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Types of Marketing Strategy B2b

B2B marketing is different from consumer marketing because of the nature of the products. Marketing to businesses and marketing to consumers are vastly different. With consumer marketing, you’re often trying to convince a consumer that your product will make a difference in their everyday life in one way or another. In B2B, you’re likely selling to large businesses with hundreds or thousands of employees. In this case, you’re not just selling a product but rather a solution that can do a job better than another product on the market

Marketing strategies target the company’s potential customers and position its products to generate the greatest demand. Business-to-business marketing is no different, although it has some nuances not found in consumer marketing. While these strategies don’t differ greatly, they are not entirely interchangeable.

What is B2B Marketing?

B2B (business-to-business) marketing refers to any marketing strategy or content that is geared towards a business or organization. Companies that sell products or services to other businesses or organizations (vs. consumers) typically use B2B marketing strategies.

The purpose of B2B marketing is to make other businesses familiar with your brand name, the value of your product or service, and convert them into customers.

HubSpot is an example of a company that engages in B2B marketing. HubSpot’s customers are other businesses, not individual consumers. Therefore, all of our marketing efforts can be classified as B2B.

B2B vs B2C Marketing

B2B and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing are very different. B2B and B2C marketing differ in their respective strategies and applications, as well as in their audiences and how they communicate to them.

B2B marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of individuals who are making purchases on behalf of, or for, their organization (rather than for themselves), thus making the organization the customer.

Here are a few examples of B2B companies:

  • A coworking space that leases office spaces to remote teams and freelancers (like WeWork)
  • An on-demand order fulfillment, warehousing, and screen printing service (like Printful)
  • A marketing software company that sells social media management tools, lead generation software, and other marketing tools to businesses and organizations (like HubSpot!)

B2C marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of individual consumers who are making purchases on behalf of, or for, themselves, thus making the individual the customer. Here are a few examples of B2C companies:

  • An e-commerce company that sells office supplies to remote or self-employed individuals (like Poppin)
  • A store that sells t-shirts and other clothing and accessories (like Target)
  • A music platform that sells streaming subscriptions (like Spotify)

B2B Marketing Strategies

As I said above, marketing depends on its audience. While B2B and B2C marketing vary, not every piece of B2B marketing material is alike, either.

In this section, we’ll talk about various B2B marketing strategies you can implement to reach your specific business audience. Before we dive in, though, make sure you understand the B2B buyer’s journey. Take note of how each of these stages may affect your marketing strategies and how you implement them.

b2b-marketing-buyers-journey-hubspot

When you begin to form your B2B marketing strategies, there are a few steps you should take before you jump straight to execution.

1. Determine your brand positioning.

To create an effective strategy, you have to fully understand your brand positioning. This statement is the who, when, why and how of your brand identity — or the way your brand is perceived through the eyes of the customer.

Devise a brand positioning statement that your team and prospective customers can believe in, and you’ll be ready for the next step.

2. Identify your target audience.

Find your target audience — or who’s really looking for your brand’s products or services. That information will help you create buyer personas and understand how they make purchase decisions, a tool that’s extremely useful for any type of marketing.

3. Run a competitive analysis.

Scope out the market and see what other businesses are marketing to your target audience with a competitive analysis. Things to be on the lookout for when inspecting competitors are:

  • Competitor product offerings
  • Competitor sales tactics and results
  • Competitor marketing content and social media presence

Getting a general overview of these items can help you recognize your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats — otherwise known as SWOT analysis.

4. Explore marketing channels to use.

In your competitive analysis, you’ll see the different types of marketing channels your competitors use successfully, and the channels they haven’t taken advantage of.

With the previous steps completed to begin building your B2B marketing strategy, this is where you’ll be able to diversify your own B2B marketing portfolio and reach the businesses you need to. The following categories are B2B marketing channels bound to connect you to your target audience.

B2B Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tried and true method of reaching both individual consumers and business customers. Did you know that 93% of B2B marketers use email? Are you one of them? You should be. Emails lead to engagement which turns subscribers into leads … and then customers.

Download our guide to optimizing email marketing for conversions and learn how to grow your email list, ensure deliverability, and increase engagement.

Unlike B2C customers who respond best to emotions and entertainment, B2B customers look for logic and positive ROI. Essentially, they’re asking themselves, How can your business help my business grow? Because of this, your email marketing must consistently resonate with your business customers and focus on things that matter to them — like time, money, and resources.

Email marketing is also a powerful vehicle for sharing your brand’s content. 83% of B2B companies use email newsletters as part of their content marketing program, and 40% of B2B marketers say these newsletters are most critical to their content marketing success.

With the constant barrage of emails flooding our inboxes today, it’s more important than ever to create and send out effective marketing emails.

