You may think that marketing is marketing, whether it is done with a business or a consumer because in the end they all are people, right? That is where most marketers are wrong.
Marketers still confuse B2B Marketing with B2C marketing. They may sound similar but the difference between B2B (business- to-business) and B2C (business -to -customers) marketing runs deep. If you fail to understand how B2B marketing functions, B2B business can cost you money as well as customers.
Here are a few points to make you understand B2B marketing better which and create a flawless B2B marketing strategy:
DO NOT target the individual mindset
I repeat: DO NOT target the individual mindset.
What most novice and clueless marketers fail to understand is that B2B market is not for individuals. You B2B marketing strategy should focus on a business mindset.
A B2B buyer is looking for a cost effective and revenue generating product whereas the B2C consumer is looking for deals, entertainment and something that can justify his needs. Although B2B markets may look small in size, the B2B marketing strategy can get extremely complex.
Think of it like when an individual or a whole family goes out to buy a house the thought process will be different than a business searching for a workplace. This is the complexity and dynamics of a B2B business that you should keep in mind while developing a B2B marketing strategy.
Expertise in your own field
How can you design a product or provide a service to someone else’s business if you don’t know your own business? Expertise in your own field is the key to the lock of a flawless B2B marketing strategy.
Don’t advertise a field you have no or very small experience in. Knowledge of your own work, the work to be done on a project is important for B2B business.
B2B buyers are smart business movers and shakers who want to invest in a product or service that will suit them logically. If you, as a marketer, don’t understand the idea and the story behind your product then you are not going to get your clients in.
A B2B marketing strategy that is for everybody will never work for anybody. If you have expertise in your field you will also know that it will hit the right target. The more time you spend segmenting the audience, the better you will be able to target your audience.
It is important for a B2B marketer to know the need of its customer before implementing a B2B marketing strategy. You will always fail miserably if you try to sell the products to those who do not want it.
The newbie in the field of marketing can be your new best friend in the field of B2B marketing. Rather than going to the B2Bbuyer yourself, attract them to you. Inbound marketing can do that for you perfectly. Inbound marketing should be a key point in your B2Bmarketing strategy.
Inbound marketing includes social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing which are ‘in’ in the modern world of marketing. All these help you find the right audience, bring in the audience from your targeted segment.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing includes a wide variety of platforms. However, Facebook and LinkedIn leads when it comes to converting leads. According to a report by Social Media Examiner, both compete for the first place in the minds of B2B marketers.
Being a business oriented social networking site, LinkedIn can be a game changer for your B2B marketing strategy. It provides you with lead suggestions; link you with people according to your business target who can be your next potential B2B buyers; you can join groups that have people from your field and can start having relevant discussion. It is a platform where you can post catchy ideas and provoking content that will attract the risk taking B2Bbuyers of your field.
For every B2B marketer, LinkedIn is indispensable.
Content marketing may or may not help you find a B2B buyer or hike up your sales but it can surely create brand awareness, credibility, can find you a visitor pool that can become your lead.
An inexpensive, easy way to attract potential lead to your way is blogging. Blogging is the 3rd most common content marketing activity, surpassed only by social media and articles.
A good B2B marketing strategy would be to launch your own blog at your site or try a micro blogging site like Twitter which can help you broadcast your business content while making your company appear more ‘human’.
They can help you improve your search engine ranking, can make your content multi-channeled as you can link your blog to sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, RSS feed etc.
There are other types of content as well which you can use while developing a marketing strategy: eBooks, videos, podcasts, research reports, whitepapers, case studies, free online courses, and much more.
Maintain a personal relationship
No promotion, marketing, or advertising is as amazing and effective as word-of-mouth. Why, it was only through word-of-mouth that WhatsApp built its 190 million customer base with only 55 employees, and almost zero marketing expenditure!
If you can make it happen, there is no way your business is looking back. Develop a personal relationship with each and every customer. B2B market is in general a small market as compared to the B2C market.
A successful B2B marketing strategy must include maintaining good and personal relationships with your existing buyers. A personal relationship will develop a bond of trust between you and your buyer.
A contract for a B2B purchase tends to last months or even years, making it a much more significant decision. B2B sale is a costly process and if you want a lifelong B2B customer prove to be worth of their money. Provide your B2B buyers will such a good product or service that they get stuck to you. This is the trust building. Lure them with after sale services so that they come for a repeat or add-on service to you.
A happy and satisfied customer is your best promoter.