There are many ways digital marketing can support business-to-business organisations. All of these can be relevant components of B2B site:
- Transactional e-commerce site
- Service-oriented relationship building site
- Brand-building site
- Portal or media site
- Social network or community site
To understand how digital marketing can be best applied to B2B companies, we need to consider how the buying process operates in different B2B organisations. In organisational markets there are typically fewer customers who are likely to buy goods in bulk quantities and the buyer organisations tend to be larger and subsequently of greater value to the supplier.
What are the implications of this? First, with fewer buyers the existence of suppliers and customers tends to be well known and it can be very straight forward process to change over web-based communications and trading. Choice criteria vary: impulse purchases, and those based on emotional motives are rare in organisational buying situations as buyers tend to be professionals who use technical and economic choice criteria to inform their decision making. This means that efforts to promote brands are different to those used for consumer brand and price setting tend to improve more negotiation between sellers and buyers.
Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F., 2012. Digital marketing: strategy, implementation and practice (Vol. 5). Harlow: Pearson.