Business to Business (B2B) marketing is very different and, in many ways, much simpler.
While in the B2C sector you are trying to reach “everyone” that may have a need, want, desire to own your product or experience your service, this is not the case in the B2B sector.
Marketing and selling to another business has many advantages and quite a few challenges too. For instance in the B2C sector you don’t have to contend with gatekeepers, the receptionists, secretaries or junior staff that can block your access to the decision maker. However, this is an important hurdle to be navigated in the B2B sector.
Before you starting thinking about actual marketing activities you need to do three things:
1. Define your target market clearly so that everyone in your organization understands who they’re talking to and why. Group people with similar problems together, problems that you know you can provide the solution to.
2. Clearly understand in the other business who is the actual decision maker, who is the messenger, who rubber stamps and who are the gatekeepers. Without understanding this you will waste time and money on the wrong person, only to find your investment undermined by someone you hadn’t considered would have a say.
3. Have a database management system. Fortunately you will be dealing with a small number of potential clients but you should still have a database of information eg the company name, the decision maker, and all their contact information (email, cell, tel, street address etc). Without a secure database of this information you will waste a lot of time and energy.
There are two key marketing tools that are most effective in the business to business marketing process. These are Direct Marketing and Personal Selling. Don’t underestimate the value of these, they will reward you handsomely if you implement them effectively.