What Is B2B Marketing? (With Best Practices And Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is advertising products to other businesses, where they can either resell the products or use the goods to support their employees. You can use this strategy by identifying target consumers and defining the company's market. Learning about the best strategies and types you can use to implement this strategy effectively may help you increase a company's success in gaining more sales or customers. In this article, we discuss B2B marketing, including defining what it is, sharing some of the best practices, listing various types of this marketing type and providing some examples you can use as reference.

What Is B2B Marketing?

B2B marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to attract other businesses, which means other companies are a brand's primary customers. If brands consider themselves B2B sales when they sell products or services to other businesses or organisations. As a marketer, this means you may choose to use B2B selling tactics to generate leads. Brands may choose to use this technique to enhance its brand awareness.

For example, if a clothing brand sells its products to a large retail store to market to its audience, it can create a new target audience for the clothing brand. The large retail store allows the company to advertise its products by purchasing it from the brand and then making a profit off of it in its stores.

Related: 12 Effective Sales Tools To Become A Better Salesperson

Best Practices

Here are some best practices for this type of marketing you may find helpful to implement into a company's marketing campaign:

Create an ideal customer experience

Creating an ideal customer experience can help encourage consumers to purchase from the brand. Often, this includes listening to customer feedback and making improvements to the existing processes. You may also create a detailed list of how you envision customers interacting with the business. For example, you may define a seamless online check-out process for customers to complete with ease or an effective customer service staff who helps consumers solve their challenges quickly. Using the list, you can create actionable steps to help work towards this goal.

Related: How To Manage Customer Relationships: A Complete Guide

Provide custom services

Providing custom services means thinking of options aside from the traditional customer journey map. This means when a customer is encountering a challenge and seeking a product or service to solve it, they may go against the expected customer journey. When you provide custom services, it can help the brand's employees adjust their sales strategies to accommodate the consumer. If the brand trains employees to alter their strategies, it can help strengthen the customer and brand relationships, increasing the length of the sales cycle.

Establish customer experience training

Establish customer experience training to help the brand's employees understand how to provide efficient and effective customer service. Often, you may find it helpful to train several company departments in addition to the sales and customer services team because each employee can represent the brand. Invest in training courses and material to provide the brand's staff with the essential skills to meet and exceed the customer's expectations.

Use social selling

Social selling is developing relationships with consumers as part of the sales process, such as using social media. This means you can share useful information about the brand and its products or services with users to help inform their decisions. You can use social selling to engage with customers and gain real-time feedback about how consumers respond to the brand and its products, allowing you to change the marketing strategies to appeal to the customer better.

Related: Top 25 Sales Skills (With Examples And Tips)

Invest in mobile customer service

Invest in mobile customer service because, often, consumers can place orders using their mobile phones. This means it is vital to ensure you optimise the company's website for mobile devices to maintain their interest and retain their business. Additionally, you can consider developing an application for users to download and shop.

Related: Essential Automation Testing Tools To Enhance Efficiency

Types Of B2B Marketing

There are several methods a business can use to focus on this type of marketing. Some of these methods include:

Blog marketing

To use blogging in your B2B strategy, pay close attention to the language you use. Aim the brand's blog posts towards specific members within the businesses you are targeting. For example, you can target them towards the chief executive officer (CEO), or the head of the marketing department. Think about the challenges your product or service solves and then write blog posts around this topic. Writing blog posts may also help more consumers find the brand online when searching for various keywords using the search engine results page (SERP).

Related: What Is Blogging? (With Definition, Advantages And Tips)

Email marketing

To use email marketing in a B2B campaign, you may persuade the decision makers from other businesses to sign up for the brand's email list. Once you have a list of email addresses, you can create an email marketing campaign that shows consumers why the brand's product or service can help with their challenges or satisfy their desires.

Related: 9 Email Marketing Tools To Consider (With Features)

Referral marketing

Referral marketing is when you can generate sales through previous customer recommendations. You can use this in your B2B strategy by encouraging past customers to recommend you to decision-makers within other businesses. As an incentive, you can also provide a referral bonus to help encourage them to make more recommendations.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) marketing

Making a business decision may involve research. Typically, this includes doing an online search and going through the top results. To market a brand's products or services to other businesses, it is beneficial to appear near the top of search results for keywords related to the business. You can do this by focusing your attention on SEO, which is the practice of modifying a brand's website to make it more appealing to the factors search engines look at when determining the order to display the results.

A few simple things like changing the title of the brand's blog posts or increasing the website's loading speed can move the company higher up in the results.

Related: What Is SEO? (Plus How To Use It In Marketing Campaigns)

Social media marketing

Social media, as a B2B strategy, can help you reach target demographics and connect with the brand's followers. You can use the brand's accounts to start a conversation with consumers and other companies to build relationships. As you help a company build its relationships, it may help convert them into customers and increase sales. You can create an effective social media strategy by aligning the brand's goals with the content. Share how users can benefit from the brand's products or services and how it may solve their challenges, rather than focusing on the technical aspects of the company's offerings.

Related: Social Media Skills: Definition, Examples And Tips To Learn

Trade shows and conventions marketing

Trade shows and conventions are a helpful place to meet other industry professionals and pitch a business. These are gatherings of decision makers within the brand's target audience, who go to these events to meet other professionals and see if there are any products or services they wish to try. Here you can also meet other businesses that are looking to sell to you, allowing you to improve the brand's business.

Related: What Is Inside Sales (Including Advantages And Disadvantages)

Examples

Here are some examples of these marketing strategies in action:

Example 1

Topline Solutions has a new accounting software, perfect for small businesses. To promote it, they create a series of blog posts answering common questions small business owners may have about finances. In these blog posts, they also promote their new software, discussing how it can help to solve common challenges. Topline Solutions then uses some SEO best practices to help their blog posts appear closer to the top of search results. This allows users to see their posts faster and increase the likelihood they may click on it and browse Topline Solutions' site.

Related: How To Generate Leads For A Business: A Comprehensive Guide

Example 2

Legacy Furniture produces high-end furniture, such as desks and chairs, specifically for large companies. One marketing strategy they use is collecting email addresses of the senior leadership roles of large office corporations. This allows them to reach the target audience directly and quickly. They then put together an email drip campaign targeting these office managers, showcasing their best furniture and discussing why they can benefit from an upgrade.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Explore more articles