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Business-to-business Internet marketing is similar to traditional business-to-business (B2B) marketing practices. The exception is that the Internet becomes the primary medium for connecting with potential business clients via e-mail or other Web-based tools. The trends of Internet marketing technologies help to reduce the time it takes to promote and sell products or services.
Companies typically use business-to-business Internet marketing as a noninvasive media form that is balanced with what appeals to the business customer. Beginning with the initial contact with a potential client, the contact information on the business card can be used to send periodic mailings, such as e-newsletters, with information related to the potential client’s industry. Companies may send white papers or information about upcoming events that might also be of interest.
These Internet marketing strategies might serve as a reminder of the value of the business relationship. E-mail communications could answer the “so what?” question about doing business with a particular company. Internet marketing strategies that identify the needs of a company may increase the likelihood that the B2B relationship will continue.
In general, e-mail messages are tailored towards the decision makers’ responsibilities within the organization. Through the use of B2B marketing, the company can demonstrate how its products or services will improve the area(s) of concern for the client’s business goals and objectives. Specific points are addressed that highlight how a product or service is the best solution for the company.
Using business-to-business Internet marketing keeps online channels of communication open at all times. With Internet marketing strategies, the chances of overloading business customers with irrelevant information is typically reduced. B2B provides an accessible, user-friendly tool so business customers can conveniently retrieve information. As long as the business customer or potential client finds these marketing techniques acceptable, the business can utilize business-to-business Internet marketing techniques.
Product discussion forums are another marketing technique that some businesses may adopt. The discussion forum provides a way to obtain opinions about products or services. This type of marketing technique is seemingly less invasive than opinion polls or surveys. A forum keeps business customers engaged while providing valuable feedback to the company on how to improve products or services.
Respecting the business customers’ time with business-to-business Internet marketing strategies might be viewed as an advantage to using traditional marketing techniques. The use of Web meetings and presentations can reduce the often time-consuming expense of attending a meeting in person. Also, it might be possible to send a clip via e-mail for the client or prospect to view at a later time. This also gives the company a reason to follow-up with an e-mail or telephone call to discuss the material and answer questions.