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What is B2B marketing?

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Quick Answer

Business-to-business, or B2B, marketing refers to a company's marketing strategies to target business customers. B2B is distinct from business-to-consumer marketing, where companies go after household customers. A primary difference is that B2B often focuses on logical or rational appeals, whereas B2C marketing often attempts to appeal to consumer emotions.

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In the B2B research process, companies try to learn about the organizational processes and goals of potential buyers as well as their direct needs for goods and services. Understanding the big picture for customers helps to identify ways in which the marketer's goods and services align with the business customer's interests.

Along with presenting compelling features, B2B communication often emphasizes how the solution saves the business buyers money, earns them a larger profit or improves efficiency within their operation. While B2B marketers use many of the same strategies and tactics used by B2C companies, they also focus on trade shows and other events where relationship-building is possible. At trade shows, suppliers and vendors show off goods to potential industry buyers. They collect contact information for follow-up communication.

B2B companies also use sales staff to build rapport, establish accounts and manage ongoing relationships with business buyers. Social media also plays a role in the efforts of a B2B marketer to communicate with his audience.

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