Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing yields a very complex process.
Buyers are dynamic and tend to change constantly based on a given company’s interests and go-to-market strategies. Buyers in this arena tend to be very savvy and usually highly educated.
B2B buyers are no nonsense and have considerable pressures given the great sense of responsibility many buyers feel. Hence, it is best to understand their triggers before they make a purchase. In most cases, they still rely heavily on white papers, collateral materials from vendors (including emails, case studies, etc.) and available competitive comparison data.
Since the financial risks are higher, there tends to be a longer purchase cycle. After-sale service is paramount! No one wants to be wined and dined and then dropped after the sale is over. Providing superior services is a means to set oneself apart from the crowd and gain referrals and repeat business. Therefore, an evaluation of your business process from start to finish may provide insights on to enhance overall company results. In other words, seek ways to nurture relationships with these buyers before, during, and after sales.
As for social media, it has become a tremendously valuable tool within consumer-specific marketing. However, it is usually the least effective for many B2B buyers. Now, this does not mean that it cannot be used. But one needs to clearly define the B2B buyer targeted, key performance indicators, and anticipated results before executing social media as part of any campaign.
B2B buyers are rational and tend to make logical decisions. Emotion plays no part, especially since one’s job can be on the line for costly mistakes.
Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (self-help advertising guide); 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: email@example.com