What is B2B
B2B which is short for Business to Business means the sale of services or products from a business to another business who may transform that to sell it to the end customer. Even though most of the companies you see are not in the B2B model, B2B model is vital for B2C to survive.
A good example of a B2B organization is when a company produces corrugated boxes. The corrugated boxes are used by another business to pack their goods. In this case the company which produces corrugated boxes acts as a supplier for another business and helps them fulfill a requirement in their supply chain.
Another example for a B2B organization is an insurance company. In this case the insurance company provides a service in the form of B2B to another business to secure their business processes. Even though we do not see a lot of B2B organizations during our day to day transactions, B2B organizations play a major role in aiding B2C organizations fulfill their requirements throughout their supply chain.
One of the biggest B2B organizations in the world you may have heard is Alibaba. Alibaba provides a platform for businesses to market their B2B products on their platform where another business who acts as a customer is able to purchase products in bulk for a reasonable price from suppliers all over the world.
With platforms like Alibaba coming into play in the B2B arena, the traditional B2B marketing methods are in decline and with more opportunity in the online space than in traditional methods, it is important that B2B vendors explore innovative ways and means of marketing their products to reliable businesses. The reason why it is important to find customers who are reliable in the B2B model is because, in this context most of the time the products and services are sold in bulk in a credit basis with the agreement of paying back the full amount or in installments within an agreed period of time. If the payments are not received as agreed, the B2B vendor may face hardships to sustain its business. Therefore in the B2B context, while it is important that the product is marketed to a wider range of audience, you also market it to the right set of audience.
B2B Marketing Methods
B2B Marketing has to be done carefully to provide awareness and capture the right type of customers. In this section it is being discussed using a simple strategy for four steps of the marketing funnel how an effective B2B marketing campaign can be carried out by AIDA model.
The first step in the marketing plan for B2B marketing is to create awareness. But the important questions to ask in this phase is to know how to create awareness? When to create awareness and whom to create awareness to?
Answering the ‘How’, it is high time that businesses move into online methods to marketing their good and services. Rather than traditional methods which are outdated and are not as effective, switch to online methods which can be targeted to a huge audience with low effort and low cost. Creating a website, creating a strong social media presence and following the correct online marketing methods will help create awareness of your B2B products and services. Answering the ‘When’, it is important that your product is marketed at the right time. For example if the business customers you are targeting are producing a seasonal product, then market your product during the right time when your product is required for their supply chain. Finally answering ‘to whom’, it has to be businesses that require your product as a component in their supply chain to create their product.
Creating only awareness is not enough when marketing your product, it is also important that you create interest in the potential buyer to purchase your products. For this it is important that your product is appealing to your client in a price point and in the quality wise. A product which is competitive and the your buyer after considering its other options, will choose your product because it fits right on with their requirement
By this phase the customer has a desire generated to purchase your product over the other vendors. It is important that you take steps to grow this desire within the customer so that it will make the purchase. This can be done by offering discounts or other by offering other appealing benefits.
The last phase, where the buyer makes a purchase. For B2B organizations, the cycle does not end here. When the buyer purchases your products, it is highly likely that your product is required again for its supply chain. Therefore, make sure that you conduct excellent relations with the customer and that excellent after sales service is provided.
So when we talk about B2B marketing solutions it is important to understand the importance of awareness, interest desire and action.
Read more about differences between B2B and B2C business.