Choosing the right marketing strategy that fits your company brand, goals, and general culture isn’t easy – especially since the marketing industry is a savage one to be in! It isn’t the most straight-forward process; you can’t know what works for you right off the bat. Market demands, your own budget, and business direction all get in the way. You have to find the perfect balance through a tight marketing strategy. But, it all comes down to one thing: your prospects. Who are you interested in marketing your products or services to? That’s that question that gets you started. Your audience or customer base steer your marketing strategy in the right direction. So many things could go wrong if you don’t target the right people. It’s the typical scenario of a failed marketing strategy – it could even set you back! But, it gets even more complicated when your target persona happens to be an organization or business. Businesses marketing to businesses? That’s called B2B marketing strategies – AKA business to business marketing. It’s a whole new world of marketing and generally has different kinds of rules. You’re dealing with some pretty big fish! You have to know how to be engaging, compelling, and persuasive.
If your business targets other companies, then your approach has to be unique to establish authentic relationships. One wrong step and you’re in for a CATASTROPHE. Besides, you aren’t the only one in the game. This is why you have to up your game, show why you’re different, and take your B2B marketing strategies to a whole new level.
The Core of B2B Marketing Strategies
It’s a significant waste of time, resources, and opportunities for a brand to test out different kinds of strategies. This is why you have to be in the know when it comes to B2B marketing strategies – the core of marketing. It’s all about the customer, being obsessed with them, and providing for their needs. It’s different from marketing a product or service. Your focus has to shift towards the prospects themselves. But to do that, you have first to understand the difference between B2B marketing strategies and B2C marketing strategies. Understanding this difference makes the whole process less confusing and, thus, takes a lot less time to implement.
The Difference Between B2C and B2B Marketing Strategies
B2B companies offer products or services that other businesses need to support business growth and function in the industry. They don’t sell directly to an individual. They could provide raw materials, industrial parts, consultation services, and more. B2B marketing strategies refer to business to business marketing, while B2C relates to business to consumer marketing. Obviously, the target audiences are worlds apart in this industry—the whole aspect of marketing changes when the prospect changes. So, strategies, applications, and directions all differ. When it comes to B2B marketing, we aim to target everything related to the customer himself. You target their needs, difficulties, and general interests. You want them to need you as if all the solutions to their problem exist in your hands. These prospects are not purchasing your products for themselves. On the contrary, these purchases are made on behalf or for the organization they represent. When you’re selling to a consumer, they buy products or services for themselves. That’s the main and direct difference between B2C and B2B marketing strategies – the audience.
Examples of B2B Companies:
In order to bring the idea of B2B marketing strategies closer to mind, here are a few examples of B2B companies:
– An OMD company provides marketing services such as social media management, website development, and digital marketing tool to other brands looking for business growth in the industry (Like JMH).
– Firms that provide automobile parts or mobile phone parts to businesses that manufacture vehicles or mobile phones.
Examples of B2C Companies:
B2C marketing targets consumers looking for a product or service that they need or interests them. They are buying for themselves. Here are a few examples of B2C companies:
– Retailers that sell clothing, makeup, or other accessories.
– Music streaming platforms.
– E-commerce companies selling products online for individuals (Like Amazon).
But, regardless of all their differences, B2C and B2B marketing strategies do cross paths sometimes. The same B2C company could also provide B2B services. It isn’t a one-way road. But, it’s recommended that the B2B marketing strategies differ from the B2C – you can’t mix them up. What works for B2C doesn’t always work for B2B. To make this a bit more precise, imagine marketing coupons or promo-codes to businesses – it doesn’t work. That kind of marketing works only when you’re trying to sell to a consumer. So, know the difference, understand your marketing. Personalize your tactics according to clientele needs.
B2B Marketing Strategies Explained
When thinking of B2B marketing strategies, you have to ask yourself a question: What do people who call the shots at B2B companies want? People like these already exist in the industry; they know how things work. So, what you have to provide them with is added knowledge – a means to get ahead.
