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From the author of B2B Online Marketing Develops Relationships

B2B Online Marketing Develops Relationships

B2C marketing is all about making the sale—often directly, via the company’s website. For B2B companies, however, the sale is the end result of a long and involved process, and tends to happen one-on-one, rather than via an impersonal order page. B2B marketing, then, is all about generating leads for further contact, rather than generating immediate sales.

To this end, B2B companies need to build strong relationships with their prospects and customers. The stronger the relationship, the more likely it is that a prospect will be converted to a paying customers. And B2B companies need to maintain ongoing relationships with their established customers; due to the high stakes involved, businesses need to trust their suppliers on an ongoing basis.

As such, online marketing has to foster the building of these customer relationships. You don’t use online marketing to drive direct sales; instead, you use online vehicles to help build that trust your customers seek.

Most online marketing vehicles can be used to help build customer relationships. Take, for example, social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. While these social networks are typically used to communicate to and with B2C customers, these media are also suited to the close relationships that B2B companies build with their business customers. Once you’ve attracted a prospect or converted that prospect into a customer, you can build the relationship via continued tweets and Facebook updates that informs of new products, services, and other company and industry news.

Email marketing is also great for relationship building. Once you’ve signed your customer or prospect to your email mailing list, regular mailings can be used to communicate important news and information on a regular basis.

Of course, both social media and email are ideal for two-way communication. You don’t just send out tweets and emails, you respond to messages sent by your current and future customers. It’s this two-way communication, unique to online marketing, that helps to establish the trust that ongoing relationships are built upon.

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