B2B Email Marketing Best Practices
  • Write enticing subject lines. Think about your email subject lines as a Netflix trailer — if you can’t hook your audience with a two-minute clip (or, in this case, a few dozen characters), don’t expect them to open and watch (or read) the whole thing. We recommend spending almost as much time on your email subject lines as you do on the emails themselves.
  • Stick to one call-to-action (CTA) per email. If you think the number of emails you receive is a lot, take a look at the CTAs in those emails … some are packed with two, three, and sometimes up to 10 different CTAs. Don’t make this mistake, which can leave your recipients’ heads spinning, asking “What should I click on first?” and ultimately clicking on nothing. With one CTA per email, you allow your audience to focus on your email content and ultimately one action … a welcome reprieve from today’s frequent decision-making and analysis paralysis.
  • Segment your email to reach the most relevant audience. Not every email you send will be appropriate for everyone on your list. Your subscribers may be at different stages of the buyer’s journey or be seeking different solutions. That’s where email list segmentation comes into play. Not only does this help you relate to your audience better, but it gives your emails that personal feel that says “Hey, I’m listening and I know what you’d like to see.” Consumers prefer email quality over quantity anytime.
  • Make sure your email designs are responsive. Over 80% of email users access their inbox on their phones, and emails that don’t show up correctly on mobile devices are often deleted in three seconds. Ouch. Don’t let your email be one of those.
  • Don’t be afraid of the cold email. As uncomfortable as it is, the right email can convert new customers — like this cold sales email that won 16 new B2B customers.

B2B Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Professional Services Firm

1) RESEARCH

Research is the bedrock of any modern marketing effort. From marketplace research to brand research, detailed scientific studies will help you make more informed decisions. They’ll give you an objective basis for your marketing and provide you valuable baselines for measuring your results.

By conducting research, you’ll know your clients better — which puts you in a position to serve them better. Market research also gives you insight into how your processes are performing. You’ll know which aspects of your firm are performing most successfully and develop a better understanding of which services you should offer.

The impact of research is clear. Our own studies on the impact of research have shown that firms that conduct systematic research on their prospects and clients grow three to ten times faster and are up to two times more profitable than peers that don’t pursue research.

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2) NICHE-DRIVEN STRATEGY

One of your most important business considerations – period – is specialization and niche targeting. Our research has repeatedly shown that the fastest-growing firms tend to be specialists in a carefully targeted niche. This should be an area of the industry that you understand thoroughly, a space in which you can become an undisputable expert and leader.

Specialization makes all of your marketing efforts easier, because it tends to define exactly what you do and immediately distinguish you from the competition. A specialization is a differentiator that proves itself.

3) A HIGH PERFORMANCE WEBSITE

In today’s professional services marketplace, your firm’s website is one of your most crucial assets. It is much more than a digital billboard or brochure, as some firms believed in the past. A successful website is the hub of a firm’s online presence and an information-rich projection of its expertise into the marketplace.

Your website is a critical tool for building visibility. Potential clients search online to find service providers, and they need to be able to find your firm’s website in order for you to have a chance at winning their business. Plus, your website enables you to demonstrate your firm’s expertise and become well-known throughout the marketplace.

Our research paints a clear picture of the importance of a professional services firm’s website. In fact, 80% of people look at website when checking out service providers – the most commonly used information source by far.

And as new visitors reach your site, robust educational content and carefully targeted offers can drive leads to closer and closer engagements, eventually bringing qualified leads straight to you. This process of nurturing leads through content is illustrated below:

Modern Marketing Funnel

A second component of your website you need to consider is design. Web and graphic design can influence your audience’s perceptions, aid recall, and swiftly and intuitively differentiate a business.

The power of design to engage audiences is often under appreciated — which means it offers a tremendous opportunity to set firms apart and convey the credibility firms needs to thrive.

Finally, another increasingly essential consideration for your website is its usability across a wide range of devices, including mobile. Responsive design, which allows your website to adapt to suit a user’s device, has become a key feature as more people use mobile devices to do business.

4) SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

As we alluded to in the previous item, your target audience has to be able to find your site for it to be effective. That’s where search engine optimization comes in.

This is such a key piece of the online marketing puzzle that in our studies, high-growth firms list it as the most effective online marketing technique available to them.

High-growth-vs-low-growth

Though SEO is a complex and evolving discipline, it ultimately consists of two primary components.

On-site SEO uses targeted keyword phrases to communicate the concepts on your site that matter to your audience. These keyword phrases typically focus on your services and expertise.

The purpose of on-site SEO is to communicate to search engines what your website is about. This allows search engines to produce more relevant results to searchers. And when audiences search for insight on your area of specialty, they’ll find you.

Off-site SEO takes the form of links to your website, either through outside engagement or guest articles in other publications, for example. These efforts work to increase your site’s authority as a widely recognized leader on your topic.

As more high authority and relevant websites link to your website, search engines will begin to see your site as more credible – resulting in higher rankings.

5) SOCIAL MEDIA

If you needed any more proof that social media is here to stay for professional services firms, we’ve got you covered. Our research has found that over 60% of buyers check out new service providers on social media, making it a more commonly used source of information than formal referrals and recommendations.

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Even the nature of referrals has changed in the wake of social media. A recent study on referral marketing has found that 17% of expertise-based referrals are made on the basis of interactions on social media. Put simply, social media is an accelerator for the reach of your reputation, expertise, and content. It allows you to network and connect with valuable contacts and influencers, as well as monitor your brand by social listening.

Conclusion

Marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking approach to planning with the fundamental goal achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.

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