Business marketing, or B2B, continues to evolve within global markets. Many businesses today are changing their marketing practices and at the same time improving the sustainability of the business, as a way of projecting a more positive company image.
Business-to-Business Marketing (B2B)
Business marketing covers the practice of any individuals or organisations (including businesses, institutions and governments) facilitating the sale of products and services to other organisations. These services and products are then available for resale, use within the business or to support the business. Often known as B2B, or business-to-business, a business market must always have a demand, which usually arises through a demand within the consumer market. Marketing fundamentals, such as the four Ps (price, product, promotion and place), remain popular in business and, to some extent, consumer marketing. There are many marketing consultants available to support businesses in increasing profits by developing or improving business marketing practices. Other types of consultants focus on business management, which can still improve business marketing. Energy consultants are one such group, using global and local market knowledge to help a business make the most of its energy. This includes ensuring that businesses have the correct type of contract with the best energy suppliers on the best commercial terms.
Improving Profits Through Sustainability
Energy consultants are also focusing on helping businesses to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint, while increasing the use of sustainable energy sources within the business. Green businesses with a positive image are popular with consumers and many other businesses, helping to improve profits. Although changing business practices to become sustainable can be costly at first, returns often appear within a few years. Many large companies are becoming sustainable and also increasing turnover. One example is the chemical company, DuPont, which saved over $3 billion in ten years by using greener technology. Businesses that improve their sustainable practices often find other supply-chain options become open to them, particularly other companies with their own sustainable or ethical business polices.
Business Marketing Strategies
With consultants helping to improve sustainable practices in many larger businesses, smaller businesses must also focus on sustainable practices. Otherwise, the demand for a greener supply chain may force them out of the market. Other key marketing strategies for B2B include focusing on the target market, which in business sectors usually has more variables than the consumer market. A positioning statement is one tool that can help to improve target-market focus. This identifies what a business does, how it does it and why it is more efficient than the competitors. From this, a business can develop and individualise its statement, ensuring that a potential business customer has enough information to assist them in their decision. Any type of marketing should always have measures in place so that at the end of a particular campaign its results are measurable in business terms, such as profit and loss. B2B marketing is continuing to grow thanks to changes in technology and the influence of entrepreneurship and many businesses have had to ‘reinvent’ themselves to continue trading. Marketing itself is also changing, with businesses adopting new business models and practices, often individualising their approach rather than using some of the traditional ‘one size fits all’ type of marketing models. Sustainability is also playing an important role in changing business marketing thanks to green technology and business practices. Businesses that are embracing sustainable practices are also finding that they now have a more positive company image as well as increased B2B marketing opportunities.
Sarah Cookson works with sustainable energy consultants and small businesses to assist them in improving their profits as well as B2B opportunities. Sarah regularly contributes to a range of business and sustainable-energy blogs and enjoys rock climbing in her spare time.
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