Business-to-business (B2B) describes commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer. B2B (Business to Business) Branding is a term used in marketing. B2B Marketing Plan – Goals & Objectives
* Introduce my company to the market (develop company brand)
* Introduce my products or services to the market
* Introduce a new product/service to an existing market or markets
* Introduce a new product/service to a new market?
* Increase my market share
* Stop market share erosion from competitors
* Develop new market segments for my product/service
* Increase profit margins
* Improve my product service sales mix
* Implement a new small business pricing strategy
Differences Between B2B & B2C Marketing
There are vast differences in business to consumer marketing, known as B2C, and business to business marketing, known as B2B. These two types of marketing differ in the mediums, strategy and techniques employed. They also differ in their approaches, with consumer marketing attempting to reach the most consumers as possible, while business marketing attempts to reach a small slice of target customers.
* Consumer and business marketing use different strategies to appeal to their consumer base. Consumer marketing by definition is for the masses and appeals to base needs and wants. Whether it is for laundry detergent or a high-end watch, consumer marketing must play up the lifestyle-enhancement features of their product. Business marketing, on the other hand, appeals to practical concerns, such as cutting costs or growing revenue. For example, a software product that can eliminate manufacturing redundancies appeals to business owners’ desire to increase efficiency.
* B2C and B2B marketers use different strategies to appeal to their market segments. Consumer marketers try to capture the most “eyeballs” as possible, using metrics such as viewers, market share and pay-per-impression. Business marketers prefer to know that their target consumer is being reached and do not care as much about the total number of views. These marketers seek out niche publications, websites and TV shows that will be viewed mostly by a particular business segment.
* Consumer and business marketers choose different mediums to reach their clients. For example, a business marketer would be eager to sponsor an industry awards show or trade conference. They might also advertise in a niche trade magazine. A consumer marketer, meanwhile, seeks to maximize exposure with the most widely viewed mediums. The Super Bowl, which brings in about 100 million viewers each year, is a consumer marketers’ dream.
Product – vs. People-Driven Marketing
A critical difference between B2C and B2B marketing involves the way the purchaser connects to the brand. Consumer-driven marketing is based on a connection with the product to drive the brand. Business marketing is based on the relationship between individuals to propel the brand forward. If you are choosing a corporate legal firm to represent your company, for example, you want to know and trust your attorneys. You need to meet them and gain a feel for the services they offer. On the other hand, consumer marketing is driven more by the price, quality and personal satisfaction that a product can provide.
B2B Marketing Ideas
Business-to-business, or B2B, products and services are a slightly different animal when it comes to marketing. Traditional means of marketing like cold calling and direct mail are not as effective. However, marketing to businesses is not impossible. With a few out-of-the-box tactics, like social networking and email marketing, you can still generate some rewarding results. I’ve listed a few ideas below.
Email marketing currently boasts one of the highest returns on investments (ROI) in the marketing arena–currently a whopping $43 for every $1 spent, according to the Direct Marketing Association. The old trend use to be to buy a huge email list and blast them with your message. But since the CAN-SPAM law has been enacted, it is now illegal to email people without their permission. However, there are still ways to grow an in-house email list that can generate results.
* Many B2B companies are using search engine marketing, both paid and organic (not paid), to generate traffic to their websites and landing pages. While going to a phone book might be the “search” method of the past, doing an online search using Google, Yahoo or Bing is what people do now when looking for potential business clients.
Social Media Marketing
* Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn offer businesses a variety of ways to provide valuable content, engage their audience where they are and generate referrals quickly. While some may think these sites are strictly for business-to-consumer (B2C) enterprises, the B2B presence is growing. LinkedIn, especially, is a business social networking tool. The popularity of these social networks stems from the huge potential for word-of-mouth. It’s all about creating a positive buzz online about your brand that draws people to you.
* Previously just the online journals of the cat lady, blogs, or Web logs, are now big business. According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere report for 2008, they have indexed 133 million blogs since 2002, and they range from personal to business. Business blogging provides a way to showcase news and products, demonstrate your knowledge as a thought leader, and provide information that is valuable in your industry. Great content will pull visitors to your site, where you have the opportunity to develop trust and loyal customers.
* Marketing has not only made a fundamental shift from push (interrupt audience with your message) to pull (attract people to your message) marketing in the B2C arena, but in the B2B arena as well. The tips listed above, when done correctly, can help draw business clients to your message, service, product and brand.