“Business to business” marketing? How is that different from marketing that is directed at the consumer? Isn’t it ultimately about generating leads and closing sales?
Well, sort of. Business to business marketing (B2B) is a little different than business to consumer marketing (B2C) and it is important for small business owners to know the difference.
The major differences:
• B2B is directed at a smaller number of customers, most likely local.
• B2B products and how they are used are often more complex than their consumer-geared counterparts.
• The more personal the relationship, the better, when it comes to B2B marketing.
B2B targets another business rather than an individual; therefore the marketing strategies are more complex, as you may be targeting a number of departments in different ways, in order to complete the sale.
Decisions in this sector are very rarely made on impulse – businesses are made up of several layers of decision-makers and purchases are made on more objective grounds.
While consumers may be driven by aesthetic appeal or brand reputation, a business buyer will require a more informative proposal.
“B2B marketing is less flashy, more analytical.”
A limited number of clients, with complicated decision-making networks and inquiring and informed minds demand a personal relationship built on trust and understanding.
In B2B marketing, segmenting clientele is based on what is
referred to as ‘firmographics’- defining factors about the business itself. These can include:
• Spending patterns and limits
• Their needs (price, quality, support, etc.)
• Niche, or position in the market
• Trade associations or group affiliations
• Use of the product/service
• Annual revenue
• Preferred method of placing orders
• Loyalty to your brand
Appreciating the difference in B2B and B2C marketing can be the defining factor when it comes to small-business success.