What is B2B Marketing?
Are you new to marketing and just learning the ropes? If you have a consumer product, chances are you’ll become much more familiar with that “marketing language,” and you may have never heard of B2B marketing. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean it’s not for you. So, let’s look at some of things that B2B Marketing can accomplish, and then you may decide whether it makes sense for your business. It is important if you now the B2B marketing definition.
Back 2 Basics
No, B2B doesn’t stand for Back to Basics, at least not in this case. Business to Business (B2B) marketing is exactly as it sounds: Businesses marketing to other businesses. Think about it this way. Does your local coffee shop produce everything it needs to operate? Heck, no. They may have snazzy, branded napkins, cups and stirrers, but you can bet they aren’t producing them from scratch. No, they specialize in coffee – and they purchase the other stuff from a business that caters to other businesses. But those B2B businesses still need to be found by their customer base, and that’s where marketing comes in.
B2B Marketing strategies are essential when you are trying to make a B2B sale. There are definitely some differences between B2B and B2C (Business to Consumer) marketing, but the fundamentals are the same. When you’re marketing a B2B product, service or company, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Find out where your customers are, and then figure out how to reach them.
There are a few B2C trade shows that are popular and work for some brands, but as a whole, trade shows are more of a B2B thing. Business owners and buyers actively search for trade shows where they can find all the merchandise they’ll need to keep their business running smoothly, and when they’re looking, your B2B business better be around.
This marketing form also goes by the less-friendly pseudonym, cold calling. And although telemarketing gets a bad rap, it is actually a lot more effective, thus conceivably less irritating, when marketers are calling a business to discuss their needs. It’s okay to call from one owner to another, but if you have a team of telemarketers, make sure they know their stuff – or have a good script to follow.
Direct mail is a dying breed of marketing, but it isn’t extinct just yet. Print and postage fees continue to skyrocket, so you might wonder why you’re still sifting through promotional postcards whenever you check the mail. The reason is because it still works. It may not be as easy to make money marketing with direct mail, but when it’s done right, it just works. Send an offer to potential B2B customers, and you’re likely to get some interest.
Much like trade shows are a B2B thing, Internet marketing has largely been a B2C thing. Fortunately, the landscape of the online world is changing, and more business owners are spending more time online – which means more opportunities for B2B marketers. The better your marketing strategy the more likely you will be to make a sale.
Conventions are similar to trade shows with one key difference: Attendees are there for the purpose of learning or being entertained, not necessarily to buy something. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s not a good venue for your B2B marketing campaign. You’ll just have to work a little harder to catch people’s attention. The upside is that the competition usually isn’t as steep at conventions as it is at trade shows.
What’s the difference between a sales call and a cold call? A relationship. B2B marketing relies heavily on relationships and repeat business, so if you’re marketing a B2B product, service or company, get in the habit of calling to “check in” with people who are on your radar. They may be current customers, potential customers or associates who may send referrals your way.
What’s better than a word-of-mouth endorsement? Umm… nothing. That’s why it pays to reward your best supporters. In the B2B world, referrals are like gold. Offer a reward to your current customers who bring on new customers or clients and/or offer an incentive to colleagues who do the same. Some of the best B2B relationships are among two or more complementary businesses that readily recommend one another.
In this day and age, you probably think about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter when you think about social networking. You’d be right, but just don’t forget about the good old-fashioned type of networking. When you’re standing face to face with someone, there’s more of a connection. You’ll find it easier to remember that person, and they’ll be more likely to remember you. So, if you’re a B2B marketer (or want to be), go ahead and get those business cards printed and hit the social scene. Attend business brunches and cocktail hours to your heart’s content. Just don’t forget why you’re there! It helps to use promotional marketing to make a sale.
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