December 15, 2014
B2B is an acronym for “business to business”. A B2B business is one in which one business provides products or services to other businesses. A B2B business is different from B2C business in the sense that while under the latter type businesses offers products or services direct to the consumers. While a business makes a purchasing decision on logic, a consumer, in many cases, buys on emotion. The cost of a sale for the business to consumer market is often less than the business-to-business market.
At the same time it is very much to the point to underlie the fact that some companies may operate their businesses as both B2B and B2C businesses.
Although both B2B market and B2C marketing involve selling a product or service to a person, a whole lot of differences exist between them. The reason is not far to seek. When one goes for a purchase in a B2B market, they focus their attention on the features of the product. There is no room for personal emotion in making a purchasing decision.
When it comes to marketing to B2C, a salesperson delineates the benefits of the product to a consumer who are interested in knowing them.
As the business to consumer market is on the way to become increasingly saturated, international IT behemoths such as Apple, Samsung Electronics, Google and Facebook are going all out to tap into the business-to-business (B2B) market.
According to the study conducted by U.S.-based market research firm IHS, the global IT business-to-business market is forecast to be more than the business-to-consumer market this year.
The recent announcement of Samsung Electronics to develop its mobile B2B service in conjunction with the software giant SAP is a step in the direction. The Korean tech giant has already come out with the B2B tablet PC Galaxy Tab Active. Apple, which has been competing in the consumer market with Samsung and major Chinese device makers, also has a goal to increase the portion of revenue it makes from B2B from 10 percent last year to 15 percent by 2016.
Smartphone vendor Apple, which is in direct competition with Samsung in consumer market, has also set the target of increasing the percent of revenue it ears from B2B from 10 percent last year to 15 percent by 2016. The company has joined forces with IT Services firm IBM to develop software for businesses which will be used with Apple products. The Big Blue will also develop a cloud service for Apple’s iOS in future.
Facebook is also in the process of developing a website called Facebook at Work, which will allow the office workers to chat and share documents. Facebook at Work, which intends to compete with Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google Docs, can be used for general office work.
Whether yours is a B2B company or B2C company, branding is one of the most crucial aspects of any business. An effective brand strategy provides the business a definite edge in an increasingly competitive business landscape. It provides information about the company’s products, solutions and services, and thus, sets its offerings apart from those of its competitors.
Today, social media is transforming the way business is done. It is a smart selling tool which allows salespeople to know what potential clients are saying about their brand and competitors. The use of social media is an effective and cost-effective tool to target your audience. Naturally enough, the power of social media in creating brand awareness is immense.
Promoting a brand through the use of social media has become a rule rather than an exception these days. The use of social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread awareness about a business to consumer is ubiquitous.
According to the findings of recent study, 93% of the business to business customers conduct their research on their internet by the way of search, video and social content.
But the question is; are B2B businesses using social media to promote, engage and sell their products and services effectively?
In the not-so-in-distant past, the stakeholders of the B2B were of the opinion that social marketing is not important to them as when it comes to B2B business, a company make sales to another company. However, realization has downed on them that making its presence felt on the social channels is something of an absolute must for a B2B company and is one of the most powerful ways to market online.
Today, B2B businesses are becoming aware that in order to develop and expand their businesses, they must improve their “social capital”. They are mindful of the potential benefits of spending time networking on social media.
The fact of the matter is that in today’s economy it is imperative for the B2B companies to spend more in social media marketing. The recent findings of survey conducted by B2B Magazine reveal that more than 48% of those surveyed were in the process of increasing their online marketing spend. Moreover, if your competitors are proactively targeting your prospective clients through social media, you can ill afford to lag behind.
Among the popular social media platforms, LinkedIn is the right platform for sales for business-to-business market. Being a more professional networking environment, LinkedIn is the most useful platform for sales of B2B products or services and is the appropriate place to connect with clients. Here you can connect with businesspeople at big organization that might be interested in your product or service. The B2B marketers can use LinkedIn for showcasing their business and establishing their brand. Twitter can also be a highly effective tool for B2B companies if it is used in combination with other social networking media including blogs. But the B2B businesses should be mindful that tweeting should not be allowed to replace genuine business activity.
For B2B companies, knowing how to capitalize on social media is crucial. If a B2B business has not got the social media presence then it is really going to be missing out, because other businesses are expecting to find businesses and brands on there.
It is essential fitness of things that B2B companies take a coordinated approach which takes both social media and traditional face-to-face networking into account in a growing connected world where virtual relationships are gaining more acceptance than ever. Devising a strategy that incorporates online should be central to B2B companies’ development, especially if they are to compete with their counterparts that are already using social media.
B2B business needs to be strategic in their use of social media in order to enhance their effectiveness. Social media offers information and influence from which business to business marketers can yield substantial business development opportunities. Once the business to business companies have got their social media strategy in place, they should try to translate their social capital into sales and development for their businesses.
Whether it is B2B business or B2C business, the principles of social networking remains the same. An effective business networking involves finding, building and maintaining useful relationships. Today social media is also a credible option to understand the recent trends in you industry.
Having said the above, it must be kept in mind that while using social media, the Business to Business marketer should focus more on thought leadership than simple marketing. The true ROI of social media in business to business does not come only from disseminating your products and services, but from the engagement you make with the businesses.
One of the most popular types of ecommerce is business to business ecommerce or B2B ecommerce as it is called in poplar parlance. A B2B ecommerce pertains to the ecommerce transactions between two companies. It is to be noted that it is the development in business to consumer (B2C) ecommerce which hogs the limelight. But if you take into the monetary value into account, the B2B ecommerce transactions outweighs those on B2B ecommerce.
One of the benefits of the B2B ecommerce is that it substantially reduces cycle time thanks to real time data exchange and auto-triggered business processes. This will lead to enhanced productivity, improved quality, lowered costs and faster delivery. A B2B ecommerce provides the ability to transmit and synchronize data electronically.
Social media such as Linkedin and Twitter are useful inbound approach for making new business connections and connecting and interacting with your business clients and prospects. Social media can help you know your business clients and establish closer relationships with them which are an integral part of the business process. So those operating on the business to business market can ill afford to lose sight of social media.