Business-to-business Marketing

Written by Linda Alexander
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Business-to-business marketing (B2B) differs from marketing to consumers. They each have in common the need for brand building, understanding customer needs, and communicating messages about the company and its products. But the nature of relationships between two businesses is slightly different from the way businesses and consumers relate.

When you market to consumers, they tend to be more remote--rarely do consumers interact daily with the business that produces the products they purchase. With business-to-business marketing, you'll definitely have more contact through in-person meetings. Your knowledge of them will stem from firsthand knowledge. For consumer markets, product and packaging are very important and often more important than service. With business markets, service is equally as important.

Customer Relations in Business-to-Business Marketing

With business-to-business marketing, relationships are vital. Creating personal relationships with customers, offering high levels of service and support when necessary, and pinpointing very specific market targeting are all ways in which businesses market to each other. With consumer marketing, often you must reach large numbers of customers and prospects with promotional messages and attempt to build brand loyalty with picky or indecisive consumers. With business-to-business marketing, you know who your target is, and instead of leveraging your resources over a wide field, you can concentrate them on one distinct target.

Depending on how actively you are involved with your B2B partner, you might have to supply different levels of service or slightly different packages. In B2B marketing, problems along the supply chain are problems for your business, your partner, and both sets of customers; you are selling not only to your partners, but to their clients as well. In a way, you are marketing to both, because your customer must perceive your product's value highly in order to sell it to their customers.

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