In the field of business, the supply chain is a series of activities that happens when taking a raw material or natural resource and transforming it in order to produce a final product which is then sold to the end user. There may be a number of resources, organisations, people, activities and information involved in creating the end product and at each stage of production, organisations are needed in order to to produce the final product.

Let us take for instance the production of a linen pants. Firstly the cotton needs to be picked and then woven into fabric. The fabric then needs to be dyed and put through other processes before being rolled and sold at a fabric store. A clothing maker will then buy the fabric, cut it and stitch it using cotton, buttons and other details to create the final product. It is then packed, transported and sold to a wholesalers who in turn sell it to stores who then sell it to the end user.

Using this example, you can see all the businesses that were involved in creating the final product.

Business to business marketing happens between the different levels of the supply chain prior to it reaching the end customer, as business compete for market share in a very specific niche market they need to market their product to other businesses to be part of the very specific supply chain. Each business needs to market their product to another business in order to be successful.

The challenges

When marketing between businesses, the marketing strategy will be very different than marketing to a mass market. This is because when businesses buy products their decision making processes are very different than when the general public buys products.

Those making purchasing decisions at a business level take more facts into consideration when making a purchase. They are not driven to purchase because of emotions but make their purchases based on logic.

Those who make business purchases also have many people to consult with and aspects to consider before making the final purchase. Therefore the decision making process requires more facts and takes longer.

Business to business marketing requires a communication or PR agency that has experience and understands the target markets and channels to reach these markets, as well as the media landscape.