Five Marketing Strategies For B2B
Learning from marketing leaders is a fabulous idea. We have compiled these articles to help you find different and more effective ways of marketing your products and services to businesses.
What is B2B Ecommerce?
B2B eCommerce, or business-to-business electronic commerce, describes online order transactions between businesses.
Because orders are processed digitally, buying efficiency is improved for wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors and other types of B2B sellers.
A 2018 survey found that 48% of companies conduct 50–74% of all corporate purchases online. Additionally, 23% of companies do 75% or more of their purchasing online.
Emerging eCommerce technologies are also reducing the barrier to entry for traditionally B2C businesses to add a B2B component (B2C2B) and, vice versa, for traditionally B2B companies to sell direct-to-consumer (B2B2C).
Now, let’s explore the different types of B2B eCommerce models.
B2B eCommerce comes in many forms. Here’s an overview of five common types of B2B eCommerce.
Business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) e-commerce takes out the middleman, usually between the B2B organization and the B2C, putting the businesses directly in contact with the consumer. The B2B2C model can best describe how a wholesaler or manufacturer interacts with traditional B2B and B2C models.
In those cases, the wholesaler or manufacturer sends goods to B2B, and those goods are then sold to the final consumer. In a B2B2C model, the wholesaler or manufacturer reaches the final consumer by either partnering with the B2B or direct selling. With B2B2C eCommerce, these transitions happen online, often through virtual storefronts, an eCommerce website, or even apps.
In many B2B2C eCommerce models, consumers know they are getting products from a separate business from where they purchased them. For example, the consumer may purchase a product from an affiliate blogger, but the product is branded and sent by the manufacturer.
Businesses often buy goods in bulk for a lower price and turn around to sell them at retail value. The goods are usually purchased directly from the manufacturer or distributors. This is wholesale, and it’s a popular form of B2B. Wholesale could also be described as the sale of goods to other businesses.
Wholesale B2B models are present in many industries, including retail, food service, construction, and medical, among many others. Traditionally, wholesale B2B transactions occurred over the phone, via email, or through spreadsheet order forms.
With wholesale eCommerce, everything is digital using a B2B eCommerce platform. The platform allows the wholesaler to display products easier and creates a seamless buying experience.
Manufacturers produce finished goods on a large scale by utilizing parts and raw materials combined with manual labour and machines. Then, in a B2B model, the finished goods are sold to other manufacturers or wholesalers.
The auto industry is an excellent example of manufacturers in a B2B arena. First, the manufacturer creates individual car parts, such as a fuel pump and an engine. Then, the manufacturer sells these parts to an automotive company that builds the entire car from the parts and sells it to the consumer.
In the same way that wholesalers are taking a business online, manufacturers are, too. B2B buyers are looking for a buying experience similar to B2C, and these businesses are taking note.
A distributor is a person who works closely with manufacturers to bring visibility to the goods they are producing to increase sales. In an eCommerce model, the logistics of the sale happen online, often through an eCommerce platform.
Many manufacturers work with distributors and taking things digital creates a more significant opportunity for growth. Like other B2B models, distributors are working to shorten the lead time from sale to delivery and create a customer experience that beats customer expectations.
One reason the B2B eCommerce market is expanding is a result of B2Cs making the switch. While it’s possible to make the transition, there’s a bit of a learning curve. B2B transactions tend to be larger than B2C purchases, and B2B sales often rely on long-standing relationships with vendors.
These are the best business-to-business marketing strategies:
In-depth research can bring lots of valuable information to the surface, and you can then use this information for your B2B marketing. Better knowledge of your prospects and clients will empower you to deliver a better customer experience.
Besides, you will find out what helps your company succeed and develop a better understanding of the services that you should offer. When it comes to your prospects and clients, there is no such thing as useless data. Remember that, and collect as much as you can whenever you can to feed it back into your eCommerce optimization strategy.
Many B2C businesses create so-called “personas” when developing their marketing strategy. A marketing persona is a portrait of an average person that belongs to the company’s target audience, with as many details as possible, including the name, age, gender, interests, family, purchasing preferences and behaviour.
This tactic is also suitable for B2B marketing strategies, where your persona can be a business owner. This will help you save time by narrowing down your target audience and thus ensuring that your marketing message reaches the correct recipients. It also helps with essential aspects of your site that you might not be thinking about. If you know your target, you can write product content that addresses their pain points. You can choose a B2B eCommerce platform that integrates with systems your target customer already uses.
It goes deeper than just deciding who you’re selling to. It can inform the entire marketing strategy of your business.
Unfortunately, some sellers tend to use aggressive marketing tactics. They invest a lot into marketing, but their disappointed clients get hardly anything in the end. As a result, there is no ROI, the seller receives no profit and can ruin their reputation by promising things they know they can’t deliver.
