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What does "B2B marketing" actually mean?

Are you wondering what B2B marketing means or are you unsure how to develop a functioning B2B marketing strategy? In this blog post, we would like to introduce you to the fundamentals and importance of B2B marketing.

Jun 22, 2021

Derived demand (Source: Kleinaltenkamp und Saab 2021, S.2)

Derived demand (Source: Kleinaltenkamp und Saab 2021, S.2)

Business-to-business marketing (B2B marketing) is a marketing activity that is directed from companies to companies. Customers in this very broadly defined area thus include all industrial manufacturers, service companies, consulting companies, dealers and craft businesses. Due to the often similar marketing conditions, however, other organizations such as e.g. state and semi-state institutions are also among the addressees.

The B2B sector is generally characterized by the fact that the marketed products or services are not used by consumers. The services are used productively or investment-related. This is the case, for example, when a B2B customer procures electronic parts ´needed for the assembly of certain modules. The modules are then resold to other customers, who use them to build e.g. IT systems.

What is particularly exciting here is that the marketing activities are initially aimed only at another company, but the downstream end customer must also be considered. This makes B2B marketing more complex than B2C marketing, as it is "only" aimed at an end customer. Typically, B2B marketing targets long-term and personal business relationships, rather than serving an anonymous mass market. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that products and services of B2B companies are often more in need of explanation and are often specially adapted to the wishes and specifications of the customer. On the other hand, B2B marketing activities reflect the added value and benefits of a product or service, which should also reflect the goals of the end customer. Thus, marketing communication in B2B companies differs significantly from B2C companies. So, if you are interested in personal contacts and complex marketing structures and want to increase your sales opportunities through precise customer segments, then B2B marketing is the right place for you.

Another typical feature in the B2B sector is the multi-personality, as several people are usually involved on the provider and customer side. The services in the B2B sector are often complex and you sit at a negotiating table with a wide variety of different people (e.g. engineers, merchants and lawyers).

These basic characteristics should be taken into account in everyday B2B life. Of course, there are also other features, depending on the constellation. Basically, our master’s program is about providing you with this marketing-relevant know-how that you need for the successful marketing of complex service offers to business customers. We would like to optimally prepare you for management positions in the B2B sector by addressing the fundamentals of B2B marketing and sales as well as the special features of service marketing and important fundamentals of strategy, management and controlling.

In addition, you should also be aware that the B2B sector is the dominant economic sector in developed economies. In both the manufacturing and service sectors, well over half of sales are generated in the B2B sector. For example, the share of B2B transactions in the manufacturing sector in Germany is 68.83 % (2011). The share of transactions in the B2C sector, on the other hand, is 31.17 %. In the service sector, this is as follows: Here, the share of transactions in the B2B sector is 49.06 % (2011), compared to 50.94 % in the B2C sector.

Overall, B2B marketing is subject to different requirements compared to the B2C sector and also accounts for a significant part of sales in the manufacturing and service sectors, which underlines the importance of this area.

In addition, the EMBM team is very excited to find out which B2B branding trends your company is currently pursuing. How do you generate leads? Do you use automated email marketing in conjunction with a CRM system? Do you have marketing projects that deal with artificial intelligence? And do you use chatbots or do you already have a podcast? The EMBM also thrives on the exchange of students with each other and we look forward to learning more about your marketing activities.