If it’s suitable for your business, B2B marketing can be an incredibly powerful and effective tool in your belt when it comes to converting potential clients into paying ones – and keeping them. But what is meant by B2B marketing, who is it useful for, and what are some of the latest B2B marketing industry trends? Read on to find out more.
What is meant by B2B marketing?
When we refer to the term B2B marketing, we refer specifically to the practice of marketing from one business to another. Business-to-business marketing entails the marketing of your business’s products to services to another business or organisation who will buy them for use within the business itself or to sell on.
B2B vs B2C: What are the differences?
If you’ve heard of B2B marketing, you’ve likely also head of B2C marketing too. While the literary difference is a single letter, the literal differences between B2B and B2C marketing are vast.
B2C stands for business-to-consumer marketing and is a form of marketing wherein a business markets directly to a consumer that intends to use the products or services for personal use. Whereas B2C marketing tends to have emotional and personal appeal at its core with purchasing decisions often made impulsively, B2B marketing is driven by being informational and focused on maximising ROI (return on investment) and results.
A good example of the difference between B2B and B2C marketing is that a B2C, family-run sweet shop markets its sweets directly to its customers; in comparison to this, a B2B sweet wholesaler will market to that sweetshop in order to persuade them to stock their products in-store.
What are some common B2B marketing strategies?
One of the strengths of B2B marketing is that it’s versatile and can be strategised in a number of ways to suit your individual business model and client profile. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most effective B2B marketing strategies and why they may be integral to persuading your clientele.
Marketing driven by niche
Just as consumers are opting for companies that offer a more tailored experience, many stakeholders are now choosing to work with businesses that are personable and visionary. Whether it’s a clear-cut commitment to greener operations, or an ethos of providing ethically sourced produce, ensuring your business has a distinctive identity is a great marketing move because your clients will feel like they are being offered something different.
Marketing driven by research
At the end of the day, stakeholders and commercial clients want to invest in businesses that understand the market they’re in. If you can provide recent, reliable data on your services or products, you’re not only marketing what you can offer but also how what you’re offering will impact the potential investor. As a bonus, conducting research into the wider market for your business can help you to better understand how to improve your current operations.
Marketing driven by results
Often done in tandem with B2B marketing driven by research, marketing based on the results of your product or service should never be underestimated. Whether it’s profits, customer retention and satisfaction, or how well a product performs, other businesses love to hear about the benefits you can offer them. In particular, pay attention to how you market the costs of your products and services, and why they would be worthwhile.
None of the B2B marketing strategies above is better than the other; it’s all about the use of the correct strategy to reflect the unique demands of your customers and the style of your business. A common B2B marketing strategy is to combine more than one – that way, you know you’re hitting a comprehensive range of your target audience’s needs.
What are the latest B2B marketing trends in 2021?
The buying behaviour of businesses is continually evolving. Staying on top of the latest trends and pricing your services to target the correct audience will help you to remain at the front of customers’ minds and help you stand out frome the competition. We’ve rounded up some of the latest 2021 B2B marketing trends sure to be a hit with your potential buyers.
Make the switch to digital
While face-to-face marketing still proves to be a smart choice for some businesses, the majority of successful B2B relationships are now established maintained through digital means. For example, did you know that 80% of leads on social media come from LinkedIn? That’s a whopping percentage! In comparison to this, 69% of B2B companies plan to stop the printing and use of traditional catalogues. B2B for social media can be an effective content marketing strategy so make sure you consider whether this is right for your business and your customers.
Simple, yet innovative methods are in
You might have seen some of those CVs that are incredibly out-of-the-box and experimental. While, obviously, this approach isn’t universal, many businesses love doing business with the brands they know they can work with on a personal level, as well as a corporate one. Try and think of innovative yet streamlined methods to get across the selling points of what your business has to offer. Think simple points that pack a punch.
SEO continues to reign champion
If your business has a website (and it really should, FYI) then you need to make sure that it is effectively optimised to draw in as much traffic as possible. Modern studies found that common location-based search engine phrases relating to a product or service “have grown by 200% since 2019“, demonstrating that more and more businesses are turning online to find the best provider for what they need. Make sure your website is optimised for search engine rankings by engaging in good SEO practices.
B2B marketing is a fantastic form of marketing that really can improve the image that other businesses have of yours. Be sure to put the time, effort, and resources into ensuring your B2B marketing strategy is at its best.
Header image: Photo by Annie Spratt