B2B or Business to business advertising is the marketing of products and services exclusively to bulk consumers such as business establishments, hospitals and other institutions and even government bodies. Although business to business advertising does include advertising to dealers and stockiest, when we refer to Business to business solutions, we generally exclude this category because wholesale dealers and stockiest are not consumers. Business to business solutions to wholesale dealers and stockiest is purely on the basis of the popularity of the product or its potential and profit margins for the wholesale dealers and stockiest for pushing the product to the retailers. Business to business advertising to wholesale dealers and stockiest therefore requires a different approach altogether.
The basic fundamentals of business to business advertising are the same as those used when advertising to small consumers. The difference is in the way the product or service is presented. For example, all business establishments require filing cabinets. Typically, they buy two types of filing cabinets – fire and burglar proof and ordinary cabinets that may simply have a lock. A business to business advertising for cabinets would not only need to be able to provide both types of cabinets but should be better priced than the nearest rival. Apart from that, the ability to provide the cabinets in custom sizes with the client’s business logo as well as the name of the department would be an additional incentive.
Business to business advertising therefore is advertisement that primarily offers two incentives; a more competitive price and customization of the product – the latter being offered without any additional costs to the client. You might wonder why the same is not offered to the small customers. The reason of course is the expected size of the order. While individual customers might buy one or two units, business establishments, hospitals and other institutions and government bodies would generally buy thousands of units. The profitability and size of order dictates the size and value of the offer.
Given the potential size of each business order, whenever you plan a Business to business advertising it obviously needs to be carefully put together. It needs to be racy, appealing and at the same time present a compelling reason for the business client to buy the product or service. When putting together Business to business advertising, you have to also remember that your business client will in all likelihood, be fully aware of your product or service as well as the competitors products and services. Business to business advertising can be carried out via newspapers, magazine, direct mail, catalogs, television adverts, F.M. radio marketing, special sales promotions, billboards and the internet. Business to business advertising is also often carried out at an individual level in social clubs. Indeed, it is often said that more sales is done through “old boy network” than through high profile business to business advertising. “Old boy network” refers to contacts and word of mouth references. Securing business orders oftentimes also involves paying commissions or giving gifts to the purchase managers.
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