While going from one place to another all of us have seen big hoardings, flexes and cutouts across the road. In modern times they pop up on your screen while going through the web. I always keep thinking about how much they cost and why the business houses spend on them. Of Course I was not familiar with advertising and its benefits to a business at that time.
Now with time I know the benefits of it and that it is a part of marketing. It tells us features of a product or service and its uses to us. But what does it do for a business? Businesses spend a lot on them. Also, they opt for different strategies for different categories. Like B2C (Business to Consumer) strategies for end consumers and B2B(Business to Business) marketing strategies for the business clients.
Today, we are going to discuss some of the aspects of B2B marketing strategies. It will definitely introduce you to some of the hidden gems of it. So before diving in let us start with some basic terms.
What Is Marketing And Marketing Strategies?
- Marketing is an activity by which links customers and the sellers. It provides them information about products and services. Seller performs the function of marketing with an aim to sell its products. It is an activity which attracts customers by enhancing their knowledge of products.
- For achieving an aim it needs a plan of action known as strategy. Similarly an effective marketing needs proper strategies and they are marketing strategies. Marketing strategies play a vital role and work as the backbone of the whole process.
- Marketing strategies cannot be rigid. They need modifications with a changing environment and the prospective buyer.
Types Of Marketing Strategies
On the basis of types of buyers, marketing strategies has two categories and they are as:
- Business To Business (B2B) Marketing: Business to business marketing targets the person or the group purchasing on behalf of an enterprise. Companies selling products to other businesses or organisations use B2B marketing strategies.
- Business To Consumer (B2C) Marketing: Business to consumer marketing is a type of retail model which sells products or services directly to the end user. Businesses where consumers directly receive the products choose this.
Difference Between B2B And B2C Marketing
Following are the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing:
|Basis||B2B Marketing||B2C Marketing|
|Parties Involved||In B2B transactions both parties are business or other organisations.||Under B2C transactions the seller party is the business and buyer is the end consumer.|
|Sales Cycle||B2B sales cycle can be a few months or years.||B2C sales cycle is short and generally ends in a day or two.|
|Personal Attention||In B2B relation personal attention is there as a single transaction can lead to high profits or loss.||In B2C relation personal attention is not that much important as it has a low value and short sales cycle.|
|Emotions Vs Logic||B2B marketing results in sales by using logic and facts.||Emotion plays a vital role in generating sales in B2C.|
|Decision Making||The decision making time is quite more than B2C as it involves many persons and good amount,||In B2C the decision making period is short as the sales cycle is short.|
|Transaction Amounts||Purchase amounts in B2B transactions are generally very high.||There are small transaction values in B2C transactions.|
So, it depends on the type of business and its product and service which it aims to provide. It varies from business to business on the basis of budget, target audience and product.
7 Types of Business to business (B2B) Business models
B2B models are those businesses which provide services or products to other businesses. On the basis of main factors there are different types of B2B models. They are as following:
- Consumer Centric Model
Consumer centric model business is a business which sells products or services to other companies for their own use. In it after sales support and services are also there. Microsoft is a good example of a Consumer Centric Model.
- Buyer Centric Model
In a B2B model where a business sells its products to other businesses but do not provide any services and support is the Buyer Centric Model. For example Walmart.
- Network B2B Model
Network B2B works as a bridge by connecting two parties and fulfilling their exact needs. It focuses on individual needs ensuring long term relationships. Linkedin can be a good example of it.
- Hybrid B2B Model
A Hybrid B2B model is that one which provides you with the features of both B2B and B2C. It focuses on long term relationships as it receives commission on each transaction.
- Direct Connection B2B Model
Direct Connection is a type of B2B model which helps in connecting two trading partners. It works in the long run for all the parties. For example Alibaba.
- Intermediary B2B Model
As the name suggests it works as an intermediary. It charges one party for their product and the other one fee for working as an intermediary between them. Zoomcar is a good example of such a model.
- Managed B2B Model
The Managed B2B Model works as an after sales services business model for ongoing business. One of the best examples of a Managed B2B Model is Google Apps. Because they provide many software for ongoing support.
7+ Effective B2B Marketing Strategies
For smooth functioning of an organisation an effective marketing strategy is needed. There are numerous B2B marketing strategies by different writers and analysts. Some of them are following:
- Research: Target Audiences And Competitors
Before starting any marketing campaign the organisation should do a proper research. Research of the product in demand and looking whether it is short trend or long lasting. A proper study of audiences and markets should be conducted. Another thing is doing an analysis of competitor’s strategies and steps. A budget is to be made about how much is to be spent for B2B marketing strategies. In 2020, around 8-9% of company budgets is allocated to marketing budgets.
- Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is gaining popularity over time. B2B marketing strategies improve when marketing automation is there. It increases the frequency of leads and also integrates all of our channels. Also be careful that you should not irritate your business contacts with marketing automation. Because too many emails or other things will make them unsubscribe you.
