What Is Business To Business Marketing?

Learn about the principles and definition of business-to-business marketing.

Although many people have heard the term "business-to-business marketing," not everyone knows exactly what it is. If you are part of corporate America and still are not sure what business-to-business marketing is, it's time you learned.

Put very simply, business-to-business marketing is the marketing of goods and services to businesses in order to keep those companies operating.

The most common business-to-business markets are manufacturers, resellers, the government and non-profit institutions. Most businesses that fall into these categories do make some money off of a consumer base; however, the majority of their capital is made off of other businesses.

One great example of this is a non-profit institution. While private donations from individuals like you and me is important to a non-profit's operations, most charitable organizations make the great majority of their money from corporations or through government funding. Because of this, non-profits must make themselves and their products and services attractive not just to individuals, but also to other businesses.

To do this, non-profits and other organizations marketing themselves to other businesses must identify a competitive advantage. In other words, they must demonstrate why a company should buy goods and services from them rather than from their competitors, which is where business-to-business marketing comes in.

The biggest differences between business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing are the types of goods and services being marketed and the types of entities the goods and services are being marketed to.

Business-to-business marketers promote goods and services that will help other companies run. Some of the things businesses produce for other businesses include equipment, components, raw materials, processing services and supplies.

In addition, because business-to-business marketers target only other companies, they have a significantly more targeted market than business-to-consumer marketers. Even when marketing very specific products for a fairly small subset of individuals, the latter type of marketer has a far larger audience than the former.

By now, you might be thinking that business-to-business marketing and business-to-consumer marketing are two entirely separate things. However, before you do, know that business-to-business marketing, in many instances, is driven largely by consumer demand. In other words, if there are no consumers to purchase a product, there is no reason for a business to exist in order to make it. If that business doesn't exist, it will obviously not need the products and services offered by another business.

Also, the goals of businesses and consumers are often the same. When choosing a company for goods and services, most consumers and businesses will make a decision based upon price, quality, delivery time and their history with the business. Other considerations might be the availability of the product or service and the quality of customer service if something goes wrong.

Business-to-business marketing is currently one of the fastest-growing areas of marketing. As technology brings more businesses together, companies are beginning to court each other far more aggressively. And as technology makes the world a smaller place, it becomes more important for marketing and sales professionals to understand and implement the principles of business-to-business marketing.

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