B2B Marketing | 3 Key Strategies & 5 Benefits to Marketers

Of course, if you are looking for the main difference between B2B Marketing vs B2C, then you are not alone. Basically, B2B customer support is different than B2C. Especially, when choosing a customer support software for your business.

Therefore, it’s important to understand these differences so you can choose the solution that will best meet your needs. And by all means, you’ll see the term “B2B Marketing” used a lot in articles, on blogs, and in marketing campaigns. But, not everyone knows what it means or why it’s important.

B2B Marketing

Providing marketplace insights can significantly increase the trustworthiness of your B2B company. Social media serves as an ideal platform to showcase your industry expertise and gain the trust of your peers and customers.

Leverage platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to share thought-provoking and industry-relevant news, articles, and more, with your audience. Being a thought-leader in your industry will benefit your company tremendously when potential customers are seeking a qualified partner.

B2C and B2B Marketing are two forms of commercial transactions. Whereas, B2C Marketing, which stands for business-to-consumer, is a process for selling products directly to consumers. 

While on the other hand, B2B, which stands for business-to-business, is a process for selling products or services to other businesses. Below are more elaborate similarities and differences between the two.

What is B2B Marketing?

Business-to-business marketing (or B2B Marketing, as it is commonly known) involves the sale of one company’s product or service to another company. With techniques that rely on the same basic principles as consumer marketing but are executed in a unique way.

B2B is short for “Business to Business”, and it refers to companies that sell a product or service to other businesses. The alternate of B2B is “B2C” – short for Business to Consumer. If your end customers are individual consumers, you are in B2C.

B2B Marketing techniques rely on the same basic principles as consumer marketing but are executed in a unique way. With the consumers choosing products based not only on price but on popularity, status, and other emotional triggers. Again, B2B buyers make decisions on price and profit potential alone.

Where is B2B Marketing used?

At its core, B2B marketing involves building valuable relationships to guarantee lasting customers — an important goal for any company, whether a mega retail corporation or a smaller family-owned one.

The B2B market is the largest of all the markets and exceeds the consumer market in dollar value. Companies like GE and IBM spend an estimated $60 million a day on goods that support the operation of their business.

For example, Sprint (a consumer phone supplier) provides wireless, voice, and data services to both businesses and consumers. In fact, VHA, a health-care purchasing network, recently agreed to extend a three-year, $1.2 billion contract with Sprint. Sprint continues to be a nationwide leader in both B2B and consumer marketing.

A B2B marketer can effectively put their product or service into the right hands by positioning their offering in an exciting manner, understanding the customer’s needs, and proposing the right solutions to combine the two (See also Persuasion Marketing).

How is Customer Relations in B2B Marketing achieved?

Since customers (even B2B) are people, they tend to have similar responses to relationship strengths and weaknesses. Whether the relationship is personal or with a brand. As you know from your own experiences, trust, and respect for your choices are at the root of relationship failure or success.

Yet, customers’ trust of companies is steadily eroding! In fact, U.S. consumers’ trust dropped a whopping 8 points from 2010 to 2011 in the Edelman Trust Barometer study. Whereas, the U.S. and U.K. firms rank 8th and 9th in trustworthiness, behind Brazil, India, Italy, China, Germany, and France.

Where do trust and choice fit into the customer experience mix?

When you dedicate time and effort to social media marketing initiatives, the benefits have the power to take your business to the next level. Using social media platforms often enables you to expand the reach of your content to existing and potential customers.

While at the same time, keeping them both informed and entertained. What are you waiting for? It’s time for your B2B company to get social! For so many reasons, it’s essential to maintain high trust with your customers.

What is B2C Marketing?

The term business-to-consumer marketing (in short B2C Marketing) refers to the process of selling products and services directly between consumers. Especially, who are most likely the end-users of its products or services. Meaning, most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies.

B2C became immensely popular during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s when it was mainly used to refer to online retailers who sold products and services to consumers through the Internet.

As a business model, business-to-consumer differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to commerce between two or more businesses. (You can read and learn more about B2C Marketing).

How is B2C and B2B Marketing different?

In B2B, you are interacting with many individuals at each customer, giving you a better understanding of the customer as a whole. It is also often the case that in B2C products are sold through a 3rd party. Such as retail, wherein B2B the most common transaction is directly between the supplier and the purchaser.

On the contrary, in B2C when a customer contacts support about an issue, it is a single individual – one person who purchased your product.

B2B Marketing

In a B2B environment, many individuals are using the product within each customer company. So if there is an issue with the product, you could have multiple people calling about the same issue within that one customer. Likewise, you may have multiple people from one customer contacting you about different issues.

In either case, the support rep should have access to any other tickets created by the company so they can see the full picture and potentially spot underlying issues.

Read Also: What is marketing attribution?

B2B sales require deliberation from prospects, and more people tend to engage in the buying process. Customers also need to validate the return-on-investment (ROI) of their transactions before making a purchase.

In B2C, customers are mainly interested in the benefits of a product or service offers. Most B2C buyers purchase based emotions rather than logic. Always remember, buyers can be anyone in B2C. While in B2B, customers are part of a segment of an industry.