- B2B Advertising
A proper B2B advertising should be a part of B2B marketing strategies. B2B advertising includes many channels like social media, content marketing, brochures, networking events and emails. Business enterprises should choose channels carefully. Because some of them may not suit all of them. Because many of them are very expensive and some may need personal touch and many other things.
- Use Emotions And Feelings In Your Ads
It is a necessary thing to use emotions and feelings in marketing strategies. For example, using patriotism in your B2B marketing strategies may help you get some good business. A personal touch always gives you an edge over the other competitors. Giving a personal touch like showing the relationship between mother and baby for selling baby products is a good idea.
- Referral Strategy
Referral strategy is the most underrated strategy but it is very much effective. Customer referral strategy should be there in every organisation. Under it customers get an opportunity to refer the business services to his peoples. For which the organisation gives him incentives like discounts, vouchers etc. It must be there in an organisation from the very beginning to generate sum bonus sales.
- Build Relationships
B2B marketing strategies should be such that it emphasises building relationships. As if not today but it can be possible that that lead will turn into a sale. Building relations in an industry leads to a good brand value. Good relations can help you in getting credits and some big transactions too.
- Buyer Oriented Campaigns
B2B marketing strategies should always be customer centric. As our main motive is to convince the customer and convert the lead into a successful sale. Market campaigns should be such that they convey all what they have in a short message. The idea of the target audience should be clear so as to run a marketing campaign smoothly.
- Review And Corrective Measures
After selecting a proper marketing strategy and implementing it, regular reviews should be there. Reviews help you to locate the loopholes where you are lagging behind. After locating it, it is time to take some corrective measures to close those loopholes. Reviewing is a continuing process and at intervals like at the end of the quarter or at half year. Analyse the trends and take steps accordingly for making effective B2B marketing strategies.
Tools for Effective B2B Marketing
Strategies are plans to achieve goals. They require some tools for implementing them. There are a number of tools but these are the some trending tools for effective B2B marketing:
- Social Media
Everyone is now on at least one social platform. So, the importance of social media marketing is increasing day by day. Some of the popular platforms are facebook, twitter and linkedin.
- Paid Media
Paid media is a method in which google and other search engines run our ad for money. It shows suggestions to users when they look for something similar to it.
Influencer marketing is increasing as they have a huge number of followers. Businesses ask influencers to refer their products and services to others. Influencers receive incentives for such referrals.
Emails are one of the best and easiest ways to get quick business. Emails are personal and in marketing a strategy with a personal touch is like a cherry on top. It is also considered as a part of content marketing and social media marketing sometimes.
- Content Marketing
It is one of the most common and popular marketing channels. In it the business creates and publishes content about the business. It aims at establishing themselves as a brand and expert in the field.
So, now you know different tools of marketing and its up to the businesses which one suits them. When these tools work with the B2B marketing strategies they give you results like never before.
|Also Read : ICT Project Ideas|
What Are The 7Ps Of B2B Marketing Mix?
Marketing mix is a bundle of standards. It focuses on attainment of the marketing objective. A B2B marketing mix includes 7Ps which work as pillars of success for it. A discussion of 7Ps is as following:
The first P stands for product and everything that relates to it. It includes product demand, design, quality and quantity. Product is the one around which all the activities of marketing revolve. So due care should be exercised in this step.
Business buyers focus more on the price and value of the product. Because it will directly affect their profitability. In business buying utility is the key factor rather than trend and style.
It does not matter whether you are dealing in B2B or B2C, the only thing that matters is to deliver the right product in the right place at the right time. If any of these goes wrong, the whole utility of the product lapses.
The fourth P relates to communicating the information of the product to the audience. A proper promotion channel should be there and it can vary in B2B and B2C. Like emails and networking events were 84% more effective channels for B2B.
Here people means any person who comes in touch with your customer and educates him. So it is necessary to recruit efficient personnel for the organisation. People are important marketing tools. Because they are the one who satisfies customers in the service sector and represents us.
The sixth P stands for process, business process should be customer centric. A customer must feel ease and comfort while dealing with an organisation. Unreasonable delays and inconvenience make you lose customers.
- Physical Evidence
The 7th P of the marketing mix deals with the tangible aspects of a product. It includes packaging, designing and other things. In a service sector tangible aspects can be sound machinery and well dressed staff.
After studying all this and analysing it we can say that B2B marketing strategies can turn out to be a miracle for business houses. But it is to be seen that a proper strategy is chosen which goes with the budget and the aim of the organisation.
A poor and negligent selection can make you suffer losses. So, before selecting a strategy a proper study of audience, product and market should be done.
With the advice that we need to look at this expense as an investment not an additional burden, I will end my discussion here.