The nature of marketing is to establish strategies that allow products to reach the desired audience, adapting to the interests and profiles of each niche. But there are different types of Marketing and a clear differentiation is given depending on the type of audience it is aimed at. There is a type of marketing used by companies whose objective is not the final consumer if no other companies: we speak of the Marketing B2B (Marketing Business to Business).
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Characteristics of B2B Marketing
Unlike B2C Marketing (Business to consumer), where the consumer usually chooses products that he wants, and that in most cases he does not need, to satisfy an immediate need, B2B Marketing takes into account that companies have a much more tendency rational when buying your products, as they can be part of your production process or be key to enhancing its operation and thus increasing your productivity.
The main differences between B2B and B2C Marketing (with which we are usually more familiar) are:
1 # FEWER CUSTOMERS
B2C marketing has a much more massive character, since it is aimed at a group of people (more or less broad) who act and behave as unique individuals. Therefore, the marketing actions are focused on each of the individuals buying, registering or carrying out an action. However, the potential customer of a B2B business is a company, therefore, the range of potential customers is much smaller, and this may allow, a priori, greater personalization and other types of strategies.
2 # DERIVED DEMAND
B2C companies present a demand that comes directly from the end consumer, while the demand of a B2B company is derived from the activity of another company and changes or evolution in consumption can affect differently.
For example: A packaging box manufacturer may be greatly affected by the growing trend of e-book consumption (to the detriment of printed books) if its customer is a traditional book publisher, as the sales of its customers are declining and, therefore, their demand for boxes. But, if on the contrary, your client is a megastore, very capable of adapting to changes in consumption and starting to sell supports for eBooks, accessories, etc. your client's demand for boxes will not be as affected as in the previous case, despite the fact that the situation with respect to the final consumer is the same "
3 # MORE COMPLEX TRANSACTIONS
Products and the buying process in the case of B2B is usually more complicated, since the decision and purchase processes are rarely impulsive , tend to be longer (there may be cases where the purchase processes last years) and many intervene people in the decision-making process.
That is why professionals who are dedicated to the world of Business to Business marketing have to face new challenges to develop their plans and strategies:
- As we mentioned, the purchasing processes are much more rational and complex. Therefore, each variable of our offer will be analyzed in detail. For this reason, it is very important that the value proposition we offer is much more detailed, even with the incorporation of technical documents, specification details, etc.
- We must identify motivations, define audiences and carry out a precise segmentation. When companies decide to buy a certain product, they can be based on many reasons: the price / costs, the type of after-sales service, the previously established relationships, the knowledge that the B2B Company has about its customers, etc. You have to take into account what motivates the customer, because in this case, "infidelity" to the brand occurs much less than in B2C but it is more dangerous, with much more at stake (it is not so easy to win new customers). Therefore, it is important to enhance and build on our strengths.
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-Customer acquisition processes are becoming more and more expensive and that is increasingly difficult when managing b2b marketing through direct sales networks.
-In B2B marketing, customer loyalty is a discipline that gains enormous weight. Capturing a new customer in B2B Marketing has a very high cost, so it is much easier and cheaper to increase the turnover of a customer who already buys from us than to get a new one. For this reason, it is very common to classify customers using the “Value Spectrum” value matrix that affects two criteria: The value or volume of the customer's purchase and the share of this customer.
Once we have defined the clients, we should establish a different plan for each type. For example, with a high value client and a low participation fee, we will establish the objective of increasing the fee, while with a client with a medium value and a high rate, the objective will be loyalty. This is what is called "Clients Management”
- Professionals work with the added difficulty of accessing clients. In many cases, just like in B2C marketing, we will use blended channels. From the directories of companies and directors, to a list of business schools or clubs and specific guides such as the yellow pages or the Who is who. In addition to this, depending on the value of the sale, it is more than likely that we will need a telemarketing department that is in charge of obtaining opportunities and an own sales network or external distribution channel, as well as the support of the internet and social networks .
- Adaptation to new digital media: there are great opportunities for B2B marketing thanks to social networks. Also, the incorporation of technology and content marketing supported by disciplines such as inbound marketing is helping many organizations to optimize their processes of attraction and detection of real opportunities. Companies such as Hub spot are emblematic both as an example of the application of this methodology and for being providers of systems that allow these methods to be executed.
- Exploitation of sales channels: as in other sectors, there are distribution networks that have a great influence on the channel. We will have to take advantage of and define an incentive strategy and channel supervision.
- Deal with the difficulty of differentiation. Products and services lynn couture tend to look more and more alike, which is why innovation and value addition are becoming more and more important. That is why investing in R&D to be able to offer a better product than the competition is really important: Differentiating in personalization and service, within markets where products have great parity, is essential.
Examples of B2B Marketing
- One of the most notorious cases in B2B Marketing was the campaign carried out by American Expresswith the launch of open forum: an online platform that offers advice for SMEs, as well as informative videos and current news on its blog, which culminates with “The Idea Hub”, an internal network that allows users to share experiences and exchange business ideas. The increase in its visits since its launch has been increasing over the years, making it a clear success story. In this way, American Express is committed to a Content Marketing strategy aimed at small entrepreneurs, to whom it adds value while increasing notoriety.
- Another clear example of success in B2B content marketing is discovered by Deloitte and its annual campaign that revolves around predictions and future trends of new technologies. Every year, the multinational sends these references to its main collaborators, achieving, in a dynamic way and thanks to the help of video marketing, to retain them.
- With another type of strategy, in this case Direct Marketing, we highlight PAREXEL; a multinational research company for the pharmaceutical industry. Their challenge was to convey to small emerging pharmaceutical companies that they could count on Paraxial for clinical research. The problem was that many of these small drug companies did not trust a research giant, thinking that they would not receive the care they needed. Paraxial sent the CEOs of several pharmaceutical companies a package containing an iPod Touch with a video of the CEO of Parterre in which he explained the commitment that the company offered them, this being the beginning of a large number of fruitful relationships with the company.