What is B2B marketing?
With B2B marketing, you’re selling to an organization, which means you are actually interacting and selling to individuals within an organization that must follow buying processes or procedures to purchase your product. The end result is a buying cycle that is often longer and more complex. Depending on the size of organization you are soliciting, there may be:
- Multiple influencers, decision makers and approvals that need to be obtained
- A vendor qualification process
- Longer net payment terms
- Complex budgeting process
- Request for proposal to be completed by multiple competitors
With multiple influencers or stakeholders to decide and approve a purchase, your buying cycle takes more time than what is typical with B2C marketing. Buyers are sophisticated and rational in their approach. Communications must raise awareness, educate, and ensure benefits are articulated clearly around creating value or showing a return on investment (ROI). You must also reach them using tools and methods they use and rely on – websites, mobile devices, related software/product venues, language, events, industry news, analysts they trust, and social/professional networks of colleagues they follow online. Aside from meeting specific needs, references matter as well as implementation if the product or service being considered impacts the buyer’s customers or their larger organization. Furthermore, some buyers may expect their vendors to complete a request for proposal (RFP) to win their business, which also adds time to the buying cycle.