It is an acronym for Business-to-Business. In simple terms, one business offering a product or service to another business, but not directly to the consumer, is termed as a B2B product / service. e.g. electric motors, machine tools, hoists and cranes, copiers, machinery, etc. are termed as B2B products. When a business is selling its goods or services directly to the consumers, it is termed as B2C category of business.
Peculiarity of the B2B domain is that, in majority cases, the customer is directly in contact with the manufacturer which is not the case in B2C.
Considering the very specialised nature of this business, one needs to develop a unique approach towards B2B Brand Development and Marketing Communication.
Most commonly known by its acronym IMC, Integrated Marketing Communication takes a holistic approach towards internal and external communication activities and processes of a company to promote its brand and build a favourable image.
It is careful planning and systematic execution of all the communication activities to develop synergy and achieve consistency in messaging. In B2B context, IMC encompasses a broad spectrum of activities for information communication, lead generation and value enhancement of a brand via print and Digital Marketing Mediums. Typically, these activities include, technical and sales literature, corporate profile, direct mailers, newsletters, advertisements, digital marketing, exhibitions, conferences, films, dealership identity, public relations, internal branding and other innovative ideas for brand engagement.
Typically, a brand which exists and is familiar in B2B environment is termed as a B2B brand. An established techno-brand is characterised by certain attribute/s which are unique to that brand and may include aspects such as technology, quality, reliability, service, innovation, solutions, etc. Few such attributes are always possessed by every B2B product / service and they need to be identified and projected cleverly. An expert agency explores such attributes and carefully nurtures them as competitive advantages of the brand. This helps the target industries to quickly identify and associate the brand with their needs and are also able to clearly differentiate from the competition.
Simply because a specialist B2B agency understands marketing communication as well as complex B2B environment. This includes, engineering, technology, industrial buying processes, market landscape, buying criteria and so on. The advantage with such an agency is that, because of its understanding of your products, it can quickly capture your thoughts and effectively communicate with your target audience in the language which they will understand.
Though the concept of a specialised B2B Marketing Communication Agency is new to India, in Europe and US it is a common practice for good businesses in B2B domain to hire a specialist B2B agency for several reasons. Most important being, the buying process, buying pattern and selection criteria greatly differ in B2B environment compared to the consumer market.
Developing a target-specific and highly focused communication requires a great deal of understanding of complex technology and market environment apart from understanding marketing communication. It calls for a carefully achieved balance between rational and emotional approach while developing a strategy and creatives. Advertising agencies or design agencies working in B2C domain several times lack this domain knowledge and industry-specific expertise.
A specialist B2B agency can quickly understand your company, technology and product offerings, application areas, market segments, competition, etc. This results in a highly focused and high-impact communication which ensures higher Return On Investment (ROI) for you.
Creating a successful B2B brand is all about effectively communicating its competitive advantage and building relationships with the customers. And the process starts with the selection of the right agency for the purpose!