is something that you need to accept if you’re running a B2C membership.
On the other hand, B2B memberships are seen as a business expense, not a personal expense.
As long as your membership continues to bring them real value, members of B2B sites are far more likely to stick around for the long haul.
B2C members are a lot more price conscious because they have to be. Affordability is an important factor to consider when choosing a membership.
Although prices of membership sites are not set in stone, there are average ballparks that can help you decide on the right cost for your site.
On average, the majority of B2C memberships cost between $15 to $40 USD per month while the monthly cost of B2B membership sites ranges from $30 to $60 USD.
It’s important to consider, with B2C memberships, if there is a financial barrier to entry when it comes to the particular subject matter of the membership.
For example, if your membership supports photography enthusiasts, musicians or high-tech web developers, then your members are accustomed to the fact that their hobby requires investment.
They have most likely spent $1000’s on it already.
Therefore, they may be more receptive to joining a membership at a higher price point than a typical B2C membership.
3) Consider how much time your members have to invest in your membership
No matter if you have a B2B or B2C membership site, you’re going to be competing for the time and attention of your members against other obligations and things going on in their lives.
This varies for B2B and B2C, often quite considerably.
For example, if you’re working with B2C members, you’re probably going to compete against both work AND home obligations.
B2C members will have to make time for your membership because they’re juggling a lot, they will probably be utilizing your membership in their spare time and are likely to suffer from overwhelm.
Since B2B members are investing in your membership as a business expense, they have a little more wiggle room.
Chances are, they’re able to schedule a time to use your site, during their working day, because they see it as a viable business activity.
You need to think about the content you produce and how much time it demands from your audience.
For example, if you’re in a habit of emailing your members every day to remind them to do certain things, it can get really annoying really fast.
You don’t want to overwhelm your members, especially when time is already hard to come by.
Make your membership site as convenient as possible for members.
This means finding ways to deliver value and results without demanding a lot of your members time.
4) The level of exposure your market has to advertising and marketing tactics
Many membership site owners forget to consider just how much exposure their audience is accustomed to seeing in terms of advertising, sales and marketing tactics.
This is important because if you market too much to the wrong crowd, or… you market wrong to the right crowd… your efforts could fall on deaf ears!
The B2B world is more savvy and more aware of when they're being marketed to.
Potential members are probably used to seeing different marketing tactics because they’re in business.
This means they’ve likely seen their fair share of strategies such as the “Product Launch Formula” three-video launch sequence, false scarcity, sales webinars and so on.
However, the same can’t always be said for B2C members.
Some may be more accustomed to seeing marketing tactics than others.
But many of them might feel a little creeped out when they see a remarketing ad pop up on their Facebook newsfeed!
They might even find it off-putting and use it as a reason not to join your membership.
So, you’ve got to be careful and think about the level of exposure that your audience will have had to various marketing tactics.
You don’t want to overwhelm a B2C audience with hundreds of persistent ads, while a B2B audience might even admire your advertising skills.
Whether you’ve got a B2B or B2C membership, make sure you take these four key differences into account when it comes to promoting and growing your membership!