This refers both to the business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing strategies. So, to earn trust from your audience, and do not barrage them with unrealistic promises. Instead, tell the truth and lay out clear expectations for your prospects about which problems your product can solve.
Never use loud words and phrases that are not supported by facts, such as “the best,” “award-winning,” or “number one.” Instead, keep your marketing collateral simple, straightforward, and trustworthy.
Landing pages should be a primary target of all marketing strategies for the business-to-business market. When a prospect clicks your ad, they should be taken to the dedicated, branded landing page with cohesive design and content.
If the content and design of the ad and landing page are completely different, the prospect is more likely to leave the page altogether and never be converted to a customer. As a result, you may be receiving lots of traffic to your landing page, but this traffic won’t be converting leads.
This is arguably the essential marketing strategy for eCommerce. A user-friendly website with a sleek design and informative content will prolong the visits of your prospects and move them along the conversion funnel.
A responsive website with a mobile version will add even more points to your B2B marketing plans. But, of course, it should also be user-friendly for your staff, so making sure you have a reliable system for product data management is critical. Remember, service is part of user experience, and you need to make sure your team keeps things streamlined internally.
5 Effective Paid Strategies for B2B eCommerce Companies
The start of any advertising campaign should always lie in discovering the target audience and how they search for products. Sending only one ad to a vast audience may have worked ten years ago, but now ads need to be specifically tailored to the individual to help make a sale happen. Questions that need to be asked and answered include:
- What questions do buyers ask online?
- What features are buyers looking for?
- What is the buyers’ end goal for purchasing?
- What do buyers not like in a product?
These questions will help shape ad messaging, keyword strategy and offerings for all online advertising, so making sure they are answered with as much detail as possible will help succeed.
While regular search ads on Google could be effective for B2B eCommerce, advertisers should look further to find the most success on the platform. Google thankfully offers the perfect solution through Shopping Ads.
With Google Shopping ads, companies can upload a product feed that will allow for their offerings to show up right on the search engine results page. Then, by reading the provided product feed, Google will automatically display relevant products based on users’ searches.
It is essential to add as much detail as possible to the Google Shopping Feed to give the product the best chance to appear. Advertisers should consult Google’s shopping feed specifications to determine what attributes should be used during creation.
While gaining new customers should be the top focus, companies should not forget about the existing customers. Building solid relationships with these users is essential for achieving lifetime repeat buyers. One of the most effective ways to do this is with a Google Remarketing campaign.
With remarketing on Google, companies can reach these users with highly targeted image ads designed to bring the user back through new products, deals or features. Targeting options include:
- Users who have been to the website
- Email of potential and existing customers.
- Similar audiences to a remarketing or email list
The relationship built with buyers is just as meaningful as that first sale. Remarketing to these users and keeping a strong brand presence is a strategy that needs to be utilized by all B2B eCommerce companies.
While LinkedIn ads are not nearly as eCommerce-focused as a Google Shopping Ad, LinkedIn’s primary benefit lies in its’ audience targeting options. With LinkedIn, B2B companies can target ads directly to the buyers of their product. Some of these targeting options include:
- Job titles & functions
- Specific companies & industries
- Website visitors (Retargeting)
- Customer email lists
While directly selling products on LinkedIn isn’t best practice, companies can start building relationships with the target audience to get a sale eventually. For example, focusing on promoting case studies or reports that help promote the brand, utilizing LinkedIn Lead Gen ads.
By nurturing relationships on LinkedIn with the target audience, a potential sale could be right around the corner.
Beyond choosing the best advertising platform, it is also necessary to determine the best devices to be seen on.
As previously mentioned, mobile traffic is a big reason why B2B eCommerce revenue has grown. Based on a 2019 RedStage report, 50% of B2B buyers are using their mobile phones to purchase products. Even more critical: 40% of all B2B sales come from mobile traffic.
This means that mobile needs to play a crucial part in any strategy. While other devices shouldn’t be ignored, observing the results from mobile is essential for budget optimization, especially for companies with limited funds. If performance for mobile does bring in the best results, then most of the budget should be attributed there.
There are many different methods of marketing. Give them a try and modify them to best suit your style and product or service. Give us a call if you need any assistance.
Article compiled by hughesagency.ca
Article Reference Links:
- https://www.bigcommerce.com/articles/b2b-ecommerce/#types-of-b2b-ecommerce ↑
- https://www.unilogcorp.com/blog/13-effective-b2b-marketing-strategies-for-ecommerce/ ↑
- https://komarketing.com/blog/5-effective-paid-strategies-for-b2b-ecommerce-companies/ ↑