B2B involves buying and selling transactions between businesses. One business buys a product from another business for the purpose of using it for developing its products or reselling it. This type of business does not involve consumers. The amount of goods the traders exchange in B2B transactions is, usually, larger than that in business-to-consumer transactions.
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A good example of a B2B transaction is a soda manufacturing company. Such a company requires bottles, bottle tops, flavors, food colors, water and sugar. Therefore, it will engage other companies that supply these products in order to end up with a fully bottled soda. It will also sell its finished products to many retail traders who will then sell the products to the consumers. Hence, the process of producing bottled sodas involves many B2B transactions and only one or sometimes no B2C transaction.
B2B is different from B2C in several ways. The first difference between these two types of transactions is the nature of their customers. Many of the entities that buy the products in B2B businesses are established businesses and organizations.
Therefore, decisions on whether to buy or not to buy certain products must come from committees that help in the running of the businesses. As a result, the buyers take long before agreeing to buy the products. On the contrary, B2C transactions involve individual consumers. Hence, there is no need for consulting anybody before buying whatever they want to buy.
The second difference between B2B and B2C is the relationship between the buyers and the sellers. In B2B transactions, buyers, usually, develop long-lasting relationships with the sellers to avoid experimental buying since the products are very expensive. On the other hand, buyers in B2C transactions buy from anybody since the products they buy are not as expensive as those in B2B transactions.
Lastly, the entire B2B process is more expensive compared to B2C. It involves samples, prototypes and close evaluations. Worse still, the products are very expensive. B2C transactions, on the other hand, do not involve many processes. The buyers simply approach sellers for the products without many questions.
B2B Marketing Tools
Brand building is critical in B2B marketing. It helps convince the members of the committees that the products they intend to buy are appropriate for their needs. This process involves coming up with unique names, logos and slogans for marketing the products. The main purpose of developing these elements is making the products as distinct from other products as possible.
Though most of the buyers of B2B products are loyal customers, manufacturers must make the products as different from other products as possible. They must also try as much as they can to capture and sustain the feelings of their customers.
For example, branding can be very effective in marketing Coca-Cola. If I were to market this product, I would draw a shape of a “Coca-Cola-shaped” woman on the bottle and inscribe on it the words, “Just the right shape and taste”. These words would refer to the shape and content of the bottle.
The figure of a woman on the bottle serves as the product’s logo while the inscriptions serve as a slogan for identifying and marketing it. The brand targets both men and women because they are likely to admire the woman’s figure. They are also likely to associate the inscriptions with the woman’s beauty. Members of the committees are human beings just as people who buy the products for direct consumption. Therefore, they will also be attracted to Coca-Cola.
Channels can also be very effective in B2B marketing. They can greatly help appeal to the attitudes and feeling of the committee members, which in turn convinces them to agree on buying the products. The best channels for marketing B2B products include TVs, the internet, newspapers and social media.
For example, I would use the television in marketing Coca-Cola with the image and slogan I would use on the bottle. I would design a commercial in which a lady whose figure is similar to the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle would take a bottle of Coca-Cola before cat-walking across the screen. The words, “Just the right shape and taste” would appear on the screen.
I would also use the internet in marketing this product. Precisely, I would design a website for the Coca-Cola Company. Its home page would also have the image of the beautiful “Coca-Cola-shaped” woman. I would upload a video of the woman cat-walking across the screen so that whenever somebody logs into the website, the first thing he or she sees is a woman walking across the screen. The slogan would also move across the screen from left to right.
I would also come up with Facebook and Twitter accounts for the product. These pages would be open to anybody who would wish to follow and like them. They would also be open to comments regarding people’s feelings about Coca-Cola. The interactions between the customers would help develop positive attitudes towards Coca-Cola. Probable consumers would consider the manufacturers as caring and listening.