B2B Marketing

18/08/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Business-to-business “B2B” refers to commerce between two businesses rather than to commerce between a business and an individual consumer. Transactions at the wholesale level are usually business-to-business while those at the retail level are most often business-to-consumer (B2C).  

Recognizing Business-to-Business

The dollar value of business-to-business transactions is significantly higher than business-to-consumer activity because businesses are more likely to purchase higher priced goods and services and purchase more of them than consumers are. A bicycle manufacturer, for example, will purchase a truckload of bicycle tires or a coffee manufacturer will buy a massive, industrial bean grinder. Compare that with what’s purchased by a biking enthusiast or the individual coffee aficionado.

How Business-to-Business Selling is Different

Selling to a business is different from selling to an individual consumer. Key sales and marketing differences for business-to-business transactions include:

  • Selling sometimes requires participating in a bidding process by responding to a purchaser’s request for proposals. On the business-to-consumer side, this compares to asking various auto dealers to provide their best offer on a specific make and model.  
  • The decision-making process on a purchase can take days, weeks, or months, depending on how the purchasing company works and the size and nature of the order.  
  • Purchasing decisions are often made by committees, so each member needs to be educated and “sold.” 
  • The dollar value of goods or services sold is much higher than on the consumer or retail level, so the buyer needs to take steps to minimize risk. That sometimes involves requesting a product prototype or customization.  

Business-to-Business Doesn’t Exclude Business-to-Consumer

A company selling to businesses can also sell directly to consumers. A bead manufacturer selling its beads in bulk to costume jewelry manufacturers might also package them in smaller quantities sold to crafters at craft stores. A telephone manufacturer can sell in bulk to companies or one at a time to consumers shopping online or at an office supply store. A firm that provides health and wellness consulting to corporations can also advise individuals one-on-one or in group presentations.

It’s About the Customer, Not the Transaction Size

While business-to-business transactions often involve high prices and volume, they can also happen on a much smaller scale when a small business sells products or services to another small business. The hallmark of business-to-business commerce then, is the participants – two businesses rather than a business and a consumer.

The exploitation of social media marketing in case of businesses is also different from the one used for the customers. On the other hand, digital marketing, in the case of B2C, is all about entertainment and fun for selling products and services.

  1. Past vs. Present

In the past, there were much more differences between these two types of marketing strategies because the primary method of research and point of contact differed greatly. The ground level basis was used by marketers to reach the customers. On the other hand, businesses used to be more formal and restricted in their methods of reaching out.

But today, the situation is completely different; both the businesses and the consumers are capable of working and researching their problems on the internet. A whole new expanse has opened up the opportunity for reaching out and making contact with potential new customers. In the realm of digital marketing, the method of reaching out and contact is nearly identical. A few significant changes suggest that the marketers have to make use of industry jargons for excellent effects on B2B platforms. The B2B marketing process is designed for efficiency and expertise seeking audiences. The B2B purchase process is more rational and logical as compared to the emotionally triggered consumer choices in case of B2C marketing.

  1. B2B vs. B2C Audience 

The B2B buyers are top managers or owners of their respective companies. They are more sophisticated and gain an in-depth understanding of the service being offered by the marketers from an organisational perspective. They have an interest in a particular offer with an objective to grow their own company. Therefore, the marketers, when conveying a message through digital media, have to define how the managers or business owners can boost profits, save money and stay competitive in the long run using their product. In such case, the content must have to be thoroughly researched, and the marketers are required to give the audience a reason to utilise their product and service being marketed before it’s too late.

However, typical B2C buyers look for the best price available. They tend to purchase from the most trusted retailer. So, in this case, the marketing content and the website have to convey a feeling of confidence and security to the buyer. That is why the design of the site and the substance matters the most. The consumers are likely to opt for trusted sources for purchase. Therefore, in the case of B2C marketing, the digital marketers have to give priority to trust, security and brand loyalty.

  1. Size of the Market

The size of the market is another important consideration in the field of digital marketing. When we talk about B2C marketing, the target market is larger and takes a major sector of the public, i.e., millions of customers are included in this case. On the other hand, in B2B marketing, you are targeting a particular niche, i.e., the number of clients is in thousands only. Hence, the differences in the size of the markets for both cases suggest that the content has to be appealing to the particular market that the company is aiming to target.

