5 Differences Between Industrial Marketing and Consumer Marketing

Industrial Marketing and Consumer Marketing are often assumed to be the same but both vary in many aspects. Industrial Marketing is more related to B2B marketing where customers are mainly manufacturers , and Consumer Marketing deals with B2C marketing where customer is the end user who is the ultimate consumer of goods and services.

Let us define these marketing approaches to understand them better.

Industrial Marketing

A marketing channel that specializes in selling goods and services to other business organizations. Marketing for B2B customers involves large orders and long-term relationships between organizations. It mostly involves purchase and sale of materials for the manufacturing/production of goods and services.


  • Software company selling its software solution to speaker manufacturing companies.
  • Industrial automation company selling its industrial robots to Original Equipment Manufacturers.

Consumer Marketing

A marketing channel that specializes in selling goods and services to individual buyers. Marketing for end customers involves customizing the marketing campaigns and communication channels to reach the target audience. Marketing strategies are more focused on personalizing the experience of the user with the product or service offered.


  • TV manufacturer selling its TV sets for individual buyers.
  • A mobile manufacturer selling its mobile handsets to individual buyers.

Industrial Marketing and Consumer Marketing bundle together under the marketing umbrella, and yet are different in many ways. Let us discuss some of the differences and common factors between the two, to understand them better.

Common Factors in Industrial Marketing and Consumer Marketing

Industrial and Consumer Marketing are quite similar when you address the fundamental principles of marketing. Both categories follow the principles of the marketing mix and  the and objectives of marketing.  They share a common patch in following ways:-

  • Match the product or service with the needs of the target market.
  • Understand the market and decide on position and pricing, of the product or service to align with the market needs.
  • Create effective communication means to demonstrate the value of the product in the target market.
  • Design an end-to-end marketing process to cater to the requirements and develop a long-term relationship with the costumer.

Difference Between Industrial Marketing and Consumer Marketing

  Industrial Marketing Consumer Marketing
Sales cycle Longer Sales cycle

Calculated decisions are made after several rounds of review and analysis. Marketing should generally involve lengthy nurture-based approach for sales.

Shorter Sales Cycle

Consumers make a decision on the spot based on few or limited preferences.

Buying behavior Buying decision is made by a team. Involves a specific process to be followed to arrive at a collective decision for buying. Buying decision is done by an individual. The choice is based on personal requirements.
Products complexity Complicated products, requires a thorough knowledge of the product.

Knowledge on technical specification of the product is the focus.

Customized products, specific technical specification.

Knowledge of the customized specification is required for the sales of the product.

Market information Information on industrial market niches is very difficult to gain. It requires quality and extensive industrial experience. Information on the consumer market is easily available. Consumer demographic information database helps easily identify the consumer profile and kind of market to target.
Advertisement and promotions Advertisements are more focused on products’ applications and benefits Advertisements are more focused on needs/wants and trends

Industrial and Consumer Buyers

The buying process is segmented into 5 stages:

  • Need recognition
  • Search for relevant information
  • Evaluation of alternatives
  • Purchase decision
  • Post-purchase activities.
Consumer Buyers

The buying behavior, when concentrated on buying goods and services for household and personal consumption is consumer buying. Here the buying is one at a time. The products are eatable products, day-to-day use products. Product buying takes place in the following stages

  1. Recognition of need
  2. Information search
  3. Evaluation of alternatives
  4. Purchase decision
  5. Post-purchase behavior
Industrial Buyers

Here the buying is always in bulk and is based on group decision and influence. Raw materials purchased for further production are the products for industrial buying.  Product buying takes place in following stages.

  1. Problem recognition
  2. General need description
  3. Product specification
  4. Supplier search
  5. Proposal solicitation
  6. Supplier selection
  7. Order routine specification
  8. Performance review

It is important to understand why a consumer or industry makes a purchase. Lack of understanding makes it very hard to respond to the customer requirements.


Creating incredible user experience is the key to create a strong customer base. Various factors influence the buying decisions of the user. Some users are focused on feature and style of the product while some focus on the quality and durability. Some decide for self, while some decide for the benefit of others. Consumer buying behavior is largely influenced by information available and opinion of friends and family.

Innovation in developing product and technologies to satisfy customer needs is fruitful only when it is accompanied by innovative marketing campaigns. Innovative marketing is all about adapting to consumer buying behavior and new technologies while maintaining customer focus.

Marketing campaigns demand innovation for the following reasons.

  • To adapt to change in technology and consumer needs
  • To grasp new opportunities
  • To conceptualize and put into practice new ideas
  • To create an amazing experience for the user
  • To increase the visibility of the brand

Marketing campaigns thrive to blend with innovation and imagination, to market the product or service and connect with prospects at optimized cost.

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