Anyone who plans to sell goods or services to businesses and
markets online must understand the difference between business
to business (b2b) internet marketing and selling directly to a
While some of the basic principles of marketing are the same,
there are some differences that if not taken into account can
sabotage your marketing efforts. The good news is that in some ways,
selling to businesses is easier than selling to consumers, and very
often the profits to be made are much greater, especially in the
One of the biggest differences between b2b internet marketing and
marketing to consumers (also called b2c marketing) is that you’re
no longer trying to sell to a single person. At first, that sounds
pretty obvious, but business purchasing isn’t just a group of people
looking at your product or service at the same time and then making
a decision. The question of whether to buy or not goes from one
person to another, sometimes in a very long chain of command, and
can take a lot of time (and convincing).
Sometimes you are dealing with committee approvals or their may be
issues involving something be approved by a businesses internal legal
department. The same is true when you are dealing with government
organizations too. Everything in the buying process just takes a
little longer for a variety of legitimate reasons.
Understand that when you’re selling something to a consumer, you’re
dealing with one set of eyes and one person to convince. An important
key in marketing to consumers is repetition, as most people just won’t
buy the first time after only one visit, but once your items have been
put in front of them multiple times in an appealing way, they’re more
likely to make a buying decision. With b2b internet marketing the same
principle applies, but this favorable impression must last down a long
line of people who must make the decision. Getting the item or service
in front of them many times is crucial with businesses, too.
Email marketing is one great way of keeping your products or services
in front of them, but when b2b internet marketing with emails you have
to be even more careful than when marketing to consumers. Many people
who receive an email, particularly one they’ve agreed to receive, are
going to be more concerned with the product or service offered, the
discount, and what the item can actually do for them in terms of
the benefit, than how professional and well-done the email is. This
is less likely with a business.
Because the business may have its own b2b internet marketing plan,
they’re going to expect a certain level of professionalism in any emails
or correspondence you send them. Typos, strange line breaks, broken images
and anything else that screams “amateur” or “careless” is likely to ensure
that your message goes no farther down the line—the kiss of death for
anything you’re trying to sell them. Take extra care with your email
marketing plan. Don’t just make them correct and tidy, make them very
helpful, engaging and attractive. Your emails and correspondence need
to look as good as anything coming from that company if you really want
to impress them.
If you sell to businesses, you already know your target market very well.
Be sure that all of your b2b internet marketing efforts are professional
and focus not on you, but how you can fill their companies’ needs, and
you’ll get your products noticed far more often with the b2b market.
Remember that the endurance factor needs to be there, especially for very
large jobs. I remember one time on winning an SEO training contract where
we were working together with a company who wanted us to conduct a private
in-house corporate workshop for their staff, but the catch was they wanted
to apply for a government grant to help pay for the event.
This required us to answer a few questions and complete some correspondence
and we were told that it would take some time for the government grant to
be approved and processed.
In this case, probably some organizations would have give up along the way
since the grant was finally approved after 2 full years. It had taken so
long, that the person we originally corresponded with to process the
application had left the organization and had been replaced by a new contact.
Was it really worth a 2 year wait? You better believe it was worth it. We
ended up being flown down to a major university which was equipped with a
high tech computer lab. It was a great workshop and the students were given
our complete hands-on SEO Mastery Workshop and the government grant paid for
the companies tuition, the training facility and for our travel and our
The event was one of the most memorable events and very much worth our while.
The whole class was trained in SEO and mentored so that they gained the top
skills in the minimum amount of time and by the time we finished teaching,
they were able to maximize their natural organic search visibility and they
reduced their Pay Per Click budget by nearly $12,000.00 per month but without
losing any visibility for their entire product line.
The moral of the story in these B2B type contracts is, fortify your endurance
and never ever give up. Realize that while B2B marketing can take time, it will
usually pay off in some very big ways, for those who refuse to give up and can
stand the test of time.
Find a hands-on SEO Training Certification Workshop located closest to you here.