B2B marketing is not just transactional between two businesses nowadays. It is about nurturing long term relationships, and being the best choice in the fast-paced business environment.
B2B marketing uses strategies for selling products or services to organisations and not individual customers. Hence, the full form is business-to-business. In contrast, B2C (business to consumer) marketing refers to tactics to drive sales from individuals.
There is a huge difference between B2B and B2C. The marketing intent, the number of people involved in the purchase process, the target audience, and the interaction between the marketing and sales departments differ in a B2B organisation than in B2C. With the current technological landscape, marketing in the B2B scene is becoming increasingly challenging but highly rewarding when the goals and technologies are chosen aptly.
Today, the blog will cover what B2B marketing has become today.
Meaning of B2B Marketing
B2B marketing involves selling products or services to organisations in bulk with lengthier sales cycles. Examples of company types selling to other businesses include SaaS (software as a service) providers, marketing agencies for bigger companies, and even office supplies vendors.
How Does B2B Marketing Work?
B2B customers buy on behalf of their organisation. The buying process is longer as the decision to buy the product or service is made up of a committee of decision-makers. There is an evaluation period when the B2B firm decides to buy the product or service.
That means the B2B organisation will not purchase products or services based on impulse buys, which is common in B2C transactions. A customer in a B2C model is guided by impulse, brand allegiance, status, and spending habits.
Common Goals in B2B Marketing
Goals in B2B marketing are different from B2C. Educating the customers, building long-lasting business relationships for future networking possibilities, and branding are ways to become successful as a B2B firm.
A B2B agency or company’s approach is to become an industry authority. This is how the company can become a trusted source for decision-makers.
Thought leadership is not just about using a great content marketing strategy in today’s day and age. Aspects such as social responsibility are necessary.
Lead Generation and Conversion
Lead generation is tougher in B2B than in B2C. The purchase process is longer, and the B2B customer needs to be educated about the offerings and the benefits to their organisation.
There are two ways B2B firms can generate high-quality leads and convert them faster.
One is account-based marketing. The marketing efforts are narrowed down to specific accounts only. Targeting these accounts based on their requirements helps them pass smoothly through all the marketing funnel stages.
The other is demand generation. The marketing team can focus on increasing brand awareness and creating a demand for the product or service through marketing campaigns.
Ensuring the customer experience is great is important for B2B and B2C organisations. In case of B2B, the communication should be spread out in all channels. Industry-related insights on social media, automated emails, and similar are some ways to go about it.
How are Technology and Data Used in B2B Marketing
Technology is continuously shaping the business environment.
AI to Predict Outcomes
The customer journey is becoming complex today. B2B marketers need to create meaningful experiences for their clients. Gathering such insights manually is time-taking, and this is where the need for Artificial Intelligence is seen. According to Daniel Raskin from Mperative, AI predictive modeling is used with customer data to predict business outcomes accurately.
Read about AI Marketing
First-Party Data to Build Trust
Third-party data will be a thing of the past in a couple of years, and this will pose a challenge to target audience and run campaigns.
Today, the use of first-party data is important as it shows consent from the audience that is willing to share the necessary information.
Using first-party data is also beneficial for a B2B organisation when it comes to account based marketing. Communications this way become personalised and more engaging through the marketing funnel. This way, it becomes easier to build trust.
Automation for Multichannel Communication
Marketing automation for B2B is required for demand generation. Salesforce Marketing Cloud, HubSpot CRM and similar are highly popular tools.
B2B marketing automation can be used for triggering multichannel communications and regularly update contact lists.
B2B marketing is becoming more data-driven today. But it is also important that such businesses focus on customer relationships. For marketers, the challenge is the communication that sustains brand equity with the customers. You can further read up on B2B digital marketing strategies.