What is B2B Marketing
B2B stands for Business to Business. Business to Business is the marketing of products or services to other businesses and organizations. In other words, a transaction between businesses instead of a business and a consumer like we typically think of when it comes to marketing.
An example of B2B Marketing would be companies that produce tire casings and sell them to car manufacturers, or a platform like MailChimp which provides an email marketing platform and interface for businesses.
A B2B business includes four different types of businesses. These are producers, resellers, governments and institutions. So, businesses can be defined as different kinds of organizations but still be considered a business who uses B2B marketing.
B2B vs. B2C
Different from B2B, B2C stands for Business to Consumer. This type of marketing is most often seen as it is how a business or manufacturer directs their marketing directly to consumers, people who are potential buyers for the product. Some brands you may know of such as Uber, Walmart, Netflix and Spotify all market directly towards consumers.
B2C companies who market in this way, rely on consumers to make a profit. Their primary way of receiving income is through how much product they (a business or company) sells.
There are some brands that are so large that they blur the lines between B2B and B2C marketing, doing a bit of both in different campaigns. Some examples of these companies are Meta, Amazon, Adobe and Apple. For Apple, a company that’s focused on their products which work seamlessly together, they use B2B marketing to sell their suite of products under the message of “make our team your team.” Here’s an example of Apple and their B2B strategy.
What are the 7 Ps of B2B Marketing
Just like traditional B2C marketing, B2B marketing has a mix of the Ps to help create and market a successful product.
Product - the product a business is offering
Price - the amount of money the product is, discounts, terms and fees
Promotion - sponsorships
People - anyone involved in the marketing and sales processes such as salespeople, customer service teams and staff
Process - how the product is delivered to the customer
Place - where a product is made, location of advertisements (convenience for customer)
Physical Evidence - customers physical proof of a purchase, even as simple as a receipt
The 7 Ps of B2B marketing are important because they sort of are an outline as to how to be successful when marketing a product or campaign. From this standardized list, businesses can easily mend their companies' “ways” and values to incorporate a marketing plan and strategy of their own.
In a similar sense, data marketing is how companies gather and process information based on consumers actions. A company’s marketing team that keeps track of purchases and interactions from consumers to the business is then able to strategize and better understand their customers. Data marketing is used differently among companies as each has their own data and differences. Having a successful marketing plan created from data allows for a company’s product from a marketing campaign to really stand out.
Biggest Trends in B2B Marketing
Just like other forms of marketing, B2B marketing is subject to trending content and approaches. Currently, B2B marketing trends have some crossover with what is popular in the B2C realm, but other trends are definitely better for B2B marketing. Some of these trends are:
- Social Media Marketing
- Video Creation
B2B Integrated Marketing Campaigns
There are a few key points that if reached, make a successful marketing campaign. Marketing campaigns are used in order to help a business promote a product, a service, or the brand as a whole.
Some companies may release a marketing campaign to introduce a new product, build their brand image, increase sales of a product already released, or even in a negative sense to reduce the impact news might have on their brand.
Creating a successful marketing campaign begins with outlining the businesses goals. Essentially this may be a mission statement or companies values and beliefs. Then using data marketing, this allows for a business to get a feel for their target market or who should be reached out to. Next, assuring that the right team members are involved in the marketing process assures successful detailed marketing. Campaigns often have a message that sticks with consumers so a relevant message that a company can come up with to help market their product will help it stand out. With the right design and marketing channels, consumers are more likely to remember what the market product is. Some channels may include email, direct mail, website, social or online advertisements.
Direct mail in B2B is one of the most common forms of communication in marketing. An example of direct mail to a potential customer would be a postcard or flyer from a business or company to promote and market their product or service.
The goal with B2B marketing is to keep customers using a product or service while growing brand loyalty. A business can benefit from a B2B marketing strategy and use of integrated marketing campaigns by adapting a stable market and income as well as consumer interest.
The field of marketing in B2B is evolving day to day and becoming more and more competitive.
B2B At WVU
WVU offers a B2B Course through the M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications program. This course is called IMC 526 B2B Direct Marketing. The course teaches students what B2B is, the difference between B2B and consumer marketing, and what B2B looks like.
Course topics include:
- Introduction to Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing
- More B2B Marketing Concepts
- Challenges of B2B Marketing and OST – “Objectives, Strategies and Tactics"
- Proven Creative Strategies for B2B DM Implementation including E-Mail and Other Online Marketing Techniques
- Managing B2B Sales Leads, Measuring "Return on Marketing Investment" (ROMI) from Sales Lead Programs
- Managing the Global B2B Brand Asset with DM
- Ethical and Legal Issues in B2B DM
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Meet the Author
Social Media Student Worker
Shelby is a social media student worker in marketing on the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is a Sophomore at WVU as well as a member of the WVU Dance Team. Her dogs and sports are things she could always talk about! Coming from a small town, Shelby loves traveling to big cities. She is able to express herself through her writing and find more of her work here!
Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.Subscribe to get the Latest Trends in Your Inbox