Obviously, marketing to end consumers is much different from advertising to other businesses. As a B2B business, your target audience and the value you offer should be adjusted.
Plus, the competition in the B2B industry makes its marketing a different ball game requiring unique ideas and strategies.
But these statements should really be openers in the “Marketing 101” course.
Currently, the capital invested by companies into advertising by companies is generally rising, all due to the vast need to circumvent the stiff competition. According to Statista, 32% of B2B companies allocated 5% of their budget to marketing in 2020. Everyone wants to leverage the advantage and grab the largest market share.
With every business implementing B2B marketing strategies in 2023, you may feel stuck on the best way to market your B2B products and stand out.
Here we’ll discuss proven B2B marketing strategies to differentiate your company from other brands and increase your profits.
1. Understand the B2B Market Landscape
Your B2B marketing strategy will only be as effective as your market understanding. The starting point when creating and implementing B2B marketing strategies for your company is gaining adequate knowledge.
Consider the following tips to learn about the market landscape:
Conduct Comprehensive Research
To understand the market landscape, you must conduct comprehensive market research. Your investigation should cover your audience demography, unique value proposition, and the competitive landscape.
This data-driven marketing approach can make all the difference in terms of conversion & your bottom line. You’ll be researching your target market, the audience, and the major players in the space. Specifically, you want to identify who you intend to reach, study, or beat with your marketing campaigns.
As a B2B business, your primary target audience includes other companies who need your products or services. But beyond that, you must understand your audiences’ uniqueness and define them accordingly. Consider these parameters for delineating your target market.
- Industry or Niche
- Size, e.g., micro, small, medium, or enterprise
- Location and proximity to your area of coverage
- Company status, e.g., nascent, growth level, or matured stage
You may also consider a few human characteristics for decision-makers at your target company. That may include the individual’s socioeconomic status, cultural inclination, education level, job title, and professional quirks.
Learn the B2B Buyer’s Journey
Understanding the market landscape involves familiarity with a B2B buyer’s journey. Insights on the customer’s journey will help you to create effective B2B marketing strategies to address all the prospects’ needs through every stage of their interaction with your brand.
A typical B2B buyer’s journey occurs in three stages, beginning with awareness, wherein the prospects identify a problem and try to understand it. Then, it moves to the consideration stage, which involves the potential buyer researching solutions to the challenge.
In the final stage, the prospect decides which solution is best and invests resources into obtaining the solution.
All these aspects are elements you’ll need for drafting your customer’s journey map. The map shows how different prospects interact with your brand during each stage of their buying journey. Insights from the map are helpful pointers for your overall marketing strategy.
With an adequate background in the B2B market landscape, you’re almost ready to begin devising and implementing marketing strategies for your company.
2. Implement an Omnichannel Outreach Campaign
Once you’ve identified your target company and audience, the next step is determining the best way to reach them. Ideally, you should find the most appropriate marketing channel to reach the businesses you want to sell your services or products.
Any company of relevance has a digital presence. And you should give more consideration to using media outreach for brand exposure. And while you can do this through online marketing avenues, don’t underestimate the potential impact of offline advertising.
Online marketing avenues offer more diverse opportunities and modes to reach your target audience. On the other hand, offline marketing channels are more direct and facilitate better interpersonal correspondence.
Your product or service and target audience will determine the best channel for marketing efforts. For example, if you offer PaaS products, you may want to focus your B2B marketing on digital media. Overall, a mix of both online and offline is the best — you get to leverage the flexibility of digital advertising and the directness of offline marketing.
3. Consolidate Your Online Marketing Channels
It’s 2023. Standard digital marketing strategies and fundamentals should be a part of your marketing arsenal.
Build a High-Performance Website
The bulk of your digital marketing’s success hinges on your website. Your website serves as your digital store and online office. It’s where your clients can rest assured they’ll always reach your business online.
As such, you must make it as welcoming and conducive for business as you would make your physical office.
Create a website and populate it with content relevant to your company. Strategically place robust information that demonstrates niche authority and targeted offers that engage the visitors around the website.
Crucially, you must optimize your website to be both functional and beautiful. Design it to serve your brand purpose and the visitors’ needs effectively. Most companies focus on how they want their digital outlet to look without considering how visitors may perceive it.
Remember that you don’t have significant dealings with final consumers. As such, most of your traffic will come from brand representatives and C-suite executives looking for a new company partner.
Lastly, ensure your website is usable across multiple devices. Users must be able to access your digital storefront seamlessly from any smart device without having unpleasant experiences.
To achieve this, you should experiment with multiple device types to see how your website behaves on each before launch. You should also use a tool for crowdsourced testing to determine how your website handles traffic.
Establish Your Presence on Social Media
Almost every entity in the US with internet access has a social media account in 2023. Individuals, businesses, and brands! Everybody has a presence on at least one of the big five social platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Social media is the most interactive space to engage with various audience classes. These platforms offer limitless opportunities to portray your brand and business in the best light possible.