Types of B2B Marketing
Not all types of marketing look alike – even with B2B marketing. There are different types of ways you can sell to prospects.
The first type of marketing most commonly used in the industry is B2B2C marketing. This means business-to-business-to-consumer eCommerce. So, instead of the process being B2B then B2C, they’ve bridged it together. This happens when you have a manufacturer reach out to the consumer through a B2B company. It’s like buying a product from a B2B company. Only the product doesn’t belong to them!
A popular kind of B2B marketing is when businesses buy products in bulk and then sell them at retail. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Most industries use this type of B2B marketing strategies to function and grow.
This type of B2B refers to manufacturers that produce commodities on a large scale and then sold to other manufacturers or wholesalers. This is exactly like a company that has automobile parts and then sells them to automotive companies. These companies then utilize the parts to build cars that they then sell to their clients. B2B behind the scenes!
How to Do B2B Better Than Your Competitors
Before we get into some B2B marketing strategies, you have to know how to apply B2B better than your competitors do! Give you some cutting edge information. You should know how to market B2B online to grow your customer base and online presence.
Bring On The Value
Users love to know all the information needed on the product or service you have to offer. So, don’t hold back! Bring on all the information they need to know. Don’t make them go somewhere else to find the answers they need. Leave no space for questions, confusion, or doubt. The more you prospect feels like they know about you, the more trust you gain. That’s how you drive conversion, sales, and traffic – through tight-knit relations built on trust.
Make Friends with Technology
B2B marketing strategies are much more effective when based on technology to make the process easier. B2B companies can not afford to make human eros that setback delivery dates or create miscommunication issues. You don’t have to go through the whole hassle of having a customer service team, refunds, and formal apologies if you have relied on the right technology – like eCommerce automation.
Loyalty & Subscription Programs
B2B marketing strategies greatly depends on maintaining your current customer base. Most B2B companies offer products that require to be continuously replenished. That means that you are going to need your customers to go back to you. You have to increase your customer lifetime values, so you keep customer relations in the long-run.
Be A Human
We’re all human – probably! But another aspect that creates value to your B2B marketing is appearing as human – relatable and helpful. So, think like a human and make the whole experience user-friendly. People don’t like slow websites, confusing checkouts, and vague product features. Think like a user, and provide a better shopping experience.
Developing B2B Marketing Strategies
If you want to develop an excellent B2B marketing strategy, you have to think outside the box. It takes a massive amount of trust on both sides of the businesses with a direct marketing experience to attract other companies. As opposed to B2C marketing, B2B marketing strategies focus on convincing decision-makers at other firms that they need your thing product or service to grow or yield more revenue. You won’t be tugging on your customers’ desires and interests to get them to buy your product or service – it’s less about the social networks and more about the actual relationship-based networking. Successful B2B marketing strategies should be based on adding value to your potential customer’s work efficiency.
You have to have a team of experts, utterly knowledgeable about everything they need to build long-lasting, effective relationships with your clients and gain their trust. B2B marketing strategies also require that you use a specific tone of voice that targets higher-level company decision-makers to appear more professional and serious.
B2B marketing strategies are on the rise – they set the path between business relationships and potential prospects. But, there are so many different ways you could go through when implementing B2B marketing strategies.
The Best B2B Marketing Strategies
In order to stay in the game, you have to know all your options. But of course, you can’t use different kinds of strategies at the same time. You have to choose a B2B marketing strategy that perfectly suits your marketing demands and supports your business’ life cycle growth. So, to make a proper decision on marketing strategies, we have compiled a list of the best B2B marketing strategies you could ever need!
Research is the proper foundation of any type of marketing strategy – in any kind of approach, really! You can’t jumpstart phenomenal marketing growth without actual examination. Companies have to research the market they’re in, the brands they cater to, and the type of audience they target. Research allows you to have firm ground on which direction the company’s on, and it helps you make better and more knowledgeable decisions. It also enables you to measure and compare your results based on others’ experience in the field. When you put time and effort into research, you’ll understand your clientele much better. This allows you to provide better marketing, and you’ll see good results.
