Learn everything you need about B2B marketing. This includes the best channels and resources to help you attract your target audience.
There is a significant difference between B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing. B2C marketing is where your message encourages people to buy a product or service. B2B marketing is where businesses target other businesses.
B2B is a great example in the automotive industry. Ford, Chrysler, and Honda aren’t the only ones that make every part of a car. They sign deals with smaller companies to supply small parts or large quantities of door modules.
The B2B Buyers Journey
Three stages make up the B2B buyer journey:
- Take into account
- Take the decision
You must be able to effectively target B2B marketing communications by understanding how companies move through this journey.
B2C strategies, for example, typically require only one person to buy. Gartner says that in B2B, six to 10 people participate in purchasing decisions. Each person typically collects 4 to 5 pieces of content to present to the group.
B2B marketing requires patience. Nearly 75% of new B2B customers close within four months, while nearly half take seven months. It takes three months for most B2B customers to make a buying decision. B2C sales can take just a few moments.
Marketing’s Four Ps
Promotion, price, location, and product are the four Ps of marketing strategy. These are the four Ps in marketing strategy, also known as the marketing mix. They were laid out in E. Jerome McCarthy’s 1960 book “Basic marketing, A Managerial Approach”.
The idea was popularized later by Neil Borden (an advertising professor at Harvard) in his 1964 article The Concept of the Marketing Mix.
The marketing mix helps companies overcome barriers that hinder the widespread adoption of products. These thoughts were around for many years. However, companies still use them today. This approach is difficult to maintain and update, especially as your buyers or products change.
Companies create products and services to solve a problem for another company. It may be unique enough to create demand.
Every product has a life cycle. Your marketing strategy should reflect that. You need to understand where your buyer is at each stage of their journey before you market a product. This will help you determine how much content to provide, where to place it, and what price you will charge.
Pricing your product or service based on its perceived value is a good idea. Consider factors such as supply costs and what other companies are charging for similar products. If you plan on offering discounts, how much your customers will pay before you reach a price point.
To make items appear more expensive, some companies price them higher. Some companies choose to lower the price to draw more customers.
It’s important to be careful about how low you price items. This could mean that the item is not as expensive as comparable items but at a lower price.
It is important to consider where you will sell your products. It would be best if you also considered the buyer’s journey. You want to get your product in front of the buyer when they are most likely to buy.
This could mean placing ads or content on a website. Sometimes, this could mean putting your product at a specific store or location within the store.
Let’s say you have a prospect at the awareness stage of the buyer journey. Posting a social media ad highlighting a problem and explaining how your product solves it might be a good idea.
Promote your product or service by using content and ads to convince customers and prospects that they are interested in it.
In the past, promotion was mostly done via radio, television, and print media. Content and ads can be placed online and on social media platforms.
FedEx’s “Castaway” movie is a great example of non-obvious promotional efforts
The film tells the story of a man stranded on an island in the desert. However, the film opens with him working at FedEx and ends with him delivering one final package.
Different types of business-to-business marketing strategies
B2B marketing can be divided into three types: traditional, digital, and face-to-face.
It’s up to you to decide which one is best for you, or if you prefer a combination. It would be best to consider how much you invest in each category.
Digital marketing began slowly in the late 1990s. It grew steadily at the start of the 21st Century and is now a dominant market segment.
You can scale digital marketing quite effectively. You can quickly and efficiently shift resources to a specific area by receiving real-time reports about how a digital campaign performs. These tools make it easier to track ROI for a digital campaign.
While traditional marketing methods can’t be targeted like digital campaigns, they can increase brand awareness. This marketing strategy uses television, radio, and print to increase awareness.
You want to be the first company to come to mind when a company needs a vendor for a product type. Google is the most obvious choice if you are thinking search engine. Coca-Cola might be your first choice for soda.
This is one of the best marketing strategies. This involves building relationships with potential customers through face-to-face meetings.
Face-to-face does not mean you must meet prospects face-to-face, although it is a good idea. It can also include phone calls, instant messages, and video chats in today’s digital-first age.
The Best B2B Marketing Channels & Resources
Your campaign’s success will depend on the type of B2B resources that you use and where they are placed. There are many options to reach your target audience.
