Marketing is not only about billboards and advertisements; it’s a strategy companies use to communicate the value of their products or services. The goal of business marketing is to target companies that could potentially resell a product or use it for their own operational purposes. Business markets can differ from consumers in several ways, including how they buy goods and services, how they use them and the types of competition available.
A market is the area in which a company advertises its products and services, and can be a particular group of people, such as a specific demographic or groups with similar interests. Marketing involves deciding what goods or services to produce, how much to charge for them and who to sell them to. A company can also create a market by creating an entirely new product, such as when it developed the first disposable diaper.
Businesses can choose to operate in a consumer market, which includes selling directly to individuals; a business-to-business market, which involves selling primarily to other businesses; or a services market, in which a company offers to provide a service to customers instead of a tangible product. A company can design its marketing plan based on the characteristics of each type of market.
In a business-to-business market, a company often designs its marketing to emphasize its ability to save other companies money or time; for example, it might offer discounts or free goods in return for customer loyalty or a long-term relationship. This is a different strategy from a consumer market, which typically emphasizes a product’s benefits in terms of its functionality and appearance.
The Internet is a powerful tool for business-to-business marketing, as it allows companies to reach large numbers of potential buyers at once. Search engine marketing is particularly effective, as potential customers often search for specific terms related to a company’s industry in order to locate it online. Companies can help their websites get found by incorporating keywords that match the language and terminology used in other websites.
Other forms of business-to-business marketing include news releases, direct mail and trade shows. These tactics are less centralized than consumer marketing and tend to be more personal; for example, direct mail may involve sending a salesperson to meet with a prospective buyer at his or her company’s offices. Trade shows are another way to reach a business audience, and they can provide an opportunity for a company to demonstrate its products in a public setting.
Some experts suggest that small businesses should focus on developing their brand and offering a unique selling point to differentiate themselves from competitors. This could include a niche in the industry, certifications like “made in the USA,” or special features that can set a company apart from its competition. Marketing can be expensive, so a business should develop a budget before implementing any strategies. Then it can decide whether to hire an outside agency or if its internal marketing department should handle the campaign.