Business-to-business (or B2B) marketing involves the sale of one company’s products or services to another. Unlike business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, it is largely deployed by companies that work directly with other businesses, not with the general public.
Whilst its techniques rely on the same basic principles as consumer marketing – at its core, B2B marketing involves building relationships to guarantee lasting customers, whereas consumers choose products based not only on price but on emotional triggers such as popularity and status – B2B buyers will of course consider brand and reputation, but price and profit potential are also key decision drivers.
In consumer marketing, an effective brand advertisement can be broadcast over a wide range of channels, and a percentage of consumers will be driven to buy the product as a result. As B2B marketing is so much more specialised, marketers run the risk of alienating their specific prospective candidates if they fail to tailor their services to meet their individual customers’ exact needs. It is therefore vital for B2B marketers to understand these needs before implementing any marketing or advertising tactic.
B2B lead generation means obtaining the details of those customers who might be interested in learning more. Once you obtain these leads you then convert them through your sales funnel until they become customers and then advocates for your brand. As a B2B company your sales funnel is probably more complex than that of a B2C company. You may have several different sales funnels, perhaps you are targeting different industries and have personalised funnels for each one. But whatever your sales funnel or funnels look like, it’s crucial to map out your sales cycle and how it relates to your customers’ buying journey.
There’s a lot that goes into the buying decision, for example, when deciding whether to work with a marketing company, a customer will do research and look into the company, read reviews and ask other business owners about their experiences.
Business marketers can develop and decide how to deploy their B2B plan by identifying and understanding the importance of the following topics:
- The product or service: When marketing to consumers, there is an emotional aspect involved. Individuals are often drawn to products because of how they make them feel. With B2B customers, the buyers are trained professionals who care more about the quality of products, their cost-saving and/or revenue-producing benefits, and the service provided by the host company.
- The target market: Many B2B marketers focus on very niche industries which reflect specialised needs. This requires a high level of knowledge of the industry in which they’re operating – beyond marketing.
- Promotion: Just like B2C marketers, those working in B2B roles need to be expert not only in marketing and advertising, but experts within their fields, perhaps to an even greater degree though. Once this happens, they will learn the best ways to market to the industry in question, whether it is through blogs, journals, tradeshows or word of mouth.
Once you have a customer who is considering your business it’s time to gear up with your digital marketing strategy. During this stage your business will send emails; produce great content which provides potential customers with pre-emptive answers to their questions. This in turn builds trust and relationships, and highlights your business as the industry expert.
Want to find out more about effective B2B marketing? Wrexham Glyndwr University’s unique Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Marketing degree enables working professionals to develop the key skills required of senior marketers, including strategic marketing, integrated communications planning, creativity, innovation and an understanding of consumer behaviour. It also covers key business disciplines including finance and human resource management and develops practical and theoretical business leadership skills.
The MBA is industry-led and career-centric; our deep relationships with major employers have fed into the programme content to shape an MBA that is built for career enhancement across a wide range of sectors in the modern-day work environment. It is completely online, enabling you to study at your own pace, on your own terms, and with six starts per year, you can start within weeks. There are also flexible payment options and postgraduate government loans to cover the full programme cost, for those that are eligible.
If you want to learn more about how an online marketing MBA can help you build a successful B2B marketing career, visit https://online.glyndwr.ac.uk/mba-marketing/ today.