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Giving them the business

LONG ISLAND, NY — How to brush up your B2B marketing plan, from Great Neck ad agency Marcomm Group:

1. It’s about needs, not wants. The chief difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing is that B2B buyers typically make decisions based on needs, not desires. They purchase products and services that will increase their profitability and enhance productivity, as opposed to buying “neat stuff.”

2. The medium isn’t always the message. In describing the power of television, a very intuitive thinker once said “the medium is the message.” That’s not necessarily the case in B2B marketing, where having a message that easily identifies benefits and connects to the buyer’s needs is essential.

3. There’s no room for boring in B2B. Your advertising message has to be “more steak than sizzle,” so avoid putting it in a plain-vanilla wrapper. Be clever and creative when attracting buyer interest, so long as it doesn’t cloud a well-focused message.

4. Paper is not passé. Don’t overlook the traditional benefits of print advertising, sales brochures, a PR program that supports trade-publication coverage or direct mail. Social media is wonderful, but B2B markets typically can be reached using proven tools.

5. Make it easier to engage your customers. Chances are you’ll see B2B customers at trade shows and other events, but those aren’t the only places you should be looking to interact with them. Consider a newsletter with customer case studies or a website that encourages feedback. B2B customers often enjoy providing input to suppliers – and that’s to everyone’s advantage.