There are two kinds of businesses in the world, those that sell to consumers and those that sell to other businesses. Business to consumer marketing (B2C) is well known, you see advertisements on television and see billboards along the roads, but business to business marketing (B2B) is a different kettle of fish altogether.
The primary difference between business to business marketing and business to consumer marketing is the mind-set that you need to have. For the most part, the sales made to other businesses are of higher value than those made to consumers. The products will be ordered in higher quantities and higher levels of service will be demanded. The number of sales will also typically be lower in number than business to consumer sales. It is vital that you bear this in mind when examining your return on investment. You cannot simply look at the number of leads you receive; you need to examine the potential value of the sale. It is also important to remember that the time period between lead and close of sale tends to be longer with business to business transactions. As such, a B2B marketing campaign should be allowed to run for a longer period of time before the ROI is investigated than with B2C marketing.
Another crucial difference between business to consumer and business to business marketing is the technique used to connect with the target market. Consumers respond to emotionally charged advertisements best while business owners will be more likely to respond to a well-structured advertisement that appeals to their rational and logical nature. A business owner does not care that the product makes people happy, but would rather purchase the product which does the job most efficiently and cost effectively.
The focus of a B2B marketing campaign will also be far narrower than a B2C marketing campaign. The clients of a B2B company will tend to be specific types of companies, ones which meet certain criteria such as industry sector, size and turnover. A broad approach to marketing will essentially be a waste of both time and money.
Business to business marketing is a very specialised field which requires a completely different skill set to business to consumer marketing. It is because of these differences that any B2B company looking to increase their client base would do well to engage a marketing and communications company which specialises in B2B marketing.