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Business marketing is simply a way to promote the sale of services or products to other businesses. Typically, this is done by selling to other organizations or businesses that in turn either resell the product or use it for operational purposes. Some of the most successful marketing strategies in this field are niche oriented and utilize a variety of approaches to reach customers.
Advertising often is done through trade publications or direct mail. It tends to be more direct and personal than advertising for consumers. This direct relationship also lends itself to a greater ability to negotiate costs or the kind of products or services provided.
Business marketing sometimes is known by the acronym B2B or business-to-business. More than just businesses, of course, can purchase services or products. The list of customers also might include academic or other institutions, governmental agencies or non-profit organizations.
There are some similarities between marketing to businesses and marketing to consumers. Both kinds of marketing still must identify and target a certain market. Another similarity is the need to understand the market price for the service or product and to price it accordingly. Finally, the service or product must provide a value and meet a need for the purchaser.
Like other forms of marketing, business-to-business marketing includes the development of a brand, also known as branding. This often is done in the form of logos and other promotional materials that identify the business and make it stand out. In its best form, branding for business advertising will quickly and clearly communicate the product, establish credibility and loyalty, provide an emotional connection and motivate the buyer toward a purchase.
The Internet and ever-changing technology both play an important role in business marketing. This can be done through email, a website or even social networking groups. Depending on the business and its needs, the Internet can be used to expand the scope of a business nationally and internationally.
A successful Internet marketing plan depends on the company's ability to locate customers online. Part of this comes from understanding the language and terminology used for a particular business. Potential customers often will type certain words into Internet search engines while looking for a particular product or service. These keywords could be incorporated into text on the business's website, for example.
Other traditional and older forms of business marketing also are used. News releases can be used to spread the word about a new product or service. Trade shows are another traditional and time-tested way to reach a specific audience through business marketing.
Utilizing a CRM system is really the best way to keep track of B2B marketing and interactions. It's a great way to tell if certain strategies worked or not, which were more effective, etc. It's especially important because relationships with businesses usually take longer to mature than relationships with customers.
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