Business-to-business (B2B) marketing encompasses a wide range of tactics designed primarily to drive sales and grow your business. The goals most often cited for B2B marketing efforts include:
- Educating and building relationships with your prospects and customers
- Supporting your brand/building your image
- Generating sales leads
Internet marketingOnline marketing is exploding. There's a vast array of approaches, including e-mail and e-newsletters, Web-based advertising, Webcasts/Webinars, podcasts, blogs and, of course, your own Web site. E-mail marketing companies offer templates and tools to get you started, as well as the ability to track open rates, click-throughs and other stats.
Search engine marketingSearch engine marketing (SEM) is a set of methods designed to increase the visibility of your Web site in search engine results pages, such as Google. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving search rankings, while search engine advertising is paying the search engine company for high rankings - also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Custom publishing/direct marketingDirect mail is still one of the most used and effective B2B mediums. Direct marketing includes business letters, newsletters, invitations, postcards, brochures, flyers, etc.
directory of direct marketing resources.
Event marketing/trade showsSpecial events, seminars and trade shows provide excellent opportunities for B2B marketing and lead generation. Given the potential expense of exhibiting at trade shows or executing events, your objectives should be carefully evaluated. "Tele-seminars" or "Webinars" can be more efficient tools for reaching your prospects.
Print and sales collateralAdvertising in print is a more traditional B2B marketing method, and is still effective despite being overshadowed - at least in media buzz -- by online marketing. Sales collateral includes other sales and marketing materials such as postcards, brochures, catalogs, one-sheets or press kits.
- When sending e-mail, keep your subject line brief. Avoid the word "free" as it may trigger spam filters.
- Include a "forward to a friend" button on your e-mails and e-mail newsletters.
- Keep your file size and attachments under 4 megabytes (MB) and make sure your pages load quickly.
- Give your e-mail recipients the opportunity to opt-out of future e-mailings.
- Set up an auto-responder in your e-mail, so anyone who inquires gets an immediate response from you. (Most e-mail software programs include this feature)