B2B Marketing

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The Principles of B2B Marketing Strategies

Tamás Bakos
February 20, 2024

The marketing strategies employed in business-to-business (B2B) markets are extremely complex and specific. Companies operating in this domain must confront the market's unique challenges and recognize that the application of traditional marketing tools often falls short of the desired objective. Here, the role of marketing primarily focuses on supporting and nurturing sales rather than traditional advertising and promotion. It is crucial to highlight that leaders of businesses operating in the B2B environment play a particularly important role in understanding the role of marketing in this field. Companies need to approach marketing strategically, acknowledging that sales are a key factor in business success. Crafting a successful marketing strategy and its tactics is essential for the effectiveness of the sales process. B2B market players must understand market peculiarities and adapt to ensure that their marketing effectively supports sales goals and contributes to corporate success. Their entire marketing strategy should be defined along these lines. In this article, we will explore the specific characteristics of marketing in the interorganisational market and the most commonly employed tactics.

Characteristics of B2B Marketing Strategies

Marketing in the interorganisational market differs significantly from the marketing methods used in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. It's crucial to note that buyers are businesses, which changes marketing in three areas: the market, purchasing behaviour, and the relationship between buyer and seller.

The presence of a strategy is essential in an organization's life, playing a decisive role. In some formulations, the strategy "creates order" in the unpredictable system of goals and means. The tasks of any company can only be interpreted and executed with a complete understanding of the appropriate goal system. The "soul" of strategy lies in thorough planning. This is no different in the case of marketing. A successful marketing strategy also begins with the planning phase. As a first step, leaders must understand the company's objectives and what they expect from the marketing strategy in line with those objectives.

The most common goals of digital marketing can include:

  1. Increasing and generating sales opportunities or leads
  2. Acquiring customers
  3. Increasing customer loyalty
  4. Increasing brand awareness
  5. Ensuring and improving measurability of results
  6. Increasing website traffic
  7. Enhancing web user experience

It is important to consider that different companies have different missions and goals, and accordingly, the marketing strategy they employ can vary greatly. In the interorganizational market, purchasing decisions are very complex, and thus, the foundations of transactions are built on long-term, trust-based human relationships. Building such long-term relationships is a difficult and slow process; therefore, one of the main goals of B2B marketing strategies is to support this process most effectively with the tools at their disposal. This is served by a relatively fresh approach, the Account Based Marketing strategy.

B2B Marketing Tactics

So, leaders plan the marketing strategy according to goals and expectations. Doesn't sound too difficult, right? However, this needs to be executed.

Marketing tactics provide the toolbox through which a marketing strategy becomes practicable. There are numerous digital marketing tactics through which the goals defined in the strategy can be achieved, but the following seven tactics, and their combinations, are the most common:

  1. Content Marketing: Focuses on creating and distributing relevant, valuable, consistent content to attract and retain a well-defined audience and, ultimately, generate profitable customers.
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Continuous planning of content and digital assets with the aim of achieving the best possible position in search engines.
  3. Email Marketing: Sending direct emails to existing and potential customers with relevant information.
  4. Search and Social Media Advertising: Running paid ads and campaigns to ensure that content appears at the top of search results or lists.
  5.  The process of segmenting consumers, making decisions, and creating content based on data (even real-time data).
  6. Use of Marketing Technologies (MarTech): Using software to automate or streamline marketing processes, gather and analyze data, and reach and engage the target audience.
  7. Social Media Advertising: Paid visibility opportunities in a given social media platform.

However, it's important to consider that not all marketing tactics can be effectively and efficiently employed in all situations. Different situations require different toolsets, depending on the market in which the company operates, who the consumers are, and the product or service they provide. Strategic planning is therefore the first step in everything, as this is where the foundations are laid for operational planning and successful execution.

Accurate Situation Analysis

In general, it can be said that the zeroth element of a B2B marketing strategy is accurate situation analysis. It is essential for the organization to correctly perceive the role of marketing in its environment. Subsequently, everything else is determined based on this, making this step crucial.

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