B2B copywriting vs. B2C copywriting … is there really a difference?
Yes and no.
First, let’s bust the myth that all B2B copywriting is purely logical…
Once upon a time, marketing legend Dan Kennedy wanted to sell a product to dentists.
Being the impeccable researcher that he is, he didn’t just read about them online…
He attended a dentists’ conference to eavesdrop on their conversations.
There, during the lunch break, what do you think the dentists were talking about?
Was it the ROI potential of their new dental equipment?
Its many features and benefits?
No. They were talking about…
And how they couldn’t wait to get to the golf course.
So Dan Kennedy’s headline went something like: “Buy Our Product So You Can Play More Golf!”
And it worked like crazy.
(By the way, I heard this story years ago, so maybe some details aren’t exact, but the gist is here.)
So does that mean there is no “B2B copywriting vs. B2C copywriting”?
The showdown of B2B copywriting vs. B2C copywriting boils down to this:
B2B Copywriting Persuades with Logic
B2C Copywriting Persuades with Emotion
These two over-generalizations cause endless, needless debate.
It’s just the wording that doesn’t work.
If the comparison were more precisely, then the debate would fizzle out tomorrow.
Saying “B2B copywriting persuades with logic” is too imprecise…
This wording implies:
“All B2B copywriting persuades with logic 100% of the time, in all contexts. Period.”
So if that’s the underlying meaning (which it is unless you choose better words), then it’s wrong.
One way of saying more precisely would be:
“B2B copy generally relies more on logic than B2C copy.”
That’s more true.
But we can get even more specific, if we so choose…
In my experience, writing, reading, and studying a vast array of B2B copywriting, I’ve noticed a clear trend:
The more complex the sale, product, and audience, the more logical the copy.
Emotional gambits like these, for instance, wouldn’t work with a $1 million SaaS contract:
$200,000 sale ends TONIGHT!
Look hotter, feel sexier, and get more girls with this new SaaS platform!
The ONE Sales Automation Secret that Could Crank Up Your Revenue By 3,227% in Just 3 Days
If you’re selling an engineering solution to engineers, they won’t be sold like that. You can’t “wine and dine” them with emotional benefits and slick wording.
B2B copy usually targets ROI-minded buyers.
So you have to persuade logically why Solution A beats Solution B.
But not always.
The story I opened with is a good exception to this rule.
And that’s why I try to view things as if I’m a data scientist.
Every marketing context can be broken down into a graph, pie chart, or spectrum.
Above, I mentioned only one variable – the complexity of the sale. But there are others that play a role in how logical your copy should be.
Length and complexity of the sales cycle
Product, service, and industry
Education level of your prospect
And so on.
Taken together, variables such as these help determine how logical or emotional the copy should be.
In conclusion – statistically speaking, B2B copywriting is more logical.
The motivations for B2B purchases are, 9 times out of 10, different from B2C purchases.
Most B2B sales situations are:
Data- and fact-driven
Based on business needs, not just wants
Involving educated buyers, who are logically critical of a product or service
And so on.
In B2B situations, the bottom line is the bottom line … not whether you’ll look good in this or that shirt.
So if you’re hiring a B2B copywriter, it pays to make sure they understand the difference between B2B copywriting and B2C copywriting.