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Introduction to B2B Marketing
B2B Marketing Strategy – Marketing can either be effective or problematic. The answer lies in how you choose to market your products and services.
When it comes to marketing, your audience is the top determinant of your marketing success. There are several marketing techniques you can employ in your business to generate a good audience. But this article focuses on one of the most effective marketing strategies- B2B Marketing.
What is B2B Marketing?
For starters, B2B marketing is a form of trade and interaction between two businesses. B2B stands for business-to-business. It is probably self-explanatory as it literally means business-to-business transactions.
A company with a B2B marketing strategy sells products and services to other companies and businesses. Unlike business-to-customer (B2C) marketing and business-to-government (B2G) marketing, B2B marketing usually takes place between a manufacturer and a wholesaler. It can also happen between a wholesaler and a retailer.
Who needs B2B Marketing?
The majority of companies that produce raw materials such as steel employ a B2B marketing strategy. But many business types can be compatible with this marketing strategy. Retail companies and businesses also need a B2B marketing strategy for effective marketing.
Characteristics of B2B Marketing
B2B marketing has various characteristics that are divided into three different categories. It includes the features by market structure and demand, nature of the buying unit, and types of decisions and the decision process.
By Market Structure and Demand
- Less but big buyers
- Derived demand
- Higher inelastic demand
- Quick demand fluctuation (bullwhip effect)
Nature of the Buying Unit
- More buyers
- Greater Decision Making Unit (DMU)
- More professional purchase process
Types Of Decisions and the Decision Process
- More complicated buying decisions
- More professional buying process
- Focus on building a long-term relationship
Types of Business Customers in B2B Marketing
In B2B marketing, there are four significant players – producers, resellers, governments, and institutions.
Producers are the creators of products. They buy various raw products and services from other companies to create a whole new product for sale. Both service providers and manufacturers are producers.
Examples – Dell and McDonald’s.
Just as the name itself implies, resellers are firms or companies that buy products from another company and re-sell them as it is. The main players here are retailers, brokers, and wholesalers.
Examples – Target and Walmart.
If there is the biggest buyer in the world, it is the US government! It buys all kinds of goods that range from paper to security services. Both state and local governments are also big buyers of products from various brands and companies.
Institutional markets mostly consist of nonprofit organizations like churches and charitable organizations. This type of market is also big buyers with a focus on getting the products at the cheapest possible.
Examples – American Red Cross and hospitals.
Why need B2B Marketing
● Unlimited Distribution
B2B marketing features a wide scope for expansion and an unlimited distribution span. If you make full use of the internet, this type of marketing can facilitate global audience coverage. So you can get your audience from each corner of the world.
● Increase in Growth
B2B marketing is a fair trade for both amateurs and professionals. You don’t even need a huge capital or years of experience to employ this marketing strategy. Partnering with another business or company is a great way to generate a stable income and a faster business growth rate.
● Minimizes the Cost of Products and Services
B2B marketing generally targets certain types of clients according to age, industry, gender, and other factors. So, it significantly minimizes the cost and effort of investment while increasing its volume. But the catch is to have a clear understanding of the current trends, the type of client, product growth, and trending demands.
● Creates a Niche
Another cool thing about B2B marketing is that you can somehow control the needs and requirements of your customers. An effective niche can drive potential customers to your site without being pushy and desperate.
● Cost-Effective Marketing Strategies
As an online marketing business, advertising is an effective way to bring your B2B marketing to the forefront. In B2B marketing, there are several cost-effective strategies you can use to popularize your business and generate more sales and income. Aside from TV ads and newspaper publicity, you can promote your business on various social platforms in multiple manners.
How to Create a Good B2B Marketing Strategy
Take Time to Research
No matter what project you decide to do, the first advice anyone would give you is to look it up online. Nothing beats a well-researched strategy or anything that undergoes extensive research. Researching may not be the most exciting task, but it goes a long way in creating a successful B2B marketing strategy.
You can research brands and marketplaces to get a better picture of how things are currently taking place. Through research, you also get to know more about your clients and come up with solid objectives. Market research also lets you monitor the performances of your business.
Find Your Niche
Targeting an effective niche can significantly boost your business. While it could be tempting to touch on several topics from various niches, the best advice is to stick to a particular one that you have knowledge of.
Finding a niche can be tricky. So, it is best to choose something that is popular and has promising prospects. Also, when you choose your niche, don’t let the popularity of the trend blind you.
You will not profit if you choose a niche for the sake of people’s favor. Find a niche that you are an expert in, and your business will rise in no time if you properly maintain it. In the end, you will be the one managing the business. There is no greater pleasure than having a business you are interested in and passionate about.
