Updated: Jun 5
Today, the average business owner is far harder to convince but easier to reach. 'B2B Marketing' might conjure images of you sending out emails and newsletters to your customer base, but that would only be one of the many plethoras of options at your disposal.
What is a B2B business?
Any marketing tactic or piece of content that is targeted towards a firm or company is known as B2B (business-to-business) marketing. B2B marketing methods are often used by firms that sell their goods or products to other companies or institutions rather than directly to consumers. B2B businesses are different from normal businesses because they exclusively sell their service or product to another company. Think of all the motor-manufacturing companies that make car parts for companies like Rolls Royce, Mercedes, etc. These mid-tier businesses would be called B2B businesses.
To understand B2B marketing practices, we must characterize them based on the types of customers that most businesses deal with:
This is arguably the most common type of B2B relationship as the government routinely employs companies and freelancers to execute their projects. For instance, they would hire a contractor to repair roads, an architect to build them a new office, a foreign relations management firm to handle the front end of visa applications, etc. These are all examples of government-led B2B relationships.
2. Other businesses
Other businesses are also a very common B2B consumer base. They could be private or public, or even a startup. Freelancers also fall under the same category.
Wholesalers are people who lie farther up or down the product line (depending on what your company does) and they sell large quantities of a product for a discounted price. The most common business relationship that wholesalers have are with warehouse property management companies.
These institutions can be banks or insurance companies, or even worker unions. Most B2B relationships formed with such institutions are IT-related where a bank can hire an IT management or database management company to have a better system. In some cases, institutions also hire cybersecurity specialists to safeguard these said systems.
What are B2B Marketing best practices?
Business-to-business marketing has come quite far, and you have a lot of options in your toolkit. All you have to do is pick the right one for your needs, and for the profit of your company.
1. Know Your Customer
Your strategy for each type of business relationship (mentioned above) would have to be different. This means that for government bodies, you will need to market yourself through networking and contacts. Emails might not be the best way to get your foot in the door, as government officials receive countless emails every day. Hence, a personal touch usually helps out. It's a good idea to even invest in forming/arranging industry gatherings where your peers are invited to give talks on your industry matters. Such conferences are more likely to be attended y government institutions, and hence they are more likely to see you as a leader in the said industry if you position yourself likewise.
This was just an example. But this same exact tactic would not work for startups, as they already have a lot on their plate and usually don't have the bandwidth to attend gatherings. Bottom line, know your customer and then decide which path to take.
2. A well-made website
Your company's website is among your most important assets in the competitive industry of professional services nowadays. In contrast to what some businesses previously thought, it is a lot more than a digital poster or a highway billboard. A company's internet activity is centered on its website, which also serves as a wealth of information about the company's experience in the industry.
The most important instrument for increasing exposure is your website. To have a chance of obtaining their company, potential customers must be able to locate your company's website while searching online for service/product providers. Additionally, you may showcase the knowledge of your business and establish a strong brand name through your site.
3. Data is key
Concentrate on creating a data-driven marketing plan. For your promotional campaigns to be successful, data is essential. Data enables advertisers to assess their performance, examine their errors, enhance client interactions, and arrive at wiser conclusions. Additionally, data may help firms in allocating their time and money effectively. Losing clients and business prospects might result from ineffective data use.
Marketers should keep track of all marketing activities so they can improve their plans and give customers a better experience. As was already said, a B2B setting has various purchasing practices. Customer journeys are intricate and involve several touchpoints. Data may aid marketers in this circumstance by analyzing the purchasing behavior of their customers.
Without a good data analytics team to sift through the information and find inferences, collecting data alone won't do you much good.
4. Now that you have data, automate the decision-making
Artificial intelligence (AI) and email marketing are distinct concepts. Technology for digital marketing is designed to make it easier for people to complete routine, easy jobs. It still needs designing routines for various circumstances and manually optimizing them using the data. Nevertheless, AI uses statistics, suggests improvements, and applies them proactively by using data to emulate human intellect and logic.
By integrating automation with machine learning, you can profit from both worlds: you may propose and modify the automation using data-driven findings in addition to the productivity, accuracy, and time-saving advantages of automation.
Following are some instances of how AI might improve automation:
Automatic bidding bots for negotiating a said price
Google Ads bots or even chatbots to increase your engagement with the customer.
Tools that allow you to compose email subject lines or other parts of emails
5. Keep up with algorithm changes
Although SEO Strategy is not new, its significance has increased over the past decade as a result of new engine modifications. For instance,
Having a 100% mobile-first ranking, you must make sure Search engine bots can read, display, and validate your data sets as well as your mobile content.
You must enhance your Basic Web Vitals with the site UX upgrade by decreasing script instructions, downsizing pictures, enabling lazy loading, and more.
Given Google's BERT upgrade, it is crucial to focus on a term in accordance with the individual looking for it.