The do’s and don’ts of B2B marketing

All marketing is an effort to create human connections between consumers and brands, according to Foxtail Marketing (1). Knowing this, it's easy to see how B2B and B2C marketing are similar. Both want to entice their customers to purchase their services and aim to inform the consumer about deals. However, B2B marketing takes a different approach than B2C. According to Forbes, B2B marketers look for vastly different connections than consumer-based campaigners (2). These include forming longer relationships with their target market, involving more stakeholders and working with smaller lead pools. How can a company master B2B marketing and turn leads into conversions? Here are some do's and don'ts of the B2B industry:

B2B Do's

1. Use social media
It's perfectly appropriate to use social media to advertise your business. However, Business2Community recommends choosing your social media platforms wisely (3). Say your brand is a real estate investment firm. Your platform of choice for attracting consumers might be a networking website because the medium is less image-based and more professionally focused. Happen to have a more casual brand? A social networking website focused toward millennials might do the trick. By choosing the platform that works best for your business, you will attract the right customers with valuable content.

2. Consider your audience
Just like people, no two companies are alike. This is why considering your audience is necessary, according to BOP Design (4). You cannot market to a small-chain restaurant owner the way you would to the owner of a large financial firm. Instead, approach each potential target with their individual needs in mind. BOP recommends defining your audience by their pressure points. What makes your consumer tick? Do they respond more readily to blog posts or to email offers? Knowing who you're marketing to and what they enjoy will help you clearly define your tactics.

3. Align your values with your audience
Happen to have an audience that really believes in teamwork? Emphasize how your company values camaraderie. Does your consumer base have a strong corporate culture that embraces health and wellness? Engage in partnership events such as marathons to bring your organizations closer. Content Standard said your company should hold the same values your consumers do (5). By embracing the same values as your consumer, you show you're on their side. This will make your brand more approachable and friendly to interact with.

4. Work on measurable objectives
While data isn't everything, it is important when analyzing your customers. According to Cleverism, you should quantify and objectively measure the conversion rate of leads throughout their customer lifecycle (6). For example, if you notice that many of your leads drop off after you speak about price points, observe their opinions on the matter and alter your approach. By tracking your consumers throughout their time with you, your brand will be able to pick out points in your funnel that need improvement.

B2B Don'ts

1. Assume every business needs your product
There are many companies out there thriving without your service. According to MarketingProfs, it is in your best interest not to engage with consumers who aren't in the market for your product (7). If you do, you treat everyone as if they are in need of your services. Carefully look through your leads and see who uses a service similar to yours or engages with your direct competition. By doing this, you'll prevent unnecessary marketing efforts and save time.

2. Copy your competitors
Just because your competitor offers a fun new tool doesn't mean you should. Even if that competitor has incredible marketing strategies or executions, remember your company has many great services to offer on its own. Work with the principle "less is more" and focus on elements your company excels in. Do you happen to have quick response times to customer concerns? If so, expand upon these skills to deliver a competitive edge over your peers.

3. Turn content into press releases or advertisements
The line between content and advertisement can sometimes be blurred, yet do not be tempted to turn your newest blog post into a "notice me" advertisement for your services. The primary principle of content marketing is to convince your consumer to use a service without directly telling them to do so. By creating useful and valuable content that does not sound like a sales pitch, you are inviting consumers into your brand voice and beliefs without being forceful.

(1). B2B Versus B2C Marketing
(2). Differences In Selling B2B Vs. B2C
(3). B2B Marketing On Social Media: The Dos & Don'ts
(4). 10 Do's and Don'ts of B2B Branding
(5). The Dos and Don'ts of B2B Content Marketing
(6). Marketing 101: Do's and Don'ts of B2B Marketing
(7). Do's and Don'ts of Top-of-Funnel Marketing

Sheila Kloefkorn (1031 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.