Create a Reliable Website
For every company or business, its website is the most valuable asset. A website is like a mirror of a company. It can highlight and decide the credibility of your company. Websites also provide visibility and derive conclusions for people looking for services.
Do not underestimate the power of your website. A clean and professional website with a user-friendly interface might help in bringing more traffic to your business. After all, about 80% of people make their choices basing on the website’s reliability and efficiency.
Optimize with SEO Content
Finding a niche and creating a website alone is not enough to generate an audience for your business. If you want your website to be effective, customers should not have a problem finding it on Google. So this leads us to another important step in creating a B2B marketing strategy – SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Optimize your content with SEO to rank better in the Google search engine. The better your SEO is, the higher visitors you will get.
There are two components of SEO – on-site SEO and off-site SEO. Let us see the differences between them.
On-site SEO uses targeted keywords that matter to your audience to convey the concept of your site. The main purpose of on-site SEO is to give a general concept of what your company is about.
Unlike on-site SEO, off-site SEO is usually in the form of links through a third party. When somebody links your website, you get higher credibility with SEO.
Make Use of Social Media
Social media can take you places, literally and figuratively. It is not surprising to see that many buyers come from social media platforms after seeing the products and services. In fact, more than 60% of customers rely on social media to decide and find service providers. That is why it is becoming more popular than referrals.
Advertise and Build Your Online Presence
To get your service out there, you need to advertise a lot when you are starting. It not only provides more visibility, but it can also increase your expertise.
There are several ways to advertise and build your online presence. For instance, you can use social media for advertising your company. However, make sure you choose a professional social media platform to advertise. Platforms like Facebook are mostly for socializing and may be less effective for ads.
Similarly, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) such as Yahoo, Google Ads, and Bing is not only ineffective for professional purposes, but they are also more expensive.
A better and more effective way to advertise is through industry publication websites like retargeting and LinkedIn as these are professional service platforms.
Referral marketing can also impact your business. With the change in the nature of referral marketing, many people are implementing this step to publicize their companies.
Optimize with Technology Solutions
There are three tech solutions you can employ on a B2B marketing strategy – marketing automation, CRM, and email marketing.
Marketing Automation – Marketing Automation is a technology solution that features a replacement of manual tasks and processes with automated ones. It channels all your online marketing sites into a single system for easier creation and management.
Everything from the size to the scalability of a technology solution matters. So, make sure that you find the right marketing automation software that is compatible with your company.
CRM – Short for Customer Relationship Management, CRM is another important software that many companies use to track and organize. It keeps your processes organized and connected.
CRM acts as the database for all the data you have that relates to clients and opportunities. Employees from different companies can enter, store, and access data to keep things in sync.
Email Marketing – Email marketing strengthens bonds between you and your audience through relevant content and offers.
Targeted email marketing campaigns let you deliver both hard and soft offers in compliance with the buyer’s place in the market.
Drip email campaigns work in a similar way. It allows you to deliver more targeted offers to parts of your audience within a set duration.
Whatever you do, please do not abandon tests. Testing and optimizing can bring you better results in B2B marketing. This allows better and more logical decision-making that is based on factual data. You can run A/B email testing and landing page rendering.
Analytics and Reports
This is another important step in creating an effective B2B marketing strategy. It always helps to analyze to test the competency of your firm.
There are different ways and tools to analyze your website. If you want to know more about the traffic on your site, Google Analytics is an ideal tool. For social media analytics, Hootsuite is your best bet. Similarly, MOZ assists in analyzing and improving SEO results.
Examples of B2B Marketing
In B2B marketing, the business or company is like a customer buying things from another company. The whole point of this form of marketing is to benefit the business as a whole rather than fulfilling personal needs.
If you look at B2C companies, it not only provides for individual needs. It also serves professional and business purposes. Thus, in a way, B2C companies are also good examples of B2B marketing.
Another example is automobile manufacturing. A car is a mass that runs on different parts from different companies and brands. While the tires come from a certain tire company, the batteries will not be from the same tire company. Thus, automobile companies see one of the best examples of companies that use a B2B marketing strategy.
B2B marketing has been around for so long, but it wasn’t as popular as it is now. So there could be several B2B activities that you might have overlooked. Did you know that Dropbox, Xerox, and HubSpot also feature B2B marketing strategies?
With the evolving era of online marketing, B2B marketing shows a promising career path for businesses to thrive. We hope that this article has been helpful in guiding you through B2B marketing and its aspects. However, the best tip above all is to continually hustle and make an effort to maintain your B2B marketing.