One of the most essential parts of successful marketing is narrowed down, targeting regardless of the type. You can’t sell to everyone! You can try, but it’ll be a disaster! Specializing and tailoring to specific markets and customers is a one-way ticket towards accelerated growth! Most companies on the path of change in the business lifecycle already apply this in their everyday marketing strategies. This is especially true in B2B marketing strategies. Specialization and market-tailored systems make your marketing efforts simple. It lessens the amount of work you have to do, and you won’t feel stretched thin. It also helps you weed out your competition!
A Fully-Functional Website
A strong, fully-functional, user-friendly website spells out pure success. The online presence of your whole company revolves around your website. It summarizes everything there is to know about you. People could make an entire opinion on your brand just from your landing page! Besides, many people (especially decision-makers in high-level companies) prefer to research before choosing, mostly if you work in a business with many other competitors. It’s the era of technology! How could you possibly engaged in B2B marketing if you don’t have a website? Even if you exist online through social media. Business-to-business marketing requires much more than that. A good website gives the image of a professional brand that means business – it develops trust and comfort among your clients. Online websites are great to feature and educate people on your products or services, provide more engagement opportunities, and drive higher conversion rates.
You should also consider a neat website design that attracts people from the first look. Web design positively influences bounce rates, and ultimately conversion rates. If you have a website that’s pretty easy on the eyes, odds are the client will hang around a bit on your website – give you a chance to persuade them! It should be a responsive design that works on whatever platform or device – your website has to be flexible, adaptable, and comfortable.
Working Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
How does your target audience find you? Most probably through a Google query, right? Without going too much into the gory details, the Google algorithm works on search engine optimization – this helps people find what they need. In this case, SEO helps people find you. Your on-site SEO works by targeting a keyword that describes your website’s concept, something your audience cares about. It tells search engines everything about your website and helps your pop-up in the most relevant part of a search.
If we’ve said this once, we’ve said this a thousand times – DIGITAL ERA! Your online presence is critical to your existence in general. And that includes social media. Now, in B2B marketing strategies, social media doesn’t take up as much importance as with B2C marketing. But, it does help build brand awareness and identity. It also allows clients to check out how others engage with your brand and creates a sense of credibility.
Advertisement is no longer about those giant flashy billboards. You can still do that on a physically miniature scale, with massive outreach. Ads are a world of unlimited resources; even the platforms you can advertise on are countless! You can use search engine marketing (SEM) to run your ads on Google or Bing, or use social media to promote your product or service. You just have to always keep in mind that B2B is industry-focused and customer-centered. You have to use the right platform that finds the right prospects.
Referral marketing refers to marketing strategies that thrive on reputation! What other people recommend and how much buzz goes on about your product or service. This helps grow a solid customer base. It’s very customary with bloggers and Youtubers these days. For us to make this definition seem a bit easier, referral marketing is kind of like shoutouts! These days, most referrals happen through social media. It’s the hub of most interactions that occur on a daily. So, a growing reputation is essential to reach out to valuable customers and grow your network. You can also rely on strong content marketing to build a solid brand identity and reputation for yourself that becomes widespread!
Testing & Optimization
The thing about marketing is that most of the time, it’s a trial and error thing. You have to test out different methods and strategies, check the results, optimize, and then try again! You iterate your marketing efforts and get closer to your target goal. That way, you take the guessing out of the marketing approach. A/B testing of email campaigns, different landing pages, SEO techniques, and any other marketing strategy. Testing helps you check out, which converts the highest conversion rate and brings in the most engagement.
The last thing you have to do in B2B marketing strategies is to analyze your testing results. Measure how effective your strategy is! Does it work in the industry you’re targeting? Is this strategy bringing conversions? Keep track of your site’s traffic and use the results to optimize your SEO. You have to stay on your toes in this industry and keep moving. Evolution won’t stop and wait for you to catch up!
