An acronym for “business to business”, a B2B business is one in which one business offers products or services to other businesses. Though a B2B business shares some common traits of a B2C business, there are some fundamental differences between them.
According to Gartner, India eCommerce market will reach $6 billion in 2015, an increase of 70% over revenue of $3.5 billion that is projected to be achieved in 2014. Though ecommerce in India is still a nascent stage, the country is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Asia/Pacific. According to an analyst at Garnter, though B2C e-commerce leads the market in the country, B2B are also catching up by doing business with their stakeholders.
One of the most popular types of ecommerce is B2B ecommerce. A B2B ecommerce pertains to the ecommerce transactions between two companies. It is to be noted that it is the development in business to consumer (B2C) ecommerce which hogs the limelight. But if you take into the monetary value into account, the B2B ecommerce transactions outweighs those on B2B ecommerce.
One of the benefits of the B2B ecommerce is that it substantially reduces cycle time thanks to real time data exchange and auto-triggered business processes. This will lead to enhanced productivity, improved quality, lowered costs and faster delivery. A B2B ecommerce provides the ability to transmit and synchronize data electronically.
As the B2C market is on the way to become increasingly saturated, the global IT B2B market is forecast to be more than the business-to-consumer market this year. In India too, B2B marketing companies are booming. According to studies Indian B2B is right now worth $300 billion, which will grow to $700 billion by 2020.
Not been able to resist the temptation of availing themselves of the $300 billion Indian B2B market, many companies are in the process of starting B2B platforms. With a view to tap the huge opportunity, the world’s largest ecommerce company, Amazon, has entered into talks with the different stakeholders to join them. Wal-Mart has already made its foray into the B2B ecommerce market by launching their portal: BestPriceWholesale.co.in . Currently it is serving the customers of Hyderabad and Lucknow, but later on it will expand to other Indian cities as well.
One of India’s largest business conglomerates, Tata, has also launched their B2B portal in India wherein wholesalers and retailers can come together in their endeavor to achieve business goals.
The way the B2B marketing companies worldwide are targeting new customers is undergoing changes in a rapid way. This is also true in the context of the B2B marketing companies in India. With each passing day, the importance of B2B marketing is increasing and is evolving.
As the B2B marketing landscape is subjected to the changes that take place at the global level, these changes also affect the B2B marketing companies in India. Globalization, the economic conditions, etc are some of the contributory factors for the growth of B2B marketing.
In a B2B business it is of immense importance that marketers should understand the profile of their buyers. It is of no use to pitch aimlessly without any clue of the customers’ profiles, desires and requirements. Hence it is incumbent on the B2B marketers to know their customers’ online behavior.
Indian B2B marketing companies and Video Marketing
Video media certainly gives B2B businesses a unique ability to post technical guides, user manuals, handbooks to their customers and new prospects. It is not surprising that the B2B marketing companies in India are devoting employees, time and money for Video marketing.
Indian B2B marketing companies and Social Marketing
The runaway success of social networking sites cannot be doubted. Thousands of people worldwide now use social networking tools to search old friends and keep in contact with new and existing friends. Teenagers may be the most avid users of these social-networking websites, but business people are not lagging behind. It is being noted that interest in the business uses of the social-networking websites is rising. The reason is not far to seek. These sites are providing many companies including the B2b marketing companies the platform to reach out to current and potential customers. Hence this trend can be tapped into as a business opportunity by the B2b marketing companies in India.
As is the case with the B2C businesses, social media has also being used by the B2B marketing companies in India on a greater scale. Social media has changed the dynamics of the B2B marketing. It has changed the way the B2B companies interact with customers and how they market their products and services. The challenge for many B2B companies is trying to find ways to build social media into the overall framework of the business.
Customer engagement is a sine qua non for B2B business success. For a majority of the B2B businesses, social media has become a preferred tool for making connect with their customers. However it is pertinent to ask a question. Do the Indian B2B marketing companies have an effective social media strategy?
Few years back, B2B companies in India, like their counterparts in other parts of the world, were skeptical of the social media’s potential to generate sales. However, with the passage of time, the Indian B2B companies have reconciled themselves to the fact that making their presence forcefully felt on the social channels should be on the top of agenda for a B2B company and is one of the most powerful tools to market online.
Consequently, it has been found that B2B companies in India are using social media platform to unveil the latest ad campaign. However, one thing that must be borne in mind is that just having their presence on business networking sites serves no purpose when it comes to increasing the consumer engagement. What is needed is an effective strategy and a plan when social media is used in B2B marketing. Against this backdrop, it is incumbent on the B2B companies have to maintain closer relationships with their clients and understand what they’re looking for and what they can offer to them.
While using social media, the B2B should keep in mind that while using social media, the Business to Business marketer should focus more on thought leadership than simple marketing. The true ROI of social media in business to business does not come only from disseminating your products and services, but from the engagement you make with the businesses.
For a B2B company, LinkedIn, and Slideshare should be the appropriate social media platforms because they offer higher conversion rates. Research has established that Slideshare has more than 25 per cent conversion rate, which stands high compared to other social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
It is advisable to chalk out a clear-cut strategy: Building of a robust strategy, ideally suited to your business, is of paramount importance. Going blindly into social networking is not going to help you in your business pursuits.
B2B Companies and Content Marketing
According to the findings of the Content Marketing Institute, in North America, more than 90% B2B businesses use content marketing but only 9% were using it very effectively and 33% effectively.
So, there is a need for an alignment of content strategy with marketing strategy in the B2B companies. This is also true for the Indian B2B companies. If you are in the league of B2B companies, particularly start ups, you can afford to ignore content marketing at your disadvantage. As a B2B marketing company, you must be looking for ways to reach your target clients. For a B2B startup, where marketing budget is not high, content marketing can be an effective strategy to target your clients. Thanks to the rising expenses, a B2b start-up can ill afford to go for fancy advertising; not to speak of the old billboard that is no longer affordable and has become quite expensive. However, the businesses don’t need to be disheartened by the current state of the affairs. Blogging has come to the rescue of those who cannot launch advertising blitz to promote their companies. You can take recourse to blogging on different websites to disseminate information about your company.
As a B2B company, you should deliver variety of content. You can guest post on blogs and news websites that your prospects are most likely to visit. It is advisable to participate in forums, Q&A sites like quora.com. Apart from the web content and blogs, you can also deliver content in the form of case studies, ebooks etc.
Content helps you build trust and confidence. Through email marketing and blogging you can target your potential customers. Like in other parts of the world, email marketing is quite popular in Indian B2B marketing companies. However, it is time to align it with content marketing in order to improve effectiveness.
When you corroborate your content marketing with your marketing strategy, you will find that your cost per customer acquisition will come down. Many Indian B2B marketing companies are indifferent to their own blogs. It is advisable that it is high time they to start treating their blogs with deference.
With the advent of Internet- dominated life, running a B2B company online is much more interesting than earlier. However a B2b online marketing requires a robust strategy to achieve the marketing goals.