Back to B2B marketing basics

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B2B marketing describes the marketing technique used by businesses to advertise their goods or services to other businesses. In a competitive industry where many businesses are competing for customers, being excellent at marketing is a great point of differentiation. Here are a few fundamentals of B2B marketing.

What sets B2B marketing apart?

B2B marketing must be specific for the customer – other businesses. Therefore, it is important to consider who other businesses are as people before you can figure out what marketing will appeal to them.

Business people are people who are often expert in their area, and most likely the industry your product belongs to. Although business people are time-poor, they do have a lot of money, and are quite willing to part with it if they can see a clear benefit to your product or service. Business people have often done their research extensively and so they will already understand a great deal about the product but will want to know more and in-depth. They will also be less driven by aesthetics and more driven by cost and value potential.

So how does marketing need to meet these needs? It must be:

  • Clear, concise copy that gets to the point quickly
  • Cost-effective with clear benefits; and the value the product will afford must be clearly laid out
  • Content must educate the business person and any arguments for purchasing the product or service must be logical and well-founded
  • A B2B marketing plan must include an email list, how-to technical support videos, a corporate image and functions, and a technical specifications pamphlet – it should be focused on detail and facts
  • Take the emotion out of it and exude professionalism

What should you do to achieve B2B marketing success?

  1. Ensure you research your client. The best way to understand how much detail to include or what is new to teach them is to get to know them by doing some preliminary research. This is called executive branding.
  2. Influencer marketing is a great way to instigate a decision on a sale. We have established business people differ from B2C clients who are very emotional and respond to cheapness, image and convenience. The B2B customer is far more clinical with their decision. However, this does not mean they will not respond to any advertising ploy. Find a person, a professional, from an industry that interests them and use that person to endorse the product.
  3. Seek to establish a relationship with your client. A feasible method to secure a vast amount of custom in B2C marketing is to advertise in many different places and modes in hopes of attracting customers. This does not work for B2B marketing as the client is looking to be able to trust you on their company’s behalf and they are looking to possibly establish a long-term supplier relationship in you, which of course, can take time. They are far more likely to part with their many dollars for a piece of equipment if they know it is well-made and serviced, and will add value to their business.

B2B marketing can be difficult and costly but very lucrative when done appropriately. B2B marketing should be a focus for future expansion as it is a growing field. More than half of the growth of the economy in the US is attributable to B2B interactions. In 2003, the business sector spent about US$85 billion per year just to promote their inventory stock and services. Clearly, B2B marketing has its place in getting a message out to more people and expanding your service reach.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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