In praise of B2B marketing

June 25, 2014

Business to Business (B2B) advertising and marketing has long been the poor relation of its far more feted cousin; B2C.  And we simply can’t understand why that is the case.

First off it’s a darned sight bigger proposition overall, mainly because any supply chain has many, many transactions that need to be influenced before it gets to that single consumer sale.

Think of it this way.  If you are a car manufacturer you can only really make one sale every five or so years to a loyal customer, but along the way you’ve had to make any number of purchases; tyres, metal, rivets, bolts, leather, seats, oil, paint, marketing, signage.

Henry Ford’s vision of a fully vertically integrated manufacturing business came to fruition in 1927 when he opened the River Rouge plant in Detroit.  His vision was of a business that had no suppliers.  All the raw materials, for all of the above, came into his plant at one end; ore and fuel from Ford Mines, timber from Ford forests, leather from the Ford ranch, food from the Ford farms to feed his workers – the whole shooting match – and Model T’s, millions of them, came out at the other.  It’s mind boggling when you think about it.

But that model’s a rarity and relies on being market leader in the biggest of markets. The Japanese have developed much more subtle (Agile) ways of doing this sort of thing that has been adopted globally.

Most manufacturers have to develop complex supplier networks and that leads to manufacturing suppliers (most of them manufacturers themselves) having to adopt sophisticated B2B marketing strategies.

The same applies to professional services suppliers who need the same level of sophistication applied to their business development programmes.

Here’s a few facts that might surprise you;

B2B marketing is not all reserved for traditional above and below the line marketing channels; last year 57% of B2B customers claimed to have made sales through LinkedIn (the king of B2B social marketing channels).

88% of B2B marketers cited case studies as the single most important content marketing  tool. (Source: Content Marketing Institute.)  Now, when did you last give your case studies a serious and professional creative makeover?

In 2013 20% of B2B budgets were spent on email, by the end of this year that’s expected to increase to 30%. (Source: CMO Council) Robson Brown does email by the way.

Your database decays by 30% a year and at least 10% of LinkedIn profiles are out of date.  You need to be on top of this (Source: B2B Marketing Magazine)

At Robson Brown, we’re great believers in the value, importance and need for “Considered Creativity”  in B2B marketing – every bit as considered as the work we create for our consumer facing clients.  Not just in what it looks like or what it says, but where and how it gets there.

Take a look at our portfolio and you’ll see a whole host of work for current clients like NCFE, NGI, Inovo/Quorum Business Parks and Husqvarna, through to past case studies for Kromek (a world leader in crystal x-ray technology), Maxim Business Park and Robert Muckle Solicitors.

We’ve adapted our thinking across many different sectors and many communications channels so that we have a deep mine of experience to draw on if you’re needing support with your B2B marketing.

We hope you’ll agree, B2B can be the bee’s knees.