The business-to-business (B2B) marketing industry continues to expand and many small business owners want to become a part of this growing trend. The first step in becoming truly successful at B2B marketing is taking the time to understand how marketing products and services to other businesses differs from marketing to consumers (B2C).
What is B2B marketing?
B2B marketing is exactly what it sounds like: businesses marketing products or services to other businesses. B2B is more focused on tending to the needs of other businesses; however the demand for the product made by these businesses is likely dependent on consumer market trends.
How does B2B marketing differ from B2C marketing?
1. Product complexity
- B2B products can be highly specialized and complex in comparison to consumer products, therefore these products may require an expert to purchase
2. Customer relationships
- Due to the small number of customers, most suppliers have a group of loyal customers to whom they offer their products
3. Long-term or repeat buyers
- It is more common for B2B buyers to engage in long-term purchases, or repeat purchases of a product
4. Buyer demand
- B2B customers are tasked with purchasing products on behalf of their company; therefore they expect quality products and services.
Keep in mind B2B buyers are more informed, therefore they are less likely to purchase a product based on sheer impulse.
Here are some easy, cost-saving strategies you can use to market your products to B2B buyers.
- Demonstrate company reliability: Emphasize company reputation using case studies which demonstrate reliability and consistency
- Be knowledgeable: Due to their sometimes complex nature, it is essential that the B2B marketer be knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the product or service they are selling
- Show your customers that they are important to your business: Provide the biggest spenders with dedicated, value-added services
- Build strong personal relationships with your customers to keep them coming back
- Focus your spending on sales and technical support rather than packaging and advertising
- Take your business online: Be sure to include information such as descriptions and potential uses, contact information, and testimonials
B2B companies and buyers have different sets of priorities and responsibilities than companies that cater to a consumer audience. By marketing your products and services in a way that appeals to B2B buyers, you can reach the specific audience for your business!