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Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing
How is a B2B marketing plan developed and implemented?
A B2B marketing plan must be focused in delivery and broad in application. This means that while consumer marketing can advertise very specifically (one mass-consumed product advertised through print, television commercials, and the Internet) to a wide audience, B2B marketing cannot. Instead, it needs to brand itself very broadly (through email, corporate image, and technical specifications) to a very specific customer.
Business marketers can develop and decide how to employ their B2B plan by identifying and understanding the importance of the following topics:
- The product or service: When marketing to consumers, there is an emotional component involved. Individuals are drawn to products because of how they make them feel. With B2B customers, the buyers are trained professionals who care about the quality of products, their cost savings and/or revenue-producing benefits, and the service provided by the host company.
- The target market: Many B2B marketers are able to focus on very niche industries which reflect specialized needs. While this can make marketing a bit more straightforward, it also requires a high level of knowledge outside of marketing specialists.
- Pricing: Businesses are usually more concerned with cost, value, and revenue potential than consumers. However, they can also be more readily convinced to pay top dollar – as long as B2B marketers do an excellent job of convincing them that the product, quality, and customer service will all be worthwhile.
- Promotion: B2B marketers need to be experts not only of marketing and advertising, but also of their own fields. Once this happens, they will learn the best ways to market to this field, whether it is through blogs, journals, tradeshows, or via word of mouth. B2B marketing very rarely employs traditional media like TV and radio commercials.