When it comes to building a network of business partners, marketing efforts must be considered carefully and strategically planned. If you already have a marketing communications agency that you work with, go to them as they will be able to best develop a targeted B2B (business-to-business) marketing plan that will help grow your network and, your net worth.
Below are a few ideas to get you started in thinking about what your B2B marketing strategy might look like for your company:
- Partner up with other B2B brands: For example, if you are a moving company that specializes in senior moves, partnering up with a home healthcare company would be advantageous. Another business to consider partnering with a home healthcare provider might be a home automation services company to introduce older adults to smart homes and the independence they provide and make everyone involved, including their caregivers, more comfortable using and managing their homes. (It has been well-documented that those with dementia or memory issues will sometimes start cooking and forget)
- Tell a story about your business: Everyone has a story. And being able to tell that story in an engaging way is the foundation of what public relations (PR) is all about. Professional storytelling helps clients tell their stories to potential clients (B2B), media, and more. But what makes a good story? There are three key elements:
- Be genuine
- Connect emotionally
- Make it personal
- Make it about them, not about you: For instance, talk to them about their pain points, what challenges their company faces, etc. Let them talk, and when they are finished, ask them if they have thought about solutions that your business is capable in assisting them with.
- Teach your audience about your product or service; what makes you a preferred, valuable partner? Host webinars or workshops to offer educational sessions or training programs. This serves as a means to help position your company as a thought leader in the industry and establish trust with potential business partners.
- Keep it simple and easy to understand: Leave out industry jargon, highly technical phrases or terms, and instead use clear and concise language that a wide range of business professionals can easily understand. Applying this tactic can ensure your message is accessible and resonates with your target audience because simplicity fosters understanding and facilitates meaningful connections in the B2B world.
- Attend industry trade shows or conferences: Participate in relevant events and engage with potential partners live and in person, as these events provide opportunities to network, build relationships, and showcase your own products or services to your intended audience. In the case of a creative or an entertainment company, this strategy is best utilized in developing these honest and deep connections that creative types typically appreciate. You can immerse yourself in a community of like-minded creative professionals and engage in meaningful conversations about your craft. Building genuine relationships in person can lead to more fruitful partnerships in the creative industry, where trust, shared vision, and a personal connection often play a crucial role in successful collaborations.
- Utilize content marketing: Create valuable and informative content such as blog posts, white papers, or e-books that address your target audience’s challenges or pain points. Positioning your company as a trusted resource can attract potential business partners and establish credibility in the industry.
Should your current marketing team not have a digital expert, consult SEO pros on this; they will be best to guide you in an effective digital marketing strategy.
B2B vs B2C tactics
When it comes to the differences between B2B and B2C marketing, they primarily differ in terms of their audiences and how they communicate with them. While B2C marketing focuses on quick solutions and enjoyable content, B2B marketing is more concerned with building relationships and proving a product’s return on investment for a business customer.
B2B sales cycles are longer due to the whole “building relationships” aspect. When I worked on this side of things for the digital marketing firm I work for, we did not perform like a car salesman would but more like a realtor. At least my realtor! I have been with him for over twenty-two years and have referred him to many friends and family members who also still work with him. Why? Because he values relationships, not just the sale.
Their intended customer is the main difference between B2B and B2C, as B2B sells to businesses that resell the products while B2C sells directly to the end consumer.
What are the three main types of B2B sales?
In B2B sales, organizations engage in transactions catering to the needs and demands of other businesses rather than individual consumers. This specialized form of sales can be classified into three distinct categories, each serving unique purposes and industries:
Supply sales involves procuring and distributing raw materials, components, or finished goods to other businesses, focusing on meeting the supply chain requirements of manufacturing firms, construction companies, etc. B2B’s collaborate with suppliers and negotiate agreements to ensure a seamless flow of resources while also demonstrating expertise in sourcing, quality control, logistics, and inventory management to effectively meet the production needs of their clients.
Wholesalers buy products in bulk from manufacturers at discounted rates and sell them to retailers or resellers, who eventually distribute them to the end-users. Wholesale/distribution sales professionals are equipped with solid negotiation skills, market knowledge, and logistical prowess to efficiently navigate supply chains and ensure timely product availability.
Focused on offering intangible products such as software solutions, professional consulting, IT services, or digital marketing assistance to businesses, these folks cater to diverse sectors, including technology, finance, healthcare, and professional services.
B2B marketing ideas
In conclusion, successful B2B marketing plans must focus on building relationships, providing value, and addressing the specific needs of their target audience while continuously evaluating and adjusting tactics based on the feedback and results received to ensure the best effectiveness of efforts.
And remember, if you’re working with a marketing agency, go to them for help as they will be able to best develop a targeted B2B marketing and sales plan that will help grow your network and, your net worth.