B2B marketing or business to business marketing may not be so interesting to some people but the fact that it entails working with a group or company of shareholders makes it complex and challenging. Ever since the COVID 19 pandemic, companies have been forced to adapt to the changing digital landscape and offer B2B brands to connect with clients.

According to Astute Analytics report, B2B markets will reach $19 billion by 2027. This shows full opportunities for the business world. The focus of B2B companies is now on the online space.

This article is an introduction to B2B 101 that hopes to inspire the business person to further explore this space.

B2B Marketing in a Nutshell

Business to business (B2B) marketing is the promotion of goods or services to buyers who have businesses.  It is selling to corporate buyers rather than individuals. This requires a different set of marketing strategies.

The aim of B2B marketing is to have visibility to drive leads and generate revenues.  Various methods can be used like SEO, content marketing,social media and other digital tactics.

Types of B2B Markets

The types of B2B markets depend on the business involved. These are the following:

  1. Institutions – Includes charities, nonprofits like churches and hospitals, educational institutes like colleges, schools, community colleges and universities. 
  2. Government – Governments across the world that buy products and use them. Includes federal, national ad local agencies.
  3. Producers – Companies that manufacture or product goods using the business resources that is being sold. Includes restaurants, bakeries, manufacturers and other entities.
  4. Resellers –  This type resells the business product or service,

B2B Marketing Trends

Business to business marketing is ever changing especially  during the COVID 19 pandemic where every business was forced to move online. Here are some trends that came about:

  1. Omnichannel marketing – The merger of traditional and digital marketing to capture business. Multiple channels had to be tapped since the market called for flexibility. Although digital formats were used, the old ways of advertising were equally given importance.
  2. Influencer marketing – Social media use has resulted in influencer marketing wherein people were more relying on reviews and what celebrities has to say about certain products. B2B business owners now look for influencers on a certain niche to endorse their products or services.  These can be bloggers, authors or popular podcast hoses that offer ratings and reviews.
  3. Social media marketing – Many B2B businesses are using social media to promote products and reach out to other businesses. They use these platforms to grab attention. A research by Delotte’s 2021 CMO Survey showed that B2B product brands will spend 14.7% of their budgets on social media up to 2023.  This is also expected to increase by 10% for the next 5 years. 
  4. Digital sales – An analysis of the future of sales by Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of business to business transactions will be digital. A majority of B2B organizations will also rely heavily on data driven selling. This is quite a change from face to face selling or tactics like conventions or events.

With the streamlining of processes, analytics and data embedded information will be vital. There will be no more business cards or leads, the process will be more of communication and service to clients through online channels.

Conclusion

B2B has a huge scope with a wide variety of strategies and channels. The essential key is to know and understand the audience and their business. Be sure to treat the B2B space like a business to consumer scheme. Engage in social media and experiment with different content types and brand voices. When a strategy clicks and sets the business into new paths for brand awareness, leads and engagement, refine the strategy to suit the times.

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