Business-to Business or B2B transactions are those that takes place between businesses.
Providing products and services to other businesses for further processing, reselling or facilitating their operations is considered as B2B transaction.
B2B marketing differs greatly from B2C (Business-to-Consumer) marketing. When companies are marketing and selling their products to other businesses, the dynamics of their marketing strategy can be entirely different from a consumer-selling strategy.
Differences between Consumer and B2B Markets
As opposed to B2C buying in which the consumer is usually the only decision maker, B2B buying can be more complex and usually involves a group activity. It can mean several different yet integrated messages to be created that are understood by people at various organizational levels and across different disciplines as well.
The buying cycle of B2B transactions can be well defined with certain strategic levels and takes time to progress. Because of the nature of transaction, stakeholders and high financial risks involved, research and evaluation process takes up most of the purchase process and is quite substantial.
Another dynamic in B2B industries is the high risk involved in each transaction, both financially and timely. B2B transactions often unfold by building trust, relationships and reliability. Relationship marketing is an important aspect that marketers often work on when catering to other businesses.
Another challenge in B2B marketing can be referrals and lead generation. In today’s competitive marketplace, the concept of partnership has emerged between most B2B buyers and sellers. Business purchases take time and accountability, and hence trust can be an important part of the transaction. Because there tends to be fewer chances of winning over a loyal customer in the B2B space companies leads and specialization can be important in B2B marketing strategy. Other challenges can exist. Retaining buyers or clients for the long-term can be key because repeat customers tend to be highly profitable for you and your business.
In B2B marketing, information and communication play important roles in the transaction. Sellers often spend in-depth amounts of time to educate buyers about the use of their product and emphasize the benefits for their company.
In B2B industries, networking, procurement programs and referral marketing are often considered to be major factors in the lead generation process. Other factors that are considered in B2B purchases which include order time, lead time, reliability, quality, flexibility and importantly…customer service support.