opinion

Really Basic B2B Marketing

Joe D

The term “B2B” is used to describe business that is conducted between two or more businesses rather than “B2C”, which is used to describe business that is conducted between a Business (B) and the Consumer (C). For example, a transaction that occurs between a manufacturing company and a wholesaler would be a B2B business transaction. A transaction that occurs between an online retailer and a customer would be a B2C transaction.

While most of us think of a business transaction as being primarily B2C, with consumers or customers being the primary objective. Before the product even gets to the consumer in the B2C transaction, there has very likely already been at least three unique B2B transactions along the way. One example of this would be the sale of a laptop. The manufacturer will purchase parts to build the computer from several vendors, will sometimes even contract with another company to assemble the laptop and, in some cases, will complete another B2B transaction to handle the packaging and shipping of the product as well. All of this happens before the final transaction, which is the B2C sale.

The term “B2B” can also be used to describe business that is conducted virtually on the Internet between companies, such as B2B marketing or B2B communications through social media and other networking tools. B2B marketing encompasses many things, such as product or service marketing to other companies that can use, re-sell or market the products within their own businesses. B2B can represent so many things, including government business, commercial enterprise or even educational and other nontraditional types of business transactions.

B2B might seem like a new concept, but it really began to pick up steam in the 1970s. Prior to that many companies would simply market and sell their products or services to consumers via traditional media advertising and sales networks. However, today there are many different ways that B2B marketing and business can be established within a wide variety of industries, both virtual and physical.

Consumer marketing still occurs, however it is more specific and is generally aimed at attracting the attention of large demographic groups of consumers through the use of various retailers or media channels.

Businesses quickly discovered, however, that traditional B2C marketing did not work in the same way when they were trying to market within the B2B sector, hence today’s focus on B2B business as a separate model than B2C business marketing. To put it in simple terms, B2B is a completely different animal than B2C: it has different needs, different requirements for productivity and needs to be approached in an entirely different manner.

You might have noticed that traditional advertising campaigns just won’t bring in the B2B transactions the way they work attracting B2C customers. Because B2B is a relationship between one professional business and another, your best results will come from establishing personal contact and relationships with your B2B clients, making phone calls, taking meetings and working together toward common interests and goals.

Because this direct marketing concept works so well in B2B, you can effectively launch new relationships through the use of direct mailings – either e-mail or snail mail – and expect to receive better results than you would using this method in a B2C type situation. Having an understanding of how B2B marketing works, what approach will yield the best results and definitely some experience working with other businesses on a professional level will help you start your B2B campaigns on the right foot. If you do not have this knowledge or experience, there are many professional marketing companies that can help you gain the insight you will need to successfully launch your B2B campaign.

Whatever type of business you work in today, B2B marketing is an essential part of your overall marketing and business plan. Getting the help that you need to educate yourself on the intricate ins-and-outs of this growing business sector could mean the difference between success and failure. Many of the top marketing agencies will also be able to help you to fine-tune your communications efforts, help you add fresh and fruitful contacts to your mailing lists and help you to achieve your goals. Make sure to choose a company that has the background, experience and reputation that will help take you and your brand to the top.

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