B2B by its very definition is Business-to-business (B2B), i.e., trade or buying and selling between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer to another manufacturer or a vendor to a client/manufacturer/company. The difference with B2C is that the latter is a transaction between a company and an individual consumer.

By its very definition, a B2B business knows all or most of its customers unlike say B2C as here the target market may be defined but it is pretty much impossible for a consumer company like Coca-Cola to know each and every customer of theirs across the globe.

The biggest advantage in B2B is precisely this:

  • Knowing each and every customer and ability to track what they are buying,
  • what are the innovations happening in their industry,
  • trends which are changing in a given industry.

Hence some level of forecasting is not only doable but also very feasible.

Let’s take an example of the 5G roll out. Today’s Economic Times had a report that there was unexpected uptake for Cummins due to 5G roll out.

‘The steady and slow roll-out of 5G networks across Asia-Pacific may not just be an opportunity for mobile service companies to boost profits. The roll-outs could also benefit an unlikely player in Cummins India Ltd (CIL), the maker of diesel gensets.”

News clip Courtesy Economic Times

 

How can a B2B company use this for marketing and get more customers?

Here is a 6-step process which can be used for sure shot success

 

The objective of being visible:

  1. Reach out to new customers
  2. Keep existing customers updated.
  3. New vendors can discover you
  4. Visibility amongst peers, the industry at large

After all, today how do customers come to know about your company?

 

What will they do first?

Look you up on the internet with some key words—brand keywords followed by product or application. They may add some adjectives like leading, best and add a geo spin on it like India, Bangalore.

The question to ask yourself is – will you be visible to this potential customer who is looking for you?

 

The do’s for B2B Marketing:

Content on the latest development on success stories, new developments, etc

  1. Website updates
  2. SEO
  3. SEM
  4. LinkedIn, Twitter handles – set up and manage actively.
  5. Have a strategy for new product launches

 

Some of the key objections we encounter when we meet B2B clients:

  • Oh! we already know our customers and we don’t need to be visible 365 days
  • We don’t think B2B needs so much of visibility
  • We don’t have budgets for marketing

 

At Xebec, we think these are all surmountable challenges. If any business thinks they don’t need to be visible today, then they are mistaken.
Like how every company has a budget for putting new plants and machinery, a marketing budget is a must if a company has to grow and prosper. No, a sales strategy is not marketing.

 

To understand the difference, you will have to wait for our next week – part 2 of this article

 

Chairperson and M.D – Ms Kiran Bhat.
Industrialist Psychologist. Executive Education from Harvard Business School.
Experience of over 28 years in branding and marketing. Has consulted for over 100 clients in various sectors like BFSI/ Education/ B2B-Manufacturing & I.T., Healthcare, Travel, Retail and Real Estate to name a few. Frequently invited as a keynote speaker and is a panellist on various industry forums. Also Teaches in Management Schools.
Co-Authored a successful book- No Holy Cows in Business which has sold over 3000 copies. Now translated into Marathi as well.