Business-to-Business Marketing: How Does It Work?
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When we think of business transactions, oftentimes we automatically envision Business-to-Consumer (B2C) transactions, however B2B, or Business-to-Business, exists as well. But what is Business-to-Business and what does it look like? According to LinkedIn Marketing Blog, B2B refers to the marketing of products or services to other businesses and organizations, just as the name suggests. It tends to be more informational and straight forward because business purchase decisions are based more on bottom-line revenue impact, or return on investment (ROI), which most consumers rarely consider.
When you have a Business-to-Business model, there are several factors to plan for that are imperative to your business's success.
Define Your Target Audience
As with any business, it is essential to pinpoint your target audience, so you can better speak to them and their particular challenges and needs. This is the key first step after you've identified the need your business will fulfill and are building the foundation of said business. If you cast your net too wide, you will likely exhaust money and resources unnecessarily.
After you've identified your target audience, next you will create a plan for how to market to them. With the ever-present source that is the internet, people consume massive amounts of content nowadays, and unfortunately this has led to reduced attention spans in many people. Because of this, it is important to keep advertising concise and entertaining because if a potential client gets bored, they're on to the next thing quickly.
Video content is one of the most effective B2B marketing strategies and it seems that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. Video marketing statistics show that this strategy also provides a higher return on investment, as it converts into sales. People prefer content that provides them with valuable information and informs them. Let's be honest, who amongst us actually clicks on aggravating, stagnant ads after being bombarded with them our entire lives? We require more than mediocrity to turn our heads now.
Having a consistent social media presence can be vital to your business. If you haven't posted in awhile, it can appear that your business has gone under and may deter potential clients from doing any further research regarding your business. Unless you have a social media manager or team, it is not necessary to be on all major platforms, but it is good to pick two to three and post consistently. It's recommended to stay away from pay-to-play advertising, as it gives greater advantage to businesses with capital, weeds out smaller businesses and makes these massive corporations even more profitable.
Anticipate Needs of Clients
As with any great athlete or player, anticipating what will happen next often translates into points and wins. Be prepared for anything your clients may require and present it to them even before they know they need it or be able to provide it immediately after they make their need known. Good customer service is key in any business model. You can even offer free items (who doesn't enjoy free things?!), for example, in the automotive industry you can include free Mercedes dealership repair manuals as part of the package when selling parts to garages and auto shops.
Evaluate Your Wins and Losses
Every successful business evaluates themselves periodically to see where they've hit and where they've missed. This will take some time if you are just starting out, as data needs to accumulate, along with experience. Give yourself a time frame, say every six months or at the end of your fiscal year. Invest more in what is performing well, and take some from what is performing low (or not at all) and try new strategies. Remember, those that see the highest levels of success are often those that are able to pivot when necessary and aren't afraid to try something new.