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B2B Marketing: To B or Not 2 B

Feb 28, 2019 | 9m

Gain Actionable Insights to:

  • Market effectively to senior decision-makers who have the ability to sign off on million-dollar deals with your company
  • Managing your stakeholders, like salespeople and consultants, effectively to reduce your frustrations
  • The world of B2B marketing and how it’s both different and similar to B2C marketing

Effective B2B Marketing

B2B marketing is often perceived to be more boring and less creative when compared to B2C, but the opposite is true. The stakes in B2B are much higher, which makes it so much more exciting.

Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing focuses on marketing products or services to other businesses or corporations while Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing focuses on marketing to consumers as individuals. In B2B marketing you have to be creative and capable of striking multi-million-dollar, multi-year engagements. The energy and sophistication you have to put in is equal to that of B2C and sometimes even more. You need to tailor your message to a small audience that comprises of senior decision makers.

While there is a clear distinction between B2B and B2C marketing, at the end of the day both of them involve marketing to individuals that often make buying decisions based on emotions. While many organisations have buying centres that use analytics, criteria lists, and are doing research before making a decision, the core decision is still made by humans who are guided by emotions.

With today’s advancements in technology, big companies can now interact directly with individual consumers through Instagram or Facebook. As a result, one to one marketing is becoming more critical in B2C, but it’s something that B2B marketers have been doing for decades. Today almost all B2C companies target and directly interact with individuals or small subsets within their audience. This is where B2B marketing skills are becoming more sought after.

So what types of channels do B2B marketers use if their target audience are businesses?

“There’s no witchcraft or a huge well-kept secret channel.”

You use the channels that work for your company. B2B marketers these days are using similar tools to B2C marketers. Emails work well in both B2B and B2C. Depending on your market, webinars and online events can also work quite well especially further down the funnel when potential customers want to interact more closely with your company.

Contrary to popular belief, social media is essential for B2B marketing because B2B buyers use social media for both their private and business life. At the end of the day, these decision makers are individuals that would be drawn to creative and exciting prospects, and social media gives you the space to make it more creative and exciting.

While B2C marketers tend to use Facebook more and B2B marketers tend to use LinkedIn more, overall, similar tools need to be used. It’s vital that you learn how to use them all, at least on a fundamental level.

Apart from using the appropriate channels for your company, how can you convince senior decision makers? Create an emotional connection with them.

Emotional Decision Makers

Many marketers treat corporate buyers as rational decision makers, and while that may sometimes be true, especially for government contracts, many miss out on the emotional element of it. Senior decision makers are still emotional people who will be more swayed by an emotional connection.

Sending and packing the information to suit what matters to them is crucial. If they have a good connection with the salesperson, that would be a great bonus. Don’t underestimate this emotional connection portion of B2B marketing.

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