B2B – What does it mean anyway?
B2B means business to business and describes a business relationship between two or more companies. However, this does not mean a cooperation or similar, but a clear purchase relationship. This means that there is a purchase contract for goods or services between at least two companies.
What other business relationships are there?
In addition to B2B business relationships, there are:
- B2C – Business to Consumer, i.e. customer relationships.
- B2E – Business to Employee, i.e. employee relationships
- B2A – Business to Administration, i.e. business relationships with public administrations.
B2B and marketing – What should you pay attention to?
Definiert man B2B-Marketing genauer, geht es in erster Linie um Industriegüter- und Inventionsgütermarketing. Somit umfasst es alle Bereiche außer das Konsumgütermarketing, da Produkte oder Dienstleistungen nie direkt an den Endverbraucher verkauft werden. Dennoch gibt es im B2B-Marketing ähnliche Herausforderungen wie im B2C-Bereich:
If you define B2B marketing more precisely, it is primarily about industrial goods and invention goods marketing. Thus, it encompasses all areas except consumer goods marketing, as products or services are never sold directly to the end consumer. Nevertheless, there are similar challenges in B2B marketing as in B2C:
- Search engine optimization and rankings
- public relations
- Marketing communications via brochures, trade show booths, social media, website, etc.
For this, there are different methods how you can use marketing specifically:
- Inbound marketing: this measure deals with informing potential customers and offering them added value in order to draw their attention to your company. In this way, you help them in the purchase decision process and improve the customer experience. With inbound marketing, you thus rely on a pull strategy.
- Outbound marketing: Unlike inbound marketing, potential customers are approached offensively to convince them of your company. You don’t wait for the customer to come to you, but actively approach them. Thus, a push strategy is applied here.
- Account-based marketing (ABM): Here, you do not address a broad target group, but approach specific, singular accounts. This allows you to address potential customers individually.
In addition, there are various ways to also get in touch with B2B customers. These include trade fairs, for example. Being present there is important to establish personal contact. Additionally, it can be easier to convince potential customers if you face them directly. High-quality giveaways and gifts can also be helpful.
B2B and distribution/sales
B2B also differs from B2C in sales, as goods and services never go directly to the end consumer. There is a lot to consider here, especially in the area of lead generation and customer acquisition. But B2B sales also offers a clear plus point: both entrepreneurs have clear cost advantages.
Here’s what you should keep in mind to run successful B2B sales:
- A well-planned strategy
- A good website presence
- Visibility in search engines
- Visibility on social networks, especially on appropriate platforms to get in touch with other companies
Impact of digitalization on B2B
Digitization is becoming increasingly important – also in the B2B sector. Electronic communication plays a major role in this. Anyone who only thinks of e-mails now is a bit behind the times. Networking is the be-all and end-all, even between companies. For this reason, social networks are very helpful. But communication is not the only key aspect of digitization. Sales that take place online are also increasing strongly in the B2B sector. For this reason, it is important to have an online sales platform and to be active in e-commerce.
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