It’s been a while since I’ve blogged because I’ve had a very busy few weeks settling back into university and trying to get on top of my deadlines for third year but I thought I’d give my Exploring:Marketing blog series some love! Interning in a marketing department for a B2B company for 10 months gave me a little insight into how marketing to businesses differs from marketing to consumers.
To strip it back to basics and just in case you didn’t know, B2B stands for Business-to-Business where businesses sell their products and services to other businesses which is different to a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) environment.
Marketing to businesses needs to be carefully planned and well executed in order to achieve the desired sale, just like to consumers. Arguably, B2B marketing requires more structured relationship building than B2C marketing as consumers are often like butterflies flitting from retailer to retailer with little loyalty to brands, often swayed by deals and the latest trends. B2B marketing aims to build more long-lasting relationships and from what I saw in my internship observing the sales team, there were often lots of phone calls and meetings before a deal was signed with the customer instead of just a straightforward transaction in a B2C environment.
Different types of industries require different types of jargon (lovely word) and like marketing in general, you need to know your customer in order to know how to talk to them. This year I’ve noticed from events I’ve attended and from articles I’ve seen being posted on Twitter and LinkedIn that there’s been an increasing emphasis placed on Content Marketing in the B2B world; Content Marketing helps to provide information and value for readers in addition to asserting the business as knowledgable leaders in their area of expertise.
Just because B2B marketing is seen as more serious, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be creative, interesting or humorous. B2B buyers are still human and still want to be wowed, they just need to be more cautious in making big purchase decisions which could impact their company greatly if they are misinformed or haven’t done their research. B2B buyers also have additional factors such as approval and budget which can affect the length of time and decision making when purchasing products and services.
Parting thoughts: Check out Ann Handley’s ‘Humour and B2B Marketing: A Love Story’
Part One – Exploring: Content Marketing
Part Two – Exploring: Social Media Marketing
Part Three – Exploring: Email Marketing
Part Four – Exploring: Remarketing