What is B2B Marketing?
Marketing has come a long way since its beginning in the 1450s, when Gutenburg’s printing press made mass printing possible. Now there are new mediums like posters, billboards, radio, TV, phone, Internet, email and social media.Thousands of companies use these mediums to get their message across. In a world where people are inundated with messages, it can be a challenge to make sure your message gets across. Enter marketing.
the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
But as a B2B (business-to-business) company, how do you market successfully? What works for Exelon might not work for a seller on Etsy. Marketing is so expansive and specific. Thus, successful marketing must be strategic and use B2B marketing tactics.
Marketing with Strategy
Have you heard of “augmented marketing,” “eCommerce marketing” or “guerilla marketing” and thought, “Huh?” If you have, it’s okay, because there are over 100 different types of marketing (whoa!) that all seek to promote or sell products and services. It’s still marketing, but the methods used vary.
Paragraphs, for example, is a premier B2B marketing company. “B2B” describes the type of marketing in which we specialize—business-to-business. That means we focus on helping businesses whose primary customers are other businesses. Types of B2B companies include:
- Medical device manufacture selling to a hospital
- Wholesaler selling products to retail store
- Agency selling services to another business
Businesses that sell products or offer services to another business require different strategies than one that sells to consumers. At Paragraphs, we have over 30 years of experience helping B2Bs realize their greatest business potential. We can do the same for you.
B2B Marketing: What to Know
Before you begin marketing your B2B business, you should know two fundamental truths. First, you’re in business withyour customers. Second, you are likely to have fewer potential customers. Since your goal is to help your customers’ businesses be successful, your customer’s success is your success.
There is a distinct difference in customers as well. While B2C (business-to-consumer) companies have millions of potential customers, a B2B business’s potential customer pool is much smaller. It will only have a few hundred businesses at most.
Your customers’ customers influence your demand
If no one desires the products or services you offer, you’ll soon be out of business. For a B2B company, it’s about knowing what other B2B and B2C companies need to best service their customers and meet their goals. Your customers’ customers ultimately drive the need for your products and services.
Remember hoverboards? They gained immense popularity and media attention in 2015. As the demand for this product increased, B2C companies that sold/produced them required more raw materials to build them. B2C companies needed to build these products, so B2B companies saw an increase in product demand.
You’re in business together
In business-to-business marketing, both sides work toward the same goal. They want to provide consumers with a product or service and turn a profit from it. Whereas consumers and manufacturers are on opposite teams, a B2B relationship means that your desires are the same.
You’ll have fewer customers…
There are far fewer businesses in the world than there are people, shrinking your customer base by a significant margin. Keeping customers happy is imperative, especially when they are so scarce. Continued business relationships could be the difference between success and bankruptcy. Corporations need to eat, sleep and breathe customer service to differentiate themselves. They often rely on their core base of customers to do business with them for the long term.
…And your interpersonal relationships with them matter
As a B2B business, you’re likely to have repeat customers due to contractual agreements or plain loyalty. But one way to help ensure that you keep getting their business? Personal relationships. B2B businesses get to know their customers on a more personal level. Most B2B businesses, even large ones, are unlikely to have more than 100 customers. Establishing and maintaining relationships helps you keep the customers you have.
B2B marketing takes a certain level of creativity, ingenuity and knowledge of the industry. At Paragraphs, it’s what we specialize in and what we do best.
B2B Marketing Offerings
Advertisement messaging for B2Bs is more personal and on a smaller scale. A restaurant marketing firm will only advertise in restaurant-related publications like Restaurant Business. A service provider like Salesforce may advertise in both industry magazines and general business publications.
Any printed materials like business cards or brochures should follow your brand guidelines. These need to have consistent messaging and you should update them at regular intervals to ensure freshness and accuracy.
Your identity should be immediately recognized and understood on all collateral. Whether you need a singular brochure or a new identity with updated collateral, Paragraphs can help.
Trade shows are great for generating leads, but more so allow you to get face time with prospective (or current) customers. Relationships are vital to securing and maintaining clientele in a B2B environment. Thus, you’ll want to attend shows that your customers attend (even if you don’t have a booth).
When you present at a trade show, you want to make sure your exhibit is up to par. It should reflect your brand and branding messages. Similarly, design gives an impression of your capabilities and the work you’ll produce. Imagine walking up to a “booth” that is nothing but bare tables and some folding chairs. What does this say about the company? And how would you compare them to a competitor whose booth has a modern, cohesive design? The competitor will win every time.
Integrated campaigns achieve goals through strategic, coordinated channel use and message reinforcement. If you’re promoting an event, your campaign may use email, a newspaper, and social media. For example, send reminders through email, take out a newspaper ad and pay to promote tweets. You’ll want to include the channels that your targeted audience often read or use.
B2B companies that provide physical products need clean, understandable packaging design. Pharmaceutical manufacturers need to differentiate products to help decrease wrong product selection risk. In hospitals, nurses and physicians need to quickly choose the necessary drug and volume. But even without special considerations, you want cohesive packaging because it reflects your brand.
Videos are great to get employees excited about new initiatives, convey lots of information in a short period or tell your brand story. Use short clips on social media or longer videos on your homepage. Provide a 3D visualization of products and their specs. Another option could be to to offer a virtual tour of your manufacturing facility. Paragraphs can craft a video to meet your needs. We’ll handle everything from initial conception to video editing to final delivery.
Call in a Premier B2B Marketing Agency
There are many elements to consider when it comes to marketing your B2B business. Making sure they portray your brand and are successfully executed is challenging. Having a seasoned branding and marketing agency like Paragraphs on your team makes the process smoother.
For all forms of brand consultation, B2B marketing strategies or general business advice, say hello to Paragraphs today.
312.828.0200 | firstname.lastname@example.org