What exactly is business-to-business marketing?
B2B marketing is a strategy in which businesses sell goods or services to other businesses directly.
B2B companies exist in some cases because they sell products that only other businesses want to buy in large quantities.
Consider a car part manufacturer. Although some individuals may wish to purchase tailpipes and brake pads to repair their own vehicles, the vast majority of automotive parts are purchased by other businesses. These could be auto manufacturing companies that use assembly lines to build cars or mechanics who use them to repair existing cars.
Instead of selling small quantities of automotive parts to fix one-time consumer repairs, you can think bigger by selling larger orders to businesses on a regular basis.
In other cases, a company may offer a product that can be used in both B2B and B2C models, but choose the latter to simplify business operations.
A company that sells printer paper, for example, could market to individual customers. However, doing so would necessitate collaborating with a variety of retailers to place paper inside their stores. Alternatively, an eCommerce site and fulfillment operation may be required.
This can be difficult logistically for some businesses. Instead, by pursuing a B2B strategy, the company can concentrate on selling large quantities of paper to a small number of businesses.
This removes the need for collaboration with other retailers. It also simplifies logistics by reducing the number of sales to fulfill and customer relationships to manage.
In these cases, B2B marketing strategies concentrate on connecting with other businesses that will then trade with you.
How does business-to-business marketing work?
B2B marketing, like B2C marketing, entails nurturing prospects through the buyer’s journey.
In B2B marketing, the journey begins when a company identifies a problem that must be solved. Perhaps they are anticipating an increase in trade for specific products, or a company to assist them in upskilling their team. At this point, the company is looking for products, services, and candidates to assist them.
The goal of B2B marketing is to guide prospects through the entire process.
Your B2B marketing efforts should include the following:
- Make it clear what problems your company can solve.
- Demonstrate how you differ from the competition.
- Allow your customers to evaluate your products through trials and demonstrations.
- Allow for simple purchases
B2B marketing strategy examples
There are several strategies for achieving these objectives through B2B marketing.
- Paid social event. You can use sponsored posts on social media channels to increase awareness of your offerings.
- Natural media. A strong presence on business-focused social media platforms such as LinkedIn can help you position yourself as an industry expert.
- Search engine advertising. When buyers search for relevant terms, you can place ads on search engines that highlight your products and services.
- Natural search. You can attract buyers to your site and educate them about your offering by designing web pages that target SEO terms that they are likely to search for.
- Marketing through content. Blogs, thought leadership, eBooks, and product tutorials can help your SEO, brand awareness, and product evaluation.
The distinctions between B2B and B2C marketing
The primary distinction between B2B and B2C marketing is the buyer’s end goal. In a nutshell, B2B marketing is concerned with selling to businesses. B2C refers to selling to individual customers.
B2B allows retailers to make high-value sales to fewer customers, which may simplify business operations because there are fewer customers to interact with. Profit margins in B2B markets can be higher as well, and there may be less competition than in B2C markets.
B2B sales and marketing, on the other hand, present unique challenges. The sales cycle, for example, tends to be longer, and qualifying leads can be more difficult. B2C marketing can be successful quickly — for example, a fashion retailer could promote a 50% discount offer on a variety of items that are quick and easy to deliver.
B2B marketing strategies, on the other hand, may be more detailed. Leads may need to be nurtured for several weeks. It’s very likely that you’ll be connecting with companies that are experts in their field and thus more diligent and detailed in their decision-making.
Long-term contracts may be involved in B2B marketing; for example, instead of selling summer fashion items to consumers, you could be supplying a logistics company with employees spread across the country with branded uniforms. In these cases, instead of a single person making the decision to buy, it is usually a senior leadership team, a board of directors, the company owner or CEO.
B2B marketing may necessitate a more patient, long-term strategy than a B2C marketing campaign. Learn more about the distinctions between B2B and B2C marketing on the Marketo blog.
The advantages of B2B marketing.
If you’re just getting started with B2B marketing, you may still be weighing your options. Make no mistake: developing a detailed, effective B2B marketing strategy takes time and dedication — but it is well worth it.
There are several advantages to implementing a B2B marketing strategy, including:
- Raise awareness. Businesses and potential clients must understand who you are, what you can offer, and how they can collaborate with you.
- Create leads. One of the most significant advantages of B2B marketing is the generation of leads, and a comprehensive strategy can put you in front of potential buyers. The effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing is limited.
- Drive through traffic. Marketing content, both on your own website and on influential third-party websites like LinkedIn, will help drive traffic to your business.
- Increase your ranking. Will potential buyers find you if they search for help from a company like yours online? Will your company rank high enough in organic search results? If you aren’t in the top 10-20 search results, your chances of engaging are slim. Effective content marketing can boost your search engine rankings and, as a result, your visibility.
- Building relationships with customers helps to reduce customer churn. Chasing new leads and new business all the time can be counterproductive. An effective B2B marketing strategy can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, allowing you to build long-term relationships with clients.
- It provides excellent customer insight. A B2B digital marketing strategy can give you a wealth of information about how other businesses interact with you. What is the most popular content on your website? How are businesses responding to your strategies?