What are the differences between B2B vs B2C marketing?For B2B companies looking to hire or engage marketers, it's important to understand the differences.
The marketing field is dominated by consumer marketers – and a consumer marketing attitude can be disastrous in a business-to-business environment, if it isn’t carefully adjusted for the different constraints and success factors.
What are B2B Marketing Realities?
Many mid-sized B2B companies have little to no experience with marketing and a rather tenuous grasp of the concept as a whole. As a consequence, budgets can be low to nonexistent. Management may simply view the marketer as a sort of glorified graphic designer, good for pulling together a brochure or two or slapping a logo on a charity tournament golf ball.
In reality, B2B is less about 'creative' and more about business strategy. Sales generation is the absolute bottom-line; it’s much more vital than brand image building. And a marketer must adjust to the fact that the target market consists of multiple decision-makers, rather than a single ideal persona.
So, how do you achieve B2B marketing greatness?
1. Strategize Sales
Great B2B marketers are business thinkers first, marketing thinkers second.
Building awareness and increasing loyalty among customers is one part of the job. But more importantly, strategic business marketing is all about generating leads and, through ongoing involvement in sales support, revenue.
A great B2B marketer understands the company’s financial flow, and makes investment decisions based on which types of channels and techniques best fulfill the business objectives, driving home ROI.
2. Keep in Touch
“Touching” sales prospects – connecting with them numerous times at different levels across a multi-channel universe – is a complex feat, and even harder to do on a limited budget.
It needs to be done, however, so potential clients become aware of a company and its USP, setting the stage for that all-important first sales call. B2B marketers need to clearly understand the composition of their target market and know which are the right channels to use to get their message through to the right buyers.
3. Pick Your Priorities
The real creativity in B2B marketing is in managing resource allocation.
You start with a solid strategy, figuring out what marketing needs to be done and when. Creating content and collateral, implementing marketing tools, plotting out campaigns and tactics – all these necessary measures take time and money.
While you may have the former, the latter is frequently missing in action. So you get creative. You figure out what you can do on a budget that will show immediate results and also position the marketing department for long-term success, and then build from there.
The upside is, if an executive happens to come at you with a “flavour of the month” marketing idea, you can use your financial constraints as the justification for not jumping onto an off-strategy bandwagon.
This post originally appeared on AMA Toronto's blog.