December 2, 2022

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Understanding Everything About B2b Marketing

5 min read

Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by admin

In the eyes of everyone, any type of marketing can easily be confused. After all, the purpose of the sector remains the same: to analyze the needs of the consumer and to try to meet them as best as possible. However, if you scratch a bit, you quickly realize that marketing is more complex than it looks. Countless strategies used to appeal to the consumer exist, and vary depending on the industry concerned. This is why we wanted to focus today on a marketing sector that we are particularly fond of: B2B marketing. Contents of this file, detailed definition of this specific form of marketing, its strategies and techniques, the differences with B2C marketing.

DEFINITION OF B2B MARKETING

Let’s not procrastinate about the term B2B; we had already responded in a concrete way in our previous dossier on B2B e-commerce. To sum up, we’re going to use B2B writing only.

Let’s take a closer look at the definition of marketing, and more specifically B2B marketing. We had already popularized it in the chap, but for those of you who missed it…

Marketing is fundamentally about analyzing and meeting the needs of the consumer. B2B represents a commercial activity from one company to another (hence the term Business To Business for English speakers). Nothing very complicated for the moment.

Things get tough when you start exploring the differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing…

B2B MARKETING VS. B2C: WHAT DIFFERENCES?

A business and an individual are both potential customers for a seller; however, don’t assume that what works for the first will also work for the second. Here are some of the differences that make B2B marketing so unique.

1. The motivation to buy something is different

We have all seen at least this in our lives: your partner, or maybe your friends buy a product they just saw on a whim. Maybe you walked into a store purely with the goal of window shopping, but walked out with several purchases. In short, the individual is as regularly guided by emotion and the search for entertainment as by reason and efficiency. A company, on the other hand, makes its purchases in normal times on a rational basis. 

2. The number of contacts changes

While in B2C we often address only one person (the end consumer), B2B requires an exchange with several services (marketing, management, accounting to name a few) at different stages of the process. Purchasing process, often to validate the purchase of a service or product.

3. Orders – and prices – are not at all the same

Unless you are an individual passionate about a range of products, buying B2C often comes down to a single product, and at an affordable price. In B2B, orders are often very complex (due to the very specific needs like rice importers of a company), and prices much higher (which are often flexible depending on the company). 

4. Communication must be suitable for a professional

The individual is king: it is a golden rule that must be respected at all times. However, the way to address the latter is not at all the same as the company (also king!). While the individual requires special attention and emotion in the communication addressed to him, the professional expects to receive more in-depth, more technical information … 

5. An occasional purchase and low retention versus frequent purchases and a long lasting relationship

The individual, apart from his status as royalty, is also a capricious and unpredictable being who will not always buy in the same vein. The opposite is also true for a company that will seek to develop a longer term relationship with the same structure, and will make frequent purchases … Provided that the seller gives it satisfaction, of course!

6. A buying cycle and a longer contract in B2B

The whole B2C buying process can be completed in a matter of minutes; in B2B, the period of reflection and validation is often longer (see point n ° 2), and the contract signed between two companies can last weeks, months, or even years.

B2B MARKETING: WHAT STRATEGIES?

We told you at the beginning of the file: there are many strategies and techniques related to B2B marketing. We have compiled some of these approaches for you.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

We will start with a relatively unknown strategy in France: Account-Based Marketing. Marketing strategic accounts for French speakers, ABM differentiates itself from “classic” mass marketing by targeting very specifically a key group of customers, and by developing a specific strategy for each of these key customers. Although still little used on this side of the Atlantic, this strategy is proving in some circles to be much more effective than the traditional strategies employed by many companies.

Marketing Automation

Ah, Marketing Automation … In a few years this term has become almost synonymous with marketing as a whole, and many buzzwords have appeared around the subject. In B2B, due to the longer purchasing process, it is important to maintain contact with the customer, potentially for several months. This is where Marketing Automation comes in, and more specifically Lead Nurturing (a nurturing technique for the prospect to hold their attention and educate them about a product or service). Thanks to Marketing Automation, this educational process can be partially or fully automated.

Inbound and Content vs Outbound

Just like Marketing Automation, Inbound Marketing has become synonymous with the marketing world today, at least in B2C. In the B2B context, although Outbound Marketing still remains a viable strategy in certain activities, more and more companies are reluctant to trust the Outbound approach considered to be intrusive and aggressive. It is therefore recommended by many specialists to orient their strategy rather towards that of an inbound approach by creating original and transparent content that highlights the company. Very simply, content marketing (like writing a white paper, for example).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In 2019, SEO has become critical for businesses, whether they are B2B or B2C oriented. Google unfortunately does not help matters by constantly evolving its algorithms, forcing companies to adapt their SEO strategies at least once every year (or more, depending on the period). The goal remains the same, however: to reach the top spots on the first page of Google (and other search engines, of course, but let’s be honest; who doesn’t use Google?).

Media Platformization

In B2C, massive platforms like Airbnb, booking.com, Triage, Amazon or even Google have dominated the market for many years now. This development has been confirmed with the appearance of similar platforms in B2B for some time now (we can cite the example of the famous Rungs market which has, for a few years, had a website dedicated to bringing together suppliers and wholesalers). Logic therefore dictates that it will be necessary to anticipate an approach increasingly focused on B2B platforms in the years to come, whatever the sector.