Anyone who plans to sell goods or services to businesses and markets online must understand the difference between b2b internet marketing and selling directly to a consumer. While some of the basic principles of marketing are the same, there are some differences that if not taken into account can sabotage your marketing efforts. The good news is that in some ways, selling to businesses is easier than selling to consumers, and very often the profits to be made are much greater, especially in the beginning.
One of the biggest differences between b2b internet marketing and marketing to consumers (also called b2c marketing) is that you’re no longer trying to sell to a single person. That sounds obvious, but business purchasing isn’t just a group of people looking at your product or service at the same time and then making a decision. The question of whether to buy or not goes from one person to another, sometimes in a very long chain of command, and can take a lot of time (and convincing).
When you’re selling something to a consumer, you’re dealing with one set of eyes and one person to convince. An important key in marketing to consumers is repetition—most won’t buy the first time, but once your items have been put in front of them multiple times in an appealing way, they’re more likely to buy. With b2b internet marketing the same principle applies, but this favorable impression must last down a long line of people who must make the decision. Getting the item or service in front of them many times is crucial with businesses, too.
Email marketing is one great way of keeping your products or services in front of them, but when b2b internet marketing with emails you have to be even more careful than when marketing to consumers. Many people who receive an email, particularly one they’ve agreed to receive, are going to be more concerned with the product or service offered, the discount, and what the item can do for them, than how professional and well-done the email is. This is less likely with a business.
Because the business may have its own b2b internet marketing plan, they’re going to expect a certain level of professionalism in any emails or correspondence you send them. Misspellings, strange line breaks, broken images and anything else that screams “amateur” or “careless” is likely to ensure that your message goes no farther down the line—the kiss of death for anything you’re trying to sell them. Take extra care with your email marketing plan. Don’t just make them correct and tidy, make them dazzling and attractive. Your emails and correspondence need to look as good as anything coming from that company if you really want to impress.
If you sell to businesses, you already know your target market very well. Be sure that all of your b2b internet marketing efforts are professional and focus not on you, but how you can fill their companies’ needs, and you’ll get your products noticed.