B2B Marketing Strategies During Pandemics
This might sound like a weird section, but many companies suffered during the pandemic because they weren’t prepared to face pure digital marketing. So, here are some tips to produce impeccable B2B marketing strategies even if you’re on lockdown! We don’t know how 2021 is going to look like, so better be ready!
During a pandemic, resources are most probably pretty scarce. This is why you should focus on what you have and make use of them. Put all your focus on big accounts you already work with and reach out to potential clients you KNOW you have a chance with. If you focus on the people in your database, you also save up a lot of resources – both time and money. It takes a lot to build a new customer relation, so make sure you nourish your existing ones too! Direct your resources where you have the most significant potential. This highlights the previously mentioned idea of knowing your target audience. You should also tug on their heartstrings a bit by using a relevant and compassionate tone through your brand. Show them that you understand everything they are going through in these challenging times, and provide them with the help they need. Adjust your current tone of voice and create one that is all about your customers! Don’t sound like you want to sell; sound like you want to help!
You also don’t have to give up one of the most critical parts of B2B marketing strategies: person-to-person interaction. We all want to keep our safe distance from each other, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join the virtual world of communication. You have to maintain interaction and effective relationship-building strategies! So, get on a Zoom call and have a virtual gathering!
Make sure you have everything calculated – from budgets to investments to returns! You have to know what every campaign, ad, or action brings you. This way, you know how much you can bring out of your set budget without going overboard. You can also utilize your account to create a more substantial online presence – something highly critical nowadays. Social media is a shortcut to success and business growth. You can run personalized advertisements to drive your message through and reach potential clients. This way, you can build brand awareness, promote company identity, and push your growth forward.
Pandemics take a toll on everyone, especially in the business industry. But, the best thing about living in the 21st century is the significant evolution in digital marketing. No lockdown can bring us down! So, that’s why you can still thrive with B2B marketing strategies from home. You have so much more to offer when everyone needs help! The world might have stopped even in shock for a split second, but now we’re back on the move. So, you can’t delay your marketing plans anymore. Keep moving forward with your B2B marketing strategies and drive your business growth.
More Marketing B2B Tips!
A few more tips on B2B marketing strategies that you should keep in mind the next time you target a decision-maker!
Don’t forget that you’re dealing with human beings, even if you’re targetting a business. Don’t deal with companies as if they’re just another entity in the industry! You have to understand your audience on a deep and personal level. YOu don’t want to seem like all you care about is selling – even if you do! Clients of the B2B industry want to know that you will solve whatever issue they face and that they won’t have to worry about things like that anymore!
Solving your customer’s problems should be your number one priority as a B2B company, especially since only a few every listens to customer feedback. This is the reason why you should be different! Take into account your customers’ needs, issues, and worries, and provide them with a tailored solution that keeps them coming back for more! Show them that they’re unique! You can’t treat every customer the same. Catered outreach is the way to go in B2B marketing strategies because it shows how much your prospects mean to you. It shows that you took the time and effort to take care of their issues personally.
Get up-close and personal (virtually!) with all your clients to show them that you are a human who understands what they are going through. This brings us back to the point of never forgetting that we are human beings! Personal interactions create tight relationship bonds with your clients while building trust and credibility. You ultimately gain a loyal customer base just by empathizing with other people. This works exceptionally well if your brand has a background story to tell. Telling a story creates an emotional bond between your brand and the prospect. It triggers their emotions and brings out the human in everyone! We could all use some love after 2020!
When a brand chooses to tell a story, it works best through social media content. It is the easiest way to reach out to people and create a bond. Just keep in mind that utilizing social media in B2B marketing strategies maintains a tone of voice and profound brand identity. In the end, the whole process comes down to knowing who your customer is, what they need, and how they want it! And that’s basically it!