Create social media profiles and use them as outlets to reach and engage with the audience where they like to spend their time. Put out content and interact with potential customers in forums and relevant groups.
But note that as a B2B company, your primary social media audience will be C-suite executives looking for value worth their attention. Such people will appreciate informative articles over ads. As such, tailor your social media engagement to fit the caliber of professionals you want to engage.
Leverage Email Marketing
Email marketing is a proven strategy for B2B advertising. It’s effective for reaching both individual consumers as well as businesses. B2C customers respond best to emotions and entertainment, which are more appropriate for social media engagements.
On the other hand, B2B customers examine business viability, ROI, and opportunities. The best mode to communicate these factors is via personalized emails. Overall, email is a powerful medium for getting word to the right people about your business.
Understandably, not all your targets will consent for you to email them. Never be afraid to send cold emails. It might feel intrusive, but if your email content holds value, you’ll do the receiver a favor and get their attention.
The above are the three fundamental elements of digital marketing. Other online advertisement modes are offshoots of these three concepts.
- For example, search engine advertising (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are mechanisms for making your website appear in front of the right audience. They’re only useful to you if you have a website. That also applies to PPV and PPC marketing campaigns.
- In addition, you’ll only be able to run social ads like Facebook ads if your brand has a Facebook page. Likewise, email newsletters, sales marketing, and funnels all rely on you having an email list.
While all these avenues are powerful individual B2B marketing channels for reaching other companies, it’s best to consolidate them all in your strategy for greater effectiveness.
Consolidating the channels involves bringing them together to be interconnected and work seamlessly. This activity often requires tracking and measuring the progress of each channel via an all-in-one marketing platform.
4. Incorporate a B2C Approach in Your B2B Marketing Ideas
While there’s a distinct difference between B2B and B2C marketing regarding the audience, fundamentally, you’re directing your efforts at people. As such, you should adapt mechanisms from the people-focused B2C marketing in your company-focused B2B advertising.
To sell your product to a brand, you must first appeal to the individuals representing the brand. The best way to market your B2B product is to present it to the audience like you’re offering them consumer goods.
According to Foleon’s B2B Buyer Insight report, 4 out of 5 B2B buyers expect a B2C experience. Primarily, the brand representatives for your target companies expect you to treat them like consumers.
The following B2C approaches are practical in that regard.
Add a personal touch to all your correspondence with the representatives. Be professional but also friendly. For example, input the receiver’s name instead of the company they represent when sending mail.
Discounts and Incentives
Every company is looking for the best value at the cheapest deal. As such, offering sizable discounts is an excellent way to motivate them to do business with you. Alternatively, replace discounts with incentives such as additional perks, features, or services on your offerings.
5. Curate Your Marketing Strategies for a Longer Buying Cycle
Businesses typically take longer to make purchasing decisions than consumers. As such, the average B2B buying cycle is longer than that of B2C. Businesses do extensive research and compare multiple options before making purchasing decisions.
Thanks to the increasing competitiveness in the B2B space, buyers now have many options to pick from. As such, they’re often in no hurry to partner with any vendor. Instead, they consider the available choices, listen to different pitches, and meticulously determine the best value proposition.
As such, when designing your B2B marketing strategy to target other companies, prepare for the long game. Expect the potential buyer to conduct extensive research — tailor your approach to support and not disrupt their research.
If the prospect can get all the answers to their questions from you, you’ll increase your chances of securing their patronage. Ensure all your output provides helpful information for the target audience at every point in their search.
6. Supplement Your Automation With AI
There’s no effective marketing strategy that doesn’t incorporate automation in 2023. Ideally, your marketing tool should include automation functionalities.
These features allow you to pre-program tasks for the future. This way, you can manage your marketing without breaking your focus from other activities.
However, you can further improve your automated marketing processes by integrating AI into the system. Primarily, automation lets you avoid undertaking repetitive tasks manually. Conversely, AI mimics human intelligence to predict results, suggest improvements, and implement them.
By combining AI with automation, you’ll enjoy the efficiency of automation and the intelligence of AI. You don’t need AI skills to implement it. Instead, integrate AI marketing tools into your existing marketing stack. Outsourcing sales is also an option
This approach can help you tap into additional resources and industry knowledge while focusing on your core competencies. Outsourcing sales can be a strategic move to enhance your overall marketing strategy and improve your chances of success.
By integrating these B2C-inspired approaches and leveraging technology, such as AI and automation, you can enhance your B2B demand generation strategies and drive long-term growth for your brand. Remember, B2B demand gen marketing is a method that can futureproof your brand and establish you as a household name in your industry.
Implement Strategies to Make Your B2B Marketing More Effective
B2B organizations operate in a highly specialized market that demands unique measures to effectively connect with their target audience. To succeed in this competitive landscape, your B2B company must adopt innovative marketing strategies that resonate with its customers.
The ultimate marketing strategy is to identify and offer what they want. And the strategies discussed above revolve around this philosophy.
The more of their needs you’re in a suitable position to satisfy, the better your chances of securing their patronage.