The 4 Main Categories of B2B Customers

Last Updated: 

March 28, 2023

The 4 Main Categories of B2B Customers, Retail and Wholesale

Marketing your business is not as easy as you would think. You can certainly drill everything down into finite components, but when you start using social media properly, you may find that there are so many different segmentations of your audience that it can be hard to create tailored material for each one. Within the B2B industry, the fact is that every company that you would try to promote yourself to has that savviness and would understand that you are trying to categorise them. Instead, it's better to not overthink these things, and realise that there are really four different types of B2B customers, including: 

Key Takeaways: Types of B2B Customers and Effective Marketing Strategies

  1. Producers: These companies purchase goods and services and transform them into other products. When marketing to producers, focus on providing the goods they need rather than flashy promotions.
  2. Resellers: These include brokers, retailers, and wholesalers who sell goods or services without altering them. Securing big-name resellers like Walmart can have a significant impact on sales.
  3. Governments: Local governments are the largest purchasers of goods worldwide. To sell to governments, differentiate your products and follow proper registration procedures (e.g., the System for Award Management in the US).
  4. Institutions: Private colleges, charities, and churches buy products and services at lower costs due to their specific missions. When selling to institutions, a tactical approach and willingness to lower costs may be necessary.
  5. SEO for Professional Services: Companies like Ignite SEO help law firms and professional services businesses improve their online visibility through Search Engine Optimisation.
  6. Understanding Your B2B Customers: To effectively market to B2B clients, recognise their unique needs and knowledge, which will help you promote your business and secure the right deals.
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These are the types of companies that will purchase services and goods, but transform them into other products into the items you would see on shelves or serve up in some of the big-named restaurants. Restaurants need potatoes or chicken, airlines will need planes or fuel, and a local tattoo parlour will need needles and inks. So when you are composing a digital marketing strategy for B2B companies, a producer is more likely to not get blindsided by tactical promotions. They've been in the business for a long time and just want the goods. 


These are the types of people like brokers, retailers, or wholesalers who sell goods or services produced by others without changing them. Think of big retail stores as a great example. If you can get these big-name companies like Walmart to purchase your product, this can have a big impact on your sales. 


The biggest purchaser of goods in the entire world is the local government. In America, the government purchases everything, from highway construction services to paper, and everything in between. Therefore, if you want to actually sell directly to a government you can't necessarily go knocking on their door! However, you could benefit from differentiating your products and selling them overseas. For example, businesses that want to sell to the US government need to register with the System for Award Management (formerly the Central Contractor Registration) as the first port of call.


From private colleges to charities and churches, institutions will purchase a large number of services or products at a lower cost because they're providing a specific service. When you are selling to these companies, you've got to take a tactical approach and understand you may be having to cut the costs to keep a client like this on board. They need to provide services to those who are in dire need, so for example, selling equipment to a hospital will mean networking with a local health board and understanding what they are in desperate need for. In this situation, you can on take the role of a reseller or a producer. 

As a law firm or professional services business you may be wondering about how effective marketing, specifically SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) might be for your organisation. Companies like Ignite SEO are well versed in helping growing insitutions to be found online.

When we are working in B2B, we must remember that they are just as knowledgeable about the market as we are, perhaps even more so. Understanding the four different types gives you a far better idea of how to promote yourself and also helps you get the right deal at the end of the day.

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