Where do you start with B2B marketing?
Having a structured marketing strategy is incredibly important for a business’s long term marketing success, and that strategy should drive your efforts from the very start. B2B marketing necessitates a specific approach, a certain set of strategies that differ from those in B2C marketing.
In this article, the team at Headley Media have outlined how to get started with B2B marketing, helping to ensure that your efforts hit the mark from day one.
What is B2B marketing?
B2B (business to business) marketing refers to any marketing strategy that aims to link businesses to other businesses. It differs from B2C marketing, which aims to sell products or services directly to consumers.
B2B businesses tend to focus on meeting the needs and challenges of other organisations, communicating those solutions in different ways which are more suited to the culture of businesses than individual consumers. Efficiency and ROI are often focused on, rather than entertainment and deals.
Where to start
Below are a few steps to getting started with your B2B marketing strategy:
1. Find your target audience
To understand how you speak to your audience, you need to understand that audience first. Identify and research the needs of your target audience; learn how they make purchasing decisions, attempt to understand the processes they go through when they’re researching a product or service. Identify problems that your audience regularly face, and illustrate how your business can efficiently offer solutions to those issues.
2. Consider which channels are appropriate
Businesses and specific niches tend to show preferences for certain media channels. Part of your preliminary research should be into which forms of media your target customers use; if the area your business offers services in has a strong community presence on Facebook, that should be a driving factor in where you focus your adverts and content distribution. Attempting to tap into under-saturated media channels can be highly rewarding, but it is often riskier.
3. Analyse the competition
It’s important to learn from your competition. Research companies that are successfully offering similar products to your business; look at how they market their product, attempt to judge what they’re doing in terms of marketing that’s successful and what they’re doing that could be ineffective and inefficient. It’s rarely a good idea to directly copy a competitors’ marketing strategies, but there will always be a lot to learn from their successes and mistakes.
4. Create a budget
Marketing is a business necessity. You cannot operate successfully without some sort of marketing strategy. However, no organisation has a limitless budget for outreach efforts. Create a budget that will allow you to prioritise your marketing efforts, keeping in mind the old saying that you need to spend money to make money.
Marketing expenses will likely be higher for young businesses which are still getting established, however, even organic marketing efforts require constant attention. Overly cheap content can even be detrimental to your organisation, harming the perceived level of expertise of your business.