JT: What is the difference between B2B and B2C or consumer marketing? It's all selling to people, right?
Red: Yes and no, In business-to-business marketing, you're dealing with multiple individuals - often "buying committees" - during a decision-making process. Each person has a role in the process and a responsibility to judiciously compare all the options. This enhanced scrutiny compared to a typical consumer purchase is due to the fact that a decision about a professional service or produce can have enormous impacts on a company's productivity, operations, legal standing, reputation, sales, and - ultimately - the bottom line. The risk of a wrong decision is high.
Usually companies conduct extensive research on possible partners so being at the top of search results with the right message is important. Web site keywords need to be refined and benefit-focused.
Because buying committees expect a powerfully-built business case, smart B2B marketers focus on building a relationship through credibility and trust while offering multiple opportunities to engage. After all, in the end, they are buying the supplier along wit the product or service so give them value with every interaction.
For all these reasons, B2B companies need to make sure they are dealing with marketing experts who understand the challenges they face and have the skills to get them noticed with the right audience.
So, if an agency tells you "there is nothing special about marketing to savvy business decision makers," that could be a Dealbreaker.
How do you market differently to B2B than B2C? Share your best practices here.