The Marketing Corner: B2B Best Online Practices

July 15, 2013 Updated: July 14, 2013

In the world of business-to-business (B2B) marketing, many assume that go-to-market strategies are different from marketing to consumers because the product or service is inherently more complicated and the target is another business.

In the past, this was probably true. Nowadays, B2B marketing has shifted a bit because of who is on the receiving end of these marketing messages.

As the younger baby-boomer and Gen X populations age and older baby-boomers are leaving the workforce, the Millennials (Gen Y) have come to the forefront. Their effect is already being felt within the consumer marketplace for everyday household and personal items. So, it stands to reason that some of the same behavior seen in their personal life would spill into their professional lives.

Case in point—Millennials are avid users of online and social media. Consequently, there is a growing trend for Millennials who are purchasing agents (buyers) within their companies to use online media to search out needed product or services prior to purchasing.

In addition, once they have completed their online analysis of such product/service, they tend to want to purchase online too. With such a youthful workforce, experience levels vary and one can expect that more time would be spent on researching product/service specifications prior to buying.

When developing or upgrading your website, be mindful of who will be the user of your site. Just as with consumer-oriented companies, those same users are making purchasing decisions for companies. Small business owners can take a page from retailers and ensure that your website contains a variety of information, including product shots and explanations, instructional videos, and instant message capabilities to chat online with prospective buyers. All of the above can assist in giving you an edge with the next generation of buyers who will spend hours online researching product specifications.

B2B buyers will want the same experience they enjoy as a consumer—ease of use and robust content experience that is specifically targeted to them. Therefore, if you are a B2B business, having a website to achieve online presence is no longer a nice thing to do—it is a must! So, get in front of this now and starting planning or upgrading your online strategy now.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying: A How To Reference Guide on Advertising for Business Owners,” available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: lassere@bellsouth.net