About Intedat9. 1. 2024

What is B2B marketing and what makes it specific

No company that wants to reach corporate clients can do without some form of B2B marketing. What is B2B marketing? And how does it differ from marketing in the retail segment?

How big is the difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing? There is no clear answer to this. On the one hand, in both cases, the real target group is people. On the other hand, there are specific rules in the B2B environment that must be known and respected.

Frequently asked questions about B2B terms

Before we give you a few tips for successful B2B marketing, here’s a brief overview of the most common questions and terms you may encounter in the B2B world.

What is B2B?

B2B is an abbreviation for business-to-business, i.e. for business relations and mutual communication between companies or entrepreneurs. It is therefore not about the relationship with the end customer (consumer).

What is B2B marketing?

Let us start with the general characteristics of marketing. One of the definitions formulated by the famous marketing expert Philip Kotler is as follows:

“Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to get rid of what you have. Marketing is the art of creating real value for the customer. It’s the art of helping customers to have a better time. The watchwords of a marketer are quality, service and value.”

You only need to add the “B2B component” to this general definition. In this case, the customer for whom you are trying to create real value is not the consumer, but the company.

To use a somewhat more basic description, B2B marketing is a set of activities aimed at raising awareness of a company, its products or services and attracting new corporate customers.

What is B2B sales?

B2B sales is a process that leads to a deal between two companies. B2B salespeople therefore seek to identify potential business customers, understand their needs and offer them a solution that will help them achieve their business goals.

How do B2B and B2C differ?

While the abbreviation B2B stands for business-to-business, and thus refers to business-to-business relationships between companies, the abbreviation B2C stands for business-to-customer, and thus refers to the relationship between a company and the end customer (consumer).

Other terms you may come across

B2B e-shop

A B2B e-shop is an online store through which a company sells goods or services to other companies.

B2B e-shops are different from regular ones in several ways. For example:

  • The product offer must be very clear – B2B clients often prefer a simple line view. In many cases, they buy large quantities of the same products repeatedly.
  • The description of the goods or services is usually more detailed. The decision-making process in B2B is longer and more complex and requires more information. Companies often need to know the technical specifications of a good or service, prices for different quantities or terms of delivery.
  • The B2B e-shop operator often has the option to set different prices for different customers, verify VAT payers and non-payers, etc.

B2B trader

As the term itself suggests, a B2B marketer is dedicated to acquiring business clients. He often not only arranges deals, but also implements them (prepares offers, signs contracts, etc.).

They should understand the products or services they offer very well in order to function not only as a salesperson but also as a consultant.

B2B sales funnel

The term “B2B sales funnel” refers to the series of steps a company goes through before becoming a customer. Compared to the B2C segment, this “funnel” tends to be significantly longer.

According to the article B2B Sales Funnels: Stages, Strategies & Examples, the following six stages make up a B2B sales funnel:

  • Awareness
  • Interest (interest)
  • Evaluation (assessment)
  • Decision
  • Purchase
  • Retention (customer retention)

How to get new customers in B2B

We said in the introduction that the B2B environment has its own specifics, so automatically applying B2C marketing habits may not be the most effective way to acquire new customers.

The differences between B2B and B2C are manifested, for example, in the following aspects:

  • Other target group (consumers in B2C, managers, decision-makers in B2B)
  • Different sales cycle (more complicated and longer in B2B)
  • Different pricing strategy (fixed price in B2C, negotiation and individual agreements in B2B)
  • Other marketing strategies
  • Other communication channels

We’ve put together some tips to help you do B2B marketing the right way.

1. Know your customers

This principle is key in both the B2B and B2C segments: define your target audience precisely.

If you feel that your customers are actually all companies in the world (or at least in the Czech Republic), try to think again. In all likelihood, it won’t.

Your potential client can be a company that has a certain number of employees, operates in a specific industry or region, offers specific products or services, has certain values… Create a profile of your ideal client.

In addition, try to find out who enters the decision-making process in the type of companies.

Answer these questions:

  • Who initiates the purchase?
  • Who else has influence on the decision?
  • Who is the ultimate decision-maker?
  • Who will end up using the solution?
  • What is important to these people?
  • What can you offer them?

Bottom line – the answer to the question of how to acquire new customers in the B2B segment is: You have to know them.

2. Personalise and build trust

Personalisation is one of the most important aspects of B2B marketing. If you know your future customers (see previous point), you can show them that you understand them, that you know what they need and that you can help them with it.

Approach them with a precisely targeted offer. Remember that many companies are looking for reliable partners for long-term cooperation. A personal approach is the first signal that you are such a partner and that you deserve their trust.

3. Create personal relationships

Success in a B2B environment still relies heavily on personal relationships. Among other things, these are the basis for existing customers to keep recommending you – one of the shortest routes to new clients.

It is therefore worth investing in relationships – for example, by offering potential clients:

  • quality content (blog, newsletter, e-bok, webinar, podcast, case study – you build your professional reputation and it is likely that some of the “consumers” of your content will later become your clients)
  • free consultations (these will benefit both your potential clients and you, as you will get to know their needs better)
  • a piece of your know-how (in the form of tips and tricks, instructions or “best practices” – you build trust and respect with potential customers)

And while emotions don’t play as big a role in decision-making in a B2B environment, remember that decision-makers are “just people” too. If you establish a relationship of trust with them, you’re halfway there.

4. Offer solutions

You know the dictum: “Don’t offer a product, offer a solution.” It may be a hackneyed principle, but it’s absolutely central to successful B2B marketing.

Companies don’t buy your product out of a simple desire to own it. It’s just a way for them to solve a problem or fulfill a need. And if you manage to convince the decision-maker that you can solve the problem efficiently and reliably, you are basically done.

And how to use this principle in practice?

  1. Look at the solution you offer through the eyes of a potential customer – someone who is not interested in what you offer, but what they can get.
  2. Don’t focus on features in the offer, but on the results the customer can achieve.
  3. Share real stories that show what someone else has gained from your solution.

5. Outsource B2B sales and marketing

The previous tips were based on the assumption that you do your own B2B sales and B2B marketing. And maybe that really is the best solution for you.

But at the same time, the business process in the B2B segment is becoming increasingly complex. There are at least two reasons:

  • fierce competition (especially in certain sectors)
  • high customer awareness – customers often know exactly what they want, giving retailers less room for manoeuvre

Therefore, some companies have found that it pays to completely outsource B2B sales and marketing.

Or they may have decided to use their own salespeople but use an external solution to identify companies worth approaching.

 

At Intedat we can do both for you:

  • We’ll give you access to a unique
    company database
    within a clear application and help you find companies with the greatest potential.
  • If you wish, we will contact the selected companies on your behalf and inform them about your offer.

Intedat – your reliable assistant for B2B sales and marketing

Do you want to efficiently acquire new customers in the B2B segment and save time, nerves and more than 60% of your business costs?


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Antonín Vlček
Sales Director

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