Create a professional website that potential and existing customers can use. It would be best if you created a navigation that makes it easy for them to navigate from one page to the next and to find what they are looking for.
Think like a buyer. It is easy to visit many websites and find it frustrating when it becomes difficult to find what you are looking for. Do not be that website.
Make your website and other channels stand out with content. It is crucial to help buyers on their journeys. Content also allows you to demonstrate your expertise.
You can use the following types of content:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Research reports
Remember that certain types of content are more effective than others. HubSpot’s survey found that video content is the most popular, followed closely by news articles.
The same survey found that consumers want more video content from brands.
People making purchasing decisions often visit your website and give their email addresses to receive relevant content. These email addresses can create newsletter lists and provide information about product developments to potential customers.
Email marketing is a delicate subject. You risk irritating people by sending too many emails.
Search Engine Optimization
You want human beings so one can see the dynamic content you have spent time and money creating. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to reach these people.
SEO techniques such as using keywords, tagging content, and including authoritative outbound linking are all possible with the right SEO strategies. You can make sure people find your content using Google and other search engines.
Even B2B buyers are interested in seeing social media posts by brands. However, be careful with this medium; B2-B marketing will not be as effective on some social media platforms used for B2C.
LinkedIn is a powerful B2B social networking platform. Professionals around the world widely use it. Twitter and Meta (AKA Facebook) might also be a good option.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a way for brands to target search users. These ads are prominently displayed in search results and clearly labeled as promotional. They are still relevant to the user’s search query.
PPC content can be placed on other websites such as directories, social media platforms, and email providers.
Influencers have been a valuable way to market your products over the last five years. You can connect with someone who is a podcast host about your industry or frequently write about it on social networks. This is a cost-effective way to improve your marketing strategy.
Influencers can be especially effective in targeting niche and local markets because they have loyal followings.
Exhibitions, conventions, and conferences
Before the pandemic, conferences, conventions, and other industry events were a great marketing channel for B2-B marketers. We are still waiting to see their effectiveness in a post-COVID-19 world.
Conferences and conventions may not disappear completely, although they might be more frequent and in smaller numbers.
How to design a B2B marketing strategy
Now that you see the benefits of B2B marketing strategies for your business, it is time to create one.
1. Do your Homework
It won’t work to create a marketing strategy from nothing. Do your research. Consider your target audience and why they might be interested in similar products.
It would be best if you also considered the analysis of competitors. It is important to examine the competitors, their product presentations, and whether there are any niches they can fill.
2. Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs).
Talking to your IT and marketing departments about who is buying your product should be part of your research. Market data should include information about when and how they purchase your product. This information can create the ideal customer profile (ICP) for each marketing segment.
Even though you may only offer one product, an ICP can affect the market and channel you want to use. For example, a potential buyer at the awareness stage may need different information than one at the decision stage.
3. The Buyer’s Journey
After creating an ICP for each marketing segment, you can plan how to take potential customers through the buyer’s journey
People rarely wake up thinking, “I’ll purchase that today.” It’s called a “journey.” You can move them from one point to the next, but you should also consider the obstacles and pain they will face.
Buyers are now more educated than ever and have access to a wealth of information. Don’t think of selling when mapping the buyer’s journey. Think about helping. You risk losing the buyer if you try to convince them to buy at the wrong time in their journey.
This step can be helpful if you think back to your purchases. What was the first time you heard about a product? What attracted you to it? What were your steps before making the purchase?
4. Choose the right channels (and resources) to use
Every channel requires a different kind of resource.
A white paper or blog post might be helpful for those who are in the awareness phase and looking at your website. These resources can help you identify a problem and show how your product or service solves it. Others might look for FAQs and reviews from influencers.
Consider which channel will most effectively attract customers or prospects at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Next, determine which type of resource will propel them into the next stage of their journey.
B2B Marketing: Reach your target audience
B2B marketing and B2C marketing both require planning and preparation. However, different audiences will require different strategies.
A successful B2, B marketing campaign requires looking closely at your target audience to understand their needs and desires. This information may enable you to concentrate on the resources and channels that best guide them towards purchasing.