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What Is a Business-To-Business Marketing Plan?

    A business-to-business marketing plan is a strategy to communicate directly with other businesses to sell products and services. Marketing consultants can provide assistance with the development process or a company can create plans internally, relying on its own communications personnel to plan out an effective and appropriate strategy. Consumers and businesses approach transactions with different needs in mind and marketing plans need to accommodate their prospective targets in order to be effective.

    These types of transactions take place all over the world on a daily basis. They tend to be much larger than consumer transactions and can involve raw materials, finished products, and services. Companies typically have a range of businesses they can choose from when they look for suppliers, just as consumers have a number of options when they make personal purchases. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is critical for attracting and keeping business customers.

    Businessman giving a thumbs-up
    Businessman giving a thumbs-up

    Companies can use a variety of techniques when they develop a business-to-business marketing plan. They need to think about the types of products and services they offer, and which kinds of businesses might be prospective clients. This can involve comparison with other companies that have a similar range of products, and an examination of the products and services potential clients sell, as well. Businesses can draw up profiles of the industries they work in and the kinds of messages they want to project with their advertising campaigns.

    Business owners must think about where marketing might best take place to benefit their bottom line. Business-to-business marketing tends to take place in environments like trade shows, industry magazines, and similar communications, rather than through mass media and public information resources. This type of marketing campaign must explore possible platforms for advertising to ensure a company reaches the target audience. The plan can also include innovative approaches to communication like viral advertising if these are appropriate to the product and the target market.

    Firms with a strong business-to-business marketing plan can break down the components of the plan to assign them to the appropriate parties. The plan may include room for growth and expansion to allow a company to make an advertising campaign larger without losing the core messages behind it. Adaptability is also useful, as a company may need to respond to ads from a competitor, changing advertising standards in trade publications, and other issues that may arise while attempting to communicate with prospective business partners.