  1. Marketing Material – Thought Leader or Entertainer? 

B2B marketing means you must have to understand the operational activities of the organisations which you are targeting. It is also essential to know who will be looking at your content and website. In B2B sector, there is a tremendous thrust for knowledge because the business owners are focused on growth and expansion of their companies. Your product will get an active appreciation if it is capable enough to contribute to their development. You have to provide the marketing material to lay out the foundation about how your product and services can save time, money and resources of your client. To captivate B2B customers, you must have to provide the relevant content which the businesses are actively searching for, and relate it with your offerings.

Whereas, B2C marketing is all about entertainment. Your customers are not going to follow the posts having too much of sales pitch. Only the genuinely exciting, emotional and funny content can keep the masses happy and content. In the case of B2C marketing, the marketers must have to utilise the social media channels with a personalized and lively touch. By just being a mere faceless corporate entity will only make you lose a significant number of customers in the long run.

From a client’s perspective, B2B and B2C both are just types of marketing to people like you and me. However, being a professional doesn’t mean that you cannot have fun. Marketing to the public does not say you cannot take advantage of B2B methods. Though both are different, you can utilise both at the same time.

  1. Social Media Matters

B2B digital marketing strategy has a slightly different perspective involving long term relationship when compared to the social media strategy in B2C digital marketing. B2C companies flock to Facebook to reach wider audiences, on the other hand, B2B companies gravitate towards LinkedIn as a way to establish networks with active connections. In B2B digital marketing, the utilization of newer and trendier social media networks like Snapchat is not suitable in any way because teenage consumers are the possible demographics of this type of social platform. I am not saying that B2B marketers do not or should not use Facebook for promotional activities. My point is that they have to opt for the best social media marketing approach that targets the exact relevant audience for them.

  1. B2B Marketing Builds Relationships 

The ultimate target of B2C marketing is to ‘sell’ the products and services to target consumers. On the other hand, B2B marketers tend to look for ways to establish long term ongoing relationships with their customers. The main aim of B2B marketing is to focus on generating lead and keeping up the long term relationship through emails, blogging and other strategies. B2B is all about building trust and sharing information with each other. It means that the marketers should communicate with their contacts for building a mutually beneficial relationship.

  1. Businesses Want Facts 

B2C marketing requires making use of various exciting videos and tweets to entertain the target audiences. However, in the case of B2B marketing, the sole purpose of marketers is to spread information. The target market of corporate buyers includes industry savvy customers, and they seek information that can help them to grow their businesses. Facts and figures drive business customers. They want logic instead of a typical advertising strategy. If you are building an online media campaign, then it is important to keep in mind the interests and needs of your customers. Try to use info graphics, factual links and statistical reports to back up your claims.

  1. Sales Cycle

Capturing the attention of your audience in both cases is entirely different from each other. In the case of B2B marketing, the marketers try to capture the attention of smaller markets over the longer period as compared to the marketing done in the case of B2C approach. The sales cycle in case of B2C marketing is relatively lower than the sales cycle in case of B2B. Similarly, business transactions need more consideration as compared to B2C operations and require a high level of trust and bond between the customer and the supplier. The sales cycle for B2B typically starts with driving traffic to the website for finding potential clients. Whereas, the B2C sales cycle is based on a single step purchase. In this case, the customer wants a brand to be perfect. So, for B2C marketing, you should give your clients a reason to buy your product.

  1. Brand Value

By providing a branded content, the organizations want to create a favourable impression on their consumers. A little piece of an interesting content sufficiently evokes an emotional and political responsiveness among the customers. For instance, Procter & Gamble is successfully creating a forward thinking impression on its consumers. It markets products for entertainment and opts for emotional response option from them. This behavior reflects their B2C digital marketing strategy. On the other hand, in the case of B2B digital marketing, the marketers tend to provide a general overview. For this purpose, e-Books, whitepapers and other forms of downloads, such as template and documents, can be used to add more worth to your brand. These valuable sources incredibly contribute in enhancing your brand promotions. 