3 Key Strategic Guidelines For Marketers

If you love someone, set them free! Yet, long-term (e.g. one-year, two-year) agreements, exclusions, caveats, change fees, extensive fine print, extra steps (hassles), and many other penalties are the norm in several industries.

And as can be seen, many B2B companies are doing their marketing wrong. That is because creating a marketing strategy for a B2B (business to business) is way more complex than B2C (business to consumer).

Here are more Factors to Consider before engaging in B2B Marketing;

1. Support Issues are More Complex in B2B 

B2B customer support issues tend to be more complex and take longer to resolve than their B2C counterparts. It’s often required to consult among various people and departments in order to provide the best solution to a B2B customer.

As a result, metrics like First Contact Resolution, which are relied upon heavily in B2C, are not necessarily an accurate measurement of B2B customer satisfaction.

2. There’re Fewer, but Significant Customers in B2B 

In B2B it’s quite common to have high-value customers, much more so than in B2C. This is because B2B products and services are often large and complex, so each interaction has a higher impact on revenue.

Consider software – if you sell your software to one B2C consumer you have sold one seat or license. In B2B a customer may purchase hundreds or even thousands of licenses, with the potential to sell even more as they expand and grow.

This is especially true when you consider the lifetime value of a customer. So if something goes wrong in a B2B support scenario, it can have critical revenue implications.

3. Must basically Understand Customers at a Company Level

B2B providers need to have a deeper understanding of their customers at the company level. In B2C it’s pretty unusual to have the same type of relationship with your customers. Because support teams are interacting with many unrelated individuals who typically have lower repeat rates.

B2B Marketing has longer sales cycles and longer-term relationships overall. Giving you more opportunities to build customer knowledge. Providing exceptional support in B2B, therefore, means retaining valued customers longer.

What are the Benefits of B2B Marketing?

In the first place, finding new ways to foster relationships through social media is currently a hot topic in the B2B marketing world. Eventually, Social Media Platforms have opened up two-way conversations between businesses.

For instance, a survey organized by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate showed that businesses are more likely to buy from companies they track through social media. The basic concept of customer support is the same for all companies.

B2B Marketing

In that case, answer the customer’s issues and resolve their problems as quickly and completely as possible.

But, despite the commonalities, there are several subtle but significant differences between supporting a customer who is a business and supporting a consumer. Below are the Benefits of B2B Marketing;

1. Helps Increase your Exposure

Increasing your B2B company’s exposure online helps to further develop brand awareness and establish trust with your customers.

Bearing in mind, social media platforms allow your business to establish a dialogue with current and potential clients. How you respond, interact, and share on social media sends a clear message about the type of business you are.

Here are a few ways that you can successfully increase exposure through social media:

  • Post relevant, high-quality content frequently
  • Remain consistent with your brand and industry
  • Encourage interaction with your audience by replying to comments/messages.
2. Source of your Traffic Drive 

As mentioned earlier, social media helps increase exposure. In fact, social media is the top source of referral traffic, accounting for 31.24% of total referral traffic. People might interact with your company on social media first, then become curious to find out more – ultimately leading them to visit your website.

Make it easy for the reader to click through to your website by intriguing them with useful links, resources, offers, and more. It’s also important to remember that promotional content should be shared in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your audience or appear overly sales-y, as this could steer them away.

3. Improves on Search Engine Optimization

Important to realize, social media is an important factor for SEO. By actively using social networks, your B2B company can improve positioning in Google’s organic search results.

While Google is still unclear as to whether or not social signals affect their search ranking algorithms, there is no denying that social media can indirectly impact your ranking.

For example, backlinks have been proven to carry a lot of power in increasing domain authority, which then leads to a higher ranking. The more you create and share high-quality, valuable content on social media – the higher you will rank.

4. Allows you to Generate more New Leads

As traffic to your website increases through social media, an increase in new leads is very likely to follow. Utilizing social media platforms to raise exposure and establish industry trust will guide the right customers to your website.

When it comes to the success of each platform, LinkedIn is proven to be the most effective lead generator, followed by Facebook and then Twitter. Not forgetting, LinkedIn is used by professionals and businesses, therefore it provides the perfect opportunity to target your ideal audience.

And also, spread the word about your business. Having said that, leverage your company’s LinkedIn profile to provide useful information about what your B2B company has to offer.

5. Helps Nurture your Existing Relationships

Take advantage of the human element that social media offers by interacting with your audience whenever possible. In order to be more approachable and “human” in the eyes of your audience, authenticity is key.

In some instances, customers may review your products and services on social media. Be sure to pay attention to these reviews and express thanks when customers leave a positive review. In cases where a review is negative, make sure it is handled appropriately. If you need tips on handling a bad review, check out this post!

Resources;

So, with this in mind, are you looking forward to digging deeper? Check out the following ebook on The Essential Guide to B2B Social Media Marketing.

However, if you need more help kicking your B2B marketing initiatives into high-gear, please Contact Us!

Here are more related and useful topic links;

  1. How does Mobile Marketing work?
  2. What is Marketing Leads conversion?
  3. Online Advertising and Marketing Strategies
  4. What is Referral Marketing?
  5. Return On Marketing Investment: What Is It?
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