B2B vs B2C Marketing: Growing Sales in Nigeria

B2B vs. B2C

There are many ways to market your multinational company’s product or service in Nigeria. As a new entrant, solidifying your position in the Nigerian market with strong sales and continuous growth is a must. Therefore, it is important to understand the two main approaches to marketing in this area, as this information will help you reach your target customer. The reality is that it all comes down to B2B vs B2C marketing.


B2B or “business-to-business” marketing is when a company uses advertising methods to encourage other businesses to purchase their products. In Nigeria, businesses that sell industrial goods, chemical products, and medical devices are typically the companies that employ B2B marketing methods.

B2C or “business-to-consumer” marketing occurs when an organization seeks to publicize their products in a way that appeals to the end user of the products they develop. Companies that sell consumer goods, both durables and non-durables, use this marketing method to sell their products in Nigeria.


Outside of identifying what marketing approaches are used in Nigeria, it’s equally as important that you understand how to create a marketing plan around B2B vs. B2C marketing that will help increase your sales numbers. A detailed explanation of how both concepts function in Nigeria, as well as the steps you should take while using either technique to sell your products, is provided below.


Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing

Gain Access to the Decision-Makers

When it comes to selling to other businesses, the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” cannot be more relevant anywhere else than in the Nigerian market. One of the challenges that many companies run into when looking to sell to other businesses is that they do not yet have access to the real decision-makers at their target companies. This rings especially true for firms that are also new entrants in the Nigerian market because they have a limited professional network in the area.

A way to overcome this challenge is to identify and employ the services of a professional in the area who can facilitate introductions to the right people at your target companies. These introductions should include face-to-face meetings with top executives who are instrumental in their company’s operations.


Identify and Explain Your Value Proposition

Once you have the ear of the decision-makers, you should move forward with pitching your product to them. In order to craft the perfect pitch, you must first identify your company’s value so that you can provide a convincing explanation as to why this particular company should be in business with you. Typically, a company’s value in a B2B sales relationship is cost-saving opportunities or facilitating a boost in their client’s sales.

Once you have determined why a sales relationship would be beneficial for your target company, lead with that information in your meeting. However, the explanation of your value proposition should be malleable, in that you should use your meeting to listen to what the target company’s priorities and challenges are, then reframe your solution to address those issues as needed.

It’s important to keep in mind that decision-makers at this level tend to make rational choices and, therefore, respond best to pitches that utilize strategic thinking and relevant insights instead of thoughtful promises wrapped in innovative theories. They want to know that what you’re providing will ultimately help them scale their business and increase their bottom line.


Understand the Process & Seal the Deal

When trying to earn the business of your target company, you should also pay close attention to the organization’s decision-making process. This will help guide your choices on who to talk to and how to approach the situation. In many instances, you will be pitching yourself to several of your target company’s stakeholders, especially if there is more than one decision-maker at the firm in question.

In Nigeria, the managing director usually has the final say in whether or not their company will purchase products or services from you. Therefore, it is in your best interest to get the buy-in from the person serving in that position early on to expedite the sale.


Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Marketing

Gain Access to the Decision-Makers

As a multinational company operating in Nigeria, a country of 180 million people, it is imperative that you understand your target customer and what it takes to get them to purchase your products. Working with a seasoned advertising agency in Nigeria that understands your value and consumer base can help you market your products correctly and increase your sales numbers.

Furthermore, you should also work with a distributor who can make sure your goods are sold in both the formal and informal retail markets, as 80 – 90% of retail sales in Nigeria occur in informal open-air markets.

B2B vs. B2C
Informal Open-air food market in Ibadan, Nigeria.


Identify and Explain Your Value Proposition

Purchases made in the B2C market are oftentimes emotionally driven rather than rational. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand the value your products offer the consumer. In an effort to better understand your value and your consumer, you should consider conducting research, such as surveys or in-depth interviews. Collecting data from your target customer will provide you with valuable insight, which should inform how to pitch your product as the best solution to their specific needs.

Understand the Process & Seal the Deal

The difference in B2B vs. B2C marketing also has to do with how purchasing decisions are made. In B2C situations, the decision to buy a product is usually made by one person who fits the profile of your target customer. Therefore, you do not have to gain the buy-in of several different stakeholders with varying business interests and approaches.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the end user of your product might not be the one with the purchasing power. For example, although homecare products for children are made for children to use, the child’s parents are the ones that will be buying the item. As you can see, you should always market to the person who has buying power.


Gaining an understanding of whom you’re selling to, what they value, and how they can be reached are essential when marketing your business in Nigeria, whether you take a B2B vs. B2C approach or use a combination of the two. If you follow this advice, you will give your company a better chance at seeing significant sales growth while operating in the Nigerian market.


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