The topic of the relevance of the use of internet marketing for business to business sales is one that often gets posed by those marketing decision makers who get presented with options for spending money on things such as :-

  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content generation
  • Podcasting
  • Video marketing

… and other internet marketing tools and techniques that (of course) should only be deployed as part of a defined strategic internet marketing plan that fits into the organization’s business strategy.

So, to the question of whether or not a SME, multi million or even billion dollar company can make use of the internet to sell items that other businesses need to function.

To deal with this question adequately in this post, let’s remind ourselves of some of the characteristics of business to business sales which consist of :-

  • Typically long sales cycles
  • Ateamof decision makers
  • Long term contracts

… there are of course other points to consider but those above will suffice for our discussion in hand.

First if we consider the sales cycle we need to bear in mind that the search for information on specification, functionality and other parameters in many instances take place online first, this is of course in addition to the traditional methods of browsing catalogues for the information needed to ultimately make a purchase decision. With the growth of the use of mobile devices and more people turning to the internet to consume the information they are looking for, the opportunity exists for businesses all over the world to be the ones providing the information (also outside of their main company website domain) in order to lead clients through stages of the sales cycle.

So we have touched on the sales cycle which could last for weeks, months or even years. The point is that our company can be the source producing the content that ourtargetend users require, this can be in the audio, video. text, multimedia, webinars and other forms that the internet allows us to produce content in. If the client needs ball bearing specification information, we can make it as easy as possible for them to find that information with us as the source.

As for the decision makers, the structure of the information that we produce should be crafted in a manner that will call for relevant viewing and input from various stake holders within the organisation (of course we will understand ourtargetmarket well enough to know who these decision makers are !!). As we engage with the decision makers this falls into the length of the sales cycle and the more engaged the prospective clients are, the more they will value our expertise and authority which at the time of the purchase will make the price become less relevant (in terms of them using a high price as a reason not to purchase).

In essence for business to business marketing, the smart thing to do is not to aim for on the spot purchases, whilst this could result in desired outcomes, the thing to aim for is that of quality lead generation. Using the Internet Channel Marketing framework, your company will decide which of the internet marketing tools is the most appropriate for engaging with yourtargetmarket for building relationships and taking them through the process of the sales cycle, binding them into our organisation as the go to source for quality education related to the products and services – that can be purchased elsewhere.

In conclusion, when the choice is to be made, the relationship that has been developed by using the internet marketing tools will result in us being as one of the main choices when it comes to making that all important purchase decision.

Is the internet appropriate for Business To Business Marketing ?  absolutely so, if you are not actively using the internet for market to and engage with other businesses. Take a look at how you can integrate the internet with your existing business strategies today.

Any thoughts or comments ??

Feel free to get in touch – just hit the contact button above.

To you business internet marketing success.

Stephen C Campbell

I consulted with a company operating largely in the Construction, Project Management industry …

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… here in the UK; we worked over the phone after I review their Business Marketing Strategies in line with their website and overall internet presence [having a website does not mean that one has any presence on the internet !!]. I include a brief transcription of some of the feedback I received from one of the key decision makers.

Many thanks for the time you gave [our company] to review our existing web site and business. You very quickly appreciated our business needs and challenges without a lot of input and this maximised the time allotted to the tasks.

Your suggestions for improvements hit the right spots and has generated some new vigor around our marketing strategy.

The idea of being global in our offering was especially refreshing and could really have an impact. Thank you and we look forward to working with you again.

Peter Grear  – http://www.sabianltd.co.uk/

As I made the comparison between the differences between the workplace diversity landscape in Europe versus that in the United States and then began to draw the comparison between the picture of Diversity which I was looking at in Japan in comparison to anything I had ever experienced. Indeed, as I saw a time lag between implementation within Europe when compared to the United States and I saw time lag in Japan. However I could not even begin to focus on implementation but more on awareness and the path to implementation had not even been laid as yet.

With the management teams and decision makers being dominated by men largely set in their ways I saw many challenges up ahead. The first challenge was in educating the management team and workforce about Diversity, about the fact that their were different ways of doing things and also that men didn’t always have all the answers.

I was frequently surprised as I moved around the company I was working for at the time and; also in meeting other women from some of the other traditional Japanese companies professionally and socially how much talent was being laid to waste. I would meet women with degrees from universities here in the United Kingdom and also in the United States with excellent command of the English language who were working as secretaries. Even more surprising to me at the time was the fact that this was accepted and that they assumed and thought that that was they way that things were.

I will be ending this particular post with a couple more paragraphs in a few days time – thanks for reading and as always, let me know how I can be of assistance to you.
-Stephen C