Moreover, to increase brand value, developing online public relations is considered as an integral part of B2C marketing, but it is not sufficient in the case of B2B marketing. In the case of B2C marketing, the marketers strive to get mentioned in various industry publications and blogs for to be read by their target audiences. In this instance, applying some fruitful strategy for media coverage can be a better option. Other than that, you can communicate via interviews, arrange meetings and write advertorials to increase your PR. Whereas, in the case of B2B marketing, a routine surveillance of industry related media outlets is required to enhance public relations.

  1. B2B Content is More Accurate and Industry-Driven

The content is an integral part of digital marketing. Whether it is B2B marketing or B2C marketing, content plays a significant role in marketing and advertising your brand over the internet. While sharing or writing the content for B2C audiences, the marketers should have to keep it short. They need to make it as much humorous and catchy as possible to appeal a large number of readers. On the contrary, in the case of B2B marketing, a more detailed, informative and lengthy content is required because the marketers are expected to show off their digital expertise, they have to inform and inspire their prospective buyers.

By using B2B EC, business can reengineer their supply chain and partnership. B2B will offer access to following types of information.

  • Product: rice, sales history etc.
  • Customers: Sales history and forecast.
  • Suppliers: Product line and lead-time, sales terms and conditions.
  • Product process: Capacity, product plan.
  • Competitors: Market share, product offerings.
  • Sales and marketing: Promotions.
  • Supply chain process: Quality, delivery time etc.

The following are the ways in the world that are being adopted with the help of B2B EC.

Electronic Marketing

B2B platform can be used to sell the company’s product and services to business customers on the Internet. This model can be called seller oriented marketing because customers visit the web site that the supplier has prepared. Certain group’s items, such as industrial equipment are purchased only by businesses.

Procurement Management

From the purchasing company’s point of view, B2B is a medium of facilitating procurement management such as reduced prices and reduced cycle time. To implement B2B from the procurement management point of view the buyer-oriented market place can be used where the buyer announces the RFQ to the potential suppliers for competitive purchasing. To the suppliers, participating to the customers oriented marketplace and winning the bid is the major concern.

Electronic intermediaries

Individual consumers and business purchases a group of items such as books, stationery and personal computers, in such cases the consumers and business buyers can share the intermediary. Certain items such as industrial equipments and parts are purchases only by business. Since the purchasing party is a business who has to deal with many suppliers and intermediaries, an integrated and tailored buyer’s directory linked suppliers and intermediaries is needed.

Just in time

JIT delivery of parts to manufacturing buyers is crucial to realize JIT manufacturing. Direct marketing requires an internal JIT manufacturing system; the JIT delivery and advanced confirmation of supplier’s inventory are essential elements for B2B.

Electronic Data Interchange

EDI is the electronic exchange of specially formatted standard business documents such as orders, bills approval of credit, shipping details and confirmation sent between business partners. The EDI translator is necessary to convert the proprietary data into standard format. Internet based EDI is an important technology for B2B EC.

Advantages of B2B

  • Its is cost reduction technique for the company so as to overcome mediator
  • With advancement in technology B2B can be done with the help of Electronic commerce.
  • With the help of online auction the buyer of industrial goods can get the product at a cheap deal, as there are many competitors in an online auction.
  • With E-Com electronic funds transfer-using EDI can be done between to organizations.
  • B2B helps in lowering the cost for selling and marketing.
  • It also shortens the selling cycle.
  • The most important advantage of B2B is to have JIT just in time delivery, the company can have the track of good as to which place it has reached with the help of electronic commerce.

Transactions conducted through the internet between one business to another is called Business 2 Business. This type of business is carried out only through the internet. This business covers all types of organizations, right from auctioneers to business solution providers. This also includes business-business shopping and sales as well as provision of various services. With the advancement of technology with each and everyday, business transactions are carried out more easily and effectively as well as in a faster and efficient way.

Paper has been replaced by technology which makes the process easier and faster. In the United States of America alone, business to business has generated revenue of more than 7 trillion. Speed and Efficiency is very important in today’s competitive world, no matter what kind of businesses organizations conduct, and business to business has proven to be a big success because of the speed and efficiency. Businesses act with more speed and efficiency satisfying their customers which has proved to be an integral part of today’s B2B business. Moreover the growing resources of online services are helping business grow faster in every possible business area.