Business-to-business marketing is a set of strategies that help businesses find and connect with clients. It includes techniques like email marketing, content marketing and pay-per-click advertising.
B2B marketers target specific groups of individuals within an organization to reach a potential buyer pool. This is different from business-to-consumer marketing, which targets individual consumers.
Identifying Your Target Audience
Identifying the target audience is an essential part of any B2B marketing strategy. This will allow you to create content that is relevant and will help drive sales. It will also allow you to focus your resources and time on the right people.
When identifying your target audience, it is important to consider what type of products or services you offer. For example, if you are selling financial software, then you would want to make sure that the group of people who will get the most value from it are accountants and finance departments in small and start-up companies.
In addition, it is important to identify any limitations of your target audience. This could be a geographic limitation or any other limitations that would prevent your product from being sold. Using competitor research and a survey of your own customer base can be helpful for finding out the limitations of your target audience. This can help you avoid driving leads that will not be able to purchase your product.
Creating Buyer Personas
Creating buyer personas is a key step in understanding your target audience. Using templates like those found on the Identifying Your Prospects page, you can create a fictional customer profile that is based in real-world data and observations of actual customers.
B2B buyers are often more complex, requiring the creation of several different personas to cover all potential decision makers and purchasers of products and services. Typically, these are high-level executives who must buy in to the value proposition of your product or service.
Rather than using demographics to describe a persona, you can focus on professional and career information, such as industry, company size, job title(s), and purchasing criteria. For example, a persona who is a mid-30s single mother will likely be interested in a product that streamlines her to-do list and adds value to her children’s lives. This information allows you to tailor your marketing to meet the needs and desires of each persona.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
B2B marketing involves considerations and best practices that differ from those associated with marketing to individual consumers (B2C). A business customer may want to buy a product that will improve their bottom line, but the buying process often requires several decision makers and may be slower than a typical B2C exchange.
Keeping in mind the buying habits of your B2B audience is essential to creating a marketing strategy that will be effective. For example, using an attribution tool in combination with a customer data platform can help you identify common discovery journeys for different segments of your buyer personas – end users might discover your brand through blogs, influencers through podcasts and webinars, and economic buyers might use case studies shared by their peers.
You also need to create a content marketing plan that is tailored to each segment, as well as understand when and how each type of content is consumed by your buyers. This information is a vital piece of your digital marketing puzzle, and can be used to drive better lead quality, sales acceptance rates and conversions.
Monitoring Your Strategies
B2B marketers need to monitor marketing metrics like return on investment, customer lifetime value and cost per lead in order to identify the best performing campaigns. These metrics are typically displayed on a real-time dashboard that allows marketers to quickly analyze the data and take data-driven action.
Using analytics software like Chartbeat can help companies understand what keeps their audiences engaged and how to replicate these strategies for future campaigns. This type of software is particularly useful for businesses that use a lot of content.
Another important B2B metric is monthly recurring revenue, which can be linked to specific campaigns and helps companies predict cash flow and other financial forecasts. This is especially important for B2B businesses that sell subscription-based products or services.
B2B marketing is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. With the right tools, though, businesses can generate high-quality leads that convert into loyal customers and long-term business partners.