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Many businesses base their entire marketing strategy on selling their products or services to other businesses. When doing so, it’s crucial that your marketing team understands the wants and needs of the businesses you’re targeting. One way to do this is by understanding their industry and clientele. Here we look deeper into the basics of business to business marketing.

What Is B2B Marketing?

B2B (business to business) marketing is the process of persuading other companies to purchase your company’s goods or services. One major way that brands implement B2B marketing is through relationship building. By showing another company that you understand their wants and needs, you can prove that your business has the solutions they are looking for.

Before the emergence of digital marketing, most B2B marketing took place in person. Companies would typically send one of their representatives to speak with the owner of another company. As everything is going digital, brands are now looking for new ways to connect with other businesses. This is where social media platforms like LinkedIn come in handy. Brands may also use content writing and email campaigns to reach more businesses.

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How Does B2B Marketing Differ from B2C Marketing?

While B2B stands for business to business, B2C stands for business to customer. Let’s look at some of the main differences between these two types of marketing:

B2B Marketing

Unlike some consumers, most businesses don’t spend money for enjoyment. They don’t go on shopping sprees or try to stay on top of the latest fashion trends. Instead, businesses spend purely for utility. They work hard to meet their budget and get the best bang for their buck. That’s why B2B marketers need to prove that their goods and services have lasting value. These marketing teams need to show the logic of what they have to offer and how it is cost effective. Showing that your brand can save a business time, money, and resources is crucial.

With this kind of marketing, you focus more on the use of the product than the actual product. This means you might release things like case studies and eBooks to show businesses how they can benefit from your offerings. It’s not as simple as using marketing strategies to show how cool your stuff is. Business owners rarely buy on emotion, so you need to focus on the return on investment that your products and services provide.

One industry that often uses B2B marketing is the saas (software as a service) sector. In order to sell their software to companies, they need to show that it is the best choice for another company’s team. They’ll do this by defining which companies need their software, why it’s better than comparable programs, and how it can streamline business practices and make companies more money.

B2C Marketing

B2C marketing is a much more emotional process. You need to show consumers how your products and services can make them feel. For example, when selling sneakers, you can show consumers how much faster they’ll run or how stylish they’ll look at the gym. This appeals to their desires to be their best self and impress others.

Unlike businesses, your average consumer may not do as much research about the benefits of a product or service. That’s because it’s not their job to work within a company budget, impress their boss, or make shareholders happy. They can make buying decisions based on their own needs and budget. That’s why it’s up to the marketers to point out features and benefits.

Consumers also tend to have a much shorter buying process than businesses. They rarely need to get approval for what they are going to buy, whereas an employee or business owner would need to run it by their team. That’s why brands can have last-minute promotions and sales more easily.

5-Step Process of Creating a Business to Business Strategy

Follow these steps when creating a business to business marketing strategy:

1. Define Your Target Audience

Since it’s likely that your brand could serve many types of businesses, you may have more than one target audience. When trying to define your target audiences, think about who would benefit the most from your services. Determine their goals, needs, wants, and anything else that might tell you why they would be interested in your products or services.

2. Make Ideal Customer Profiles

Make an ideal customer profile (ICP) for each one of your target audiences. An ICP is who you want to buy your products and services. In order to define your ICP, dig deeper and map out what demographics they fall under. You can do this by sending out customer surveys or gathering data on a variety of platforms, like social media.

3. Look at Your Competitors

Get an idea of what your competition is doing. These are companies that are offering similar products or services to your target audiences. Run an analysis of their marketing tactics, such as social media, content marketing, email, PPC, SEO, and any other marketing channels you can think of. By understanding their tone, messaging, and offerings, your team can think of ways that your business stands out.

4. Create a Unique Selling Proposition

What can your business offer that no one else can? Even if your industry is flooded with similar products and services, your unique selling position could be the benefits your brand offers. For instance, you could highlight your flexible return policy or excellent customer support. Remember, your unique selling proposition can vary based on each one of your target audiences.

5. Keep Prospects Engaged

Decide how you’re going to collect leads. Once you gain leads through your marketing channels, continue to keep them engaged, whether that be through a drip-email campaign or direct sales calls. By continuously nurturing your leads, you can maintain their interest and make a sale.

Business to business marketing is its own unique entity. When getting started, remember that it looks very different from B2C marketing.

Knowledge Base: Intro to Marketing

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