Many businesses only address other businesses as customers with their products and services. It also requires adapted marketing strategies. We are talking about B2B marketing. What does this mean exactly? How it works? And what metrics are promising in B2B marketing?
What does B2B marketing mean?
B2B stands for Business to Business. In B2B marketing, the term refers to the targeted marketing of products and services to other business customers. Unlike B2C (business to consumer) marketing, the focus here is not on the end customer, but on other corporate customers, partners or resellers. The aim is to sell the products or services of one’s company to another company and to develop appropriate advertising measures for this purpose.
Typical examples of B2B marketing are the offering of software solutions for businesses or consulting services, but materials and building materials needed to manufacture other products are also classic B2B offerings.
What is the difference between B2B and B2C?
Unlike marketing for business customers, B2C marketing is aimed at end customers, i.e. individuals. Purchasing decisions in the B2C area are often made emotionally and spontaneously, while in B2B marketing they are more rational and economically oriented and include specific requirements. The customer journey is also much more complex in the B2B field than in the end customer business and it takes longer to close a deal.
What are the specificities of the B2B field?
- Products requiring explanation: Products in the B2B domain are often very complex and require explanation. Business customers collect detailed information in advance, and purchasing decisions are made rationally. B2B companies must provide informative content here and invest in supporting and advising their prospects.
- Longer buying processes: Since several people are involved in the buying process and the buying decision is usually split between several heads, the buying process takes longer. The purchasing decision must also be justified to other people.
- Price policy: In the B2B sector, these are usually high investment amounts. In addition, payment terms such as installment payment are also important.
- Long term cooperation: B2B purchases are designed for the long term. A purchase is usually only the start of a business relationship. This is why personal support and long-term customer relationships play an important role.
- Smaller clientele: Unlike B2C marketing, the number of buyers in B2B is limited and much smaller. The measures must therefore be specifically tailored to the target group.
How does B2B marketing work?
For B2B marketing to be successful in practice, there are several things to consider.
1. Good target group
First of all, it is important to know your (potential) customers and understand their problems and challenges. The easiest way to find out is to carry out a target group analysis. The purchasing group also plays an important role.
what is a purchasing centers?
The buying center brings together all the people within a company who are involved in the decision to buy a product or service.
As more and more people are involved in the purchasing process in B2B marketing, there are also different target groups that need to be addressed and convinced with the help of different marketing measures.
2. Appropriate Content
Once interested parties and potential buyers have been determined, relevant content for the respective target group in the form of white papers, blog articles or e-books, for example, is required. It is important that the material provides your target group with real added value and corresponds to their interests and problems.
3. Proper Placement
In order to be able to address your target groups in B2B marketing, you also need to know which channels they use and reach them at the right time. For this, it is important that you know the customer journey, i.e. the path taken by your customers to make a purchase, in order to contact you at the right time with the right content. This is the only way to reach the right people with your measurements.
B2B marketing measures
In B2B marketing, you can choose from a wide variety of metrics. These include, among others:
Fairs, events, congresses
With these so-called offline marketing measures such as trade fairs, events and congresses, the main objective is to establish personal contact with potential customers and thus to exchange ideas. In this way, your company can position itself as an expert and convince in a personal interview. As already mentioned, the personal relationship with customers in the B2B area is particularly important. Trade shows and the like are particularly suitable for gaining new prospects and interested parties.
Inbound marketing is one of the most successful B2B marketing approaches. By doing so, companies grab the attention of their potential customers by providing useful and quality information on their website. The objective is to accompany potential buyers throughout their customer journey with useful information and to offer them added value. Content in the form of
- electronic books
- white paper
- blog post
- webinars and video content
on. Documents can be made available for download free of charge or by providing customer data such as name and email address on your website. This increases trust as well as the expert positioning of your business.
search engine marketing
In order for you to be able to address your target group, it is important to be found by them. Potential customers often first search for solutions to their challenges or problems on the World Wide Web. It is therefore important that you appear in search engine results. This is achieved on the one hand by paid advertising measures such as Google Ads and on the other hand by organic search engine optimization (SEO = Search Engine Optimization). To do this, you adapt your created content and optimize it for search engines. This can be done, for example, by focusing on certain keywords.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is also prevalent in B2B marketing today. Platforms such as LinkedIn and Xing, designed for professional contacts, are very popular here. Integrate the channels available to interact with your (potential) customers and link them to your business. You can use the platforms to position yourself as an expert or place ads through your business channel.
Advertising by e-mail
Email marketing plays an important key role especially in B2B marketing. Once you have a prospect’s email address and consent to contact them, you can provide them with relevant information, content, and newsletters throughout the customer journey. Use email marketing to regularly remind potential customers and thus create added value for them.
Unlike inbound marketing, outbound marketing companies don’t wait for interested people to approach their own business, but deliver content across a wide range of channels. Outbound marketing measures include, for example, cold calling, classic print advertising, advertising flyers and posters, and television and radio advertising. However, the waste of these measures is very high and it is also difficult to measure success.
Conclusion: Targeted Acquisition of New Customers with B2B Marketing
In order to reach the right target group in the area of business customers, there are a few things to consider. The customer base is smaller, the products are more complex, and the purchasing processes also take longer. In order to reach the right people with the right content at the right time, a B2B marketing strategy with measures selected according to customer needs is crucial.