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Marketing Business to Business (b2b Marketing)

By Samuel

Have you ever asked yourself how a Fortune 500 company provides new PCs for its 1,000-plus employees? They wouldn’t just send an office manager to Best Buy for an order of that magnitude, yet these operations are necessary for the future success of the business.

Marketing business to business (or B2B marketing) consists of selling one company’s service or product to another company.

B2B marketing strategies depend on the same basic principles as consumer marketing services, but are carried out in a particular way. While clients choose products based not only on cost but on status, popularity, and other emotional precursors, B2B purchasers make decisions on profit potential and price alone.

Seeking new ways to enhance relationships via social media is currently a trendy topic in the B2B marketing industry. Social media platforms have opened up two way conversations between various businesses. A survey carried out by Moderate and Chadwick Martin Bailey, showed that businesses most often, tend to buy from companies they track via social media.

Tech-savvy business to business companies have continued to seek innovative methods to utilize social media to grow their businesses. Cisco Systems, Inc., a leading seller of networking systems and solutions, launched a campaign introducing a new router principally on social media adverts. The launch was ranked as one of the top five in the company's history, and saved over $100,000 off normal launch expenses.

Who uses B2B marketing?

The success of B2B marketing doesn’t come from broadcasting a product or service over television or radio. B2B marketing success stems from rooting your company in the industry, and making your product appear like a staple. Get ahead of niche buyers by:

  • Putting up booths at popular industry tradeshows
  • Hosting informational webinars
  • keeping an active, interactive social media presence
  • Sending out email newsletters placing your company as an industry expert
  • building buyer relationships and attending industry networking events

At its center, B2B marketing entails building significant relationships to reassure lasting customers -- an essential goal for any company, whether smaller family-owned company or a mega retail corporation.

The B2B market is the biggest of all the markets, and surpasses the consumer market in dollar value. Big Companies like IBM and GE spend an estimated $60 million daily, on commodities that support/facilitate the operation of their business.

B2B marketing is largely utilized by companies that fabricate products that consumers have no direct use for, for instance, steel. Nevertheless, it is also used by companies offering services and products purchased by consumers and as well as other businesses.

For instance, Sprint (a consumer phone supplier) supplies voice, wireless and data services to both consumers and businesses

How big is the B2B industry?

It is important to think about the growth potential and staying power of an industry before you make it a career choice. Consider these statistics on the success of B2B marketing:

  • In 2003, B2B marketers spent approximately $85 billion a year to advertise their goods and services. (Business Marketing Association)
  • The purchases made by government agencies, businesses, and institutions account for  more than half of all economic operation in the United States. (Dwyer and Tanner, 2006)
  • A 2001 research found that the dollar value of B2B operations significantly surpassed that of consumer operations. (Hutt and Speh, 2001)

What sort of business clients are effectively marketed to with the B2B marketing?

B2B marketers usually focus on four large categories:

  • Government agencies, the single largest consumer and target of B2B marketing.
  • Companies that use their commodities, for example construction companies who buy sheets of steel to use in buildings.
  • Companies that turn around and resell the commodities to clients, like wholesalers and brokers.
  • Institutions like schools and hospitals.

A B2B marketer can effectively offer their product or service into the right avenue by placing their offering in a stimulating manner, understanding the client’s needs, and offering the right solutions to combine the two.

It is essential for B2B marketers to understand their customer’s needs before devising any advertising or marketing tactic. In client marketing, an effective advertisement can be sent over wide channels, and a fraction of consumers will be moved to buy the product. Notwithstanding, since B2B marketing is so very much specialized, marketers stand the risk of alienating their specific prospective clients if they do not pay attention to their needs before designing their services to those needs.

B2B marketing in the internet age

  • Biz Report found out that 86% of B2B marketing firms utilize social media in their endeavors, whereas consumer marketing firms use just up to 82%.
  • The AMR International B2B Online Marketing Assessment and Forecast up until 2013 predicts that B2Bspending on lead generation sites will grow 17% and investment on social media will grow 21% through 2013.
  • According to eMarketer, while United States interactive B2B spending will grow by 9.2%, to $51.5 billion whereas B2B spending will grow by 0.8% to $129 billion by 2012.

How is a B2B marketing plan developed and implemented?

A B2B marketing plan must be specialized in delivery and have a wide application. This implies that while consumer marketing can be specific in advertising to a wide audience, B2B marketing is unable to work in that manner. Rather, it needs to brand itself widely (through corporate image, email, and technical characteristics) to a defined customer.

Business marketers can develop and make decisions on how to use their B2B plan by understanding and identifying the importance of the following topics:

  • The target market: Many B2B marketers can focus on very small industries which reflect specific needs. While this can make marketing service a little more direct, it also demands a high level of knowledge outside of marketing specialty.
  • Pricing: Businesses are often more concerned with value, cost, and revenue potential than consumers. Nonetheless, they can also be more readily persuaded to pay top dollar – in as much as B2B marketers do an exquisite job of persuading them that the quality, product, and customer service will be worthwhile.
  • The product or service: When marketing to clients, there is an emotional aspect involved. People are drawn to products because the way they make them feel. With B2B clients, the buyers are trained experts who care about their cost-saving and/or revenue-producing benefits, the quality of products, and the service provided by the host company.
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