Whenever anyone talks about marketing, the first thought that comes to their head is that of one seller trying to promote their brand/product/service to several potential customers on a large scale. Marketing has been stereotyped as a venture involving a business organisation and their customers.
However, few people know that it is merely a branch of marketing. There are various other aspects of marketing that don’t involve the traditional Business to Customer (B2C) marketing.
What is B2B Marketing?
As the name suggests, B2B (or business-to-business) marketing is the form of marketing that involves two business organisations. Unlike B2C marketing, the buyer and the seller both are business enterprises.
If an advertising agency wants to attract more companies as clients, they would resort to B2B marketing. If a business firm wants to outsource some of their functions and is looking for specialised agencies, they would resort to B2B marketing. If an independent finance company is looking to provide cash flow finance to certain small and medium business enterprises, they would promote themselves through B2B marketing.
These examples clearly suggest that the deal only takes place between two corporations. There is no role of the final consumers here and they are a tertiary factor to be considered whenever a B2B venture takes place.
How Is B2B and B2C Marketing Different?
It is needless to say that B2B marketing encompasses two businesses and B2C marketing involves the final consumers. Other than this, the two variants differ on multiple levels.
When it comes to B2C marketing, the messages are usually formulated to reach out to thousands of people at a point of time. When you create and broadcast a television ad selling sports shoes, several people view the same ad at the same time and receive your message.
Here, you may not need to know every single customer you’re targeting. On the other hand, B2B marketing is more specific. You get in touch with the party you’re dealing with and promote your product/service individually.
When you are selling a product to masses, you can have a single promotional message applicable to everyone. On the other hand, when you’re selling a product to another business organisation, you need to have different promotional messages for different companies.
For instance, if you are an advertising agency looking for new clients, your brief for an established chain of hotels would be different from that for a gym. Here, you need to be specific and unique with every organisation you deal with.
In other words, you can say that interaction in case of a B2B deal is more personalised as compared to one in aB2C deal.
B2B Marketing Lessons
Though the reach for B2B marketing is limited and it can’t make your brand a household name, it is important for a firm to build credibility in the market. Your company needs to know how to deal with other businesses in order to sustain your reputation in the market and increase the official reach of the firm.
Here are certain basic lessons you need to learn if you want to carry out B2B marketing for your business:
Zero-in On Your Ideal Customers
Marketing would be a waste if you are not doing it for the right entity. Before you start promoting your business to an organisation, you need to make sure it falls into the list of your ideal customers.
There are thousands of businesses running all across the globe and every venture is different from another. They might fall into similar groups, but each firm would have its own identity, just like yours.
It is therefore important to finalise who you would serve as your ideal customers when it comes to promoting your firm. If you are an advertising agency specialising in sports ads, a shoe brand or an energy drink brand can serve you as a good customer. If you are a finance company, firms having to manage greater funds would be your ideal customers.
In order to pick the best out of the clutter, you can check your database, take a survey or go on a full-fledged market research. Once you find your ideal customer, you can personalise your promotion and reel them in the best possible way!
Make Targeted List Of Prospects
Once you are done with deciding the type of customers you want, narrow down to the specific businesses you want to target. This is a more integrated process of classification where you need to be very specific about the clients you want to promote your business to.
Your sales team should already have a detailed list of the businesses you are supposed to target. If you don’t have such a list, start making one as soon as possible. The size of such a list largely depends on your business and the resources you have in place to run your organisation.
A list having 50-100 company names is a good list to start with. This may seem a bit too cumbersome, but you should also keep in mind that only a few businesses would convert and agree to your deal. You can also go for a bigger and more elaborate list if you have enough resources to do so.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind while making a list of targeted prospects is being ready for follow-ups. You can’t target a business, persuade them once and leave them after not getting a response. In B2B marketing, it is important for a business to keep a track of the other business’ response and to keep following them up in order to get the work done.
Go For Targeted Advertising
This is the area where B2B and B2C marketing differ the most. In the case of B2C marketing, the process of advertising is generally for the entire target market as a whole. On the other hand, you need to advertise differently for every business you target in the case of B2B marketing.
After making an extensive list of prospects, start making advertising campaigns and crafting promotional messages that are unique to every business. This is also the most challenging aspect of marketing as you need to be unique and equally persuasive in every promotional message you craft.