It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s when B2B marketing emerged as a stand-alone discipline. When businesses developed marketing plans and strategies targeting other businesses specifically. Tactics such as telemarketing, direct mail and event marketing took off then.
And since that time, the industry as a whole has taken off.
B2B marketing is big business.
- The purchases made by businesses, government agencies and institutions make up more than half of all economic activity in the United States. (Dwyer and Tanner, 2006)
- In 2003, B2B marketers spent approximately $85 billion a year to promote their goods and services. (Business Marketing Association)
- A 2001 study found that the dollar value of B2B transactions significantly exceeded that of consumer transactions. (Hutt and Speh, 2001)
B2B marketing is essential, in some way or another, for businesses that generate revenue from the sale of their products and services to other businesses. The concept is not any different than B2C marketing (business to consumer). What’s different is the strategy toward an entirely difference target audience.
Where B2C marketing entails businesses selling and marketing directly to consumers, B2B marketing consists of selling products and services to businesses to help them succeed in their venture. In short, B2B marketing is about meeting the needs of other businesses.
Direct mail, telemarketing and media publicity are time-tested successful practices that allow businesses to communicate their value to other businesses.
For example, a specialty doctor such as an orthopedist relies on patient referrals from primary care doctors. In a direct mail piece, the orthopedist would want to demonstrate why the primary care doctor should entrust his patient with the orthopedist, communicating its credentials, experience, etc.
Additionally, an orthopedist can gain visibility and position himself as an expert in the field through a bylined article in a regional health care magazine.
While many of these and other proven B2B marketing practices ( are effective tools for businesses today, the industry continues to develop and innovate. Social media, and email, mobile, data and content marketing (facilitated by b2b marketing automation) are the latest and greatest in B2B marketing.
Digital marketing practices such as these offer many advantages.
First and foremost, online is where a large majority of the B2B (and, of course, B2C) target audience is at. Second, digital marketing can offer a more efficient and effective channel to generate leads. And third, digital marketing works hand-in-hand with data-driven marketing, a key component in B2B marketing. Learn more about B2B marketing strategy and its impact.
If you need some help with your B2B marketing, contact us. Our global supply of creative talent has been hand-selected based on their skill, experience and professionalism.