B2B (business-to-business) commerce refers to commercial transactions between companies, such as those between manufacturers and suppliers or manufacturers and retailers, as well as to companies employing third-party service providers, such as office-supplies, marketing, legal, accountancy and maintenance firms. B2B does not involve individual consumers, as does B2C (business-to-consumer) or C2C (consumer-to-consumer) commerce, and it usually involves a larger volume of transactions than these two other branches.
Corporate buyers choose products based on price and profit other than emotional triggers. B2B marketing needs to therefore employ specific strategies and channels of interaction in order to promote products and services. North American B2B companies allocate 14 percent of their marketing budget to in-person trade shows, conferences and events. In-person events are still seen by three quarters of marketers as the most effective marketing tactic for B2B companies, and by 32 percent of marketers as the most effective way to generate leads in the B2B industry. In 2015, tradeshows generated 12.65 billion U.S. dollars revenue to the B2B media industry in the U.S. In terms of tactics for B2B tradeshows, about half of the marketers believe speaking engagements are the most effective way to generate leads in B2B tradeshows. A large share of marketers stated networking during tradeshows is an effective marketing tactic to lead generation as well.
Although traditionally B2B spending power is focused on the face-to-face interaction with customers through trade shows and conferences, in the internet era, marketers are also turning to digital platforms to interact with their customers. Digital advertising, content marketing and website maintenance already receive a considerable share of the marketing budget. Content marketing in particular is an important tool for B2B marketers. Around 90 percent of B2B marketers in North America use content marketing, mainly with the goal of generating leads and increasing brand awareness. Other goals for content marketing in B2B companies include generating engagement and nurturing leads. Blogs and videos are the two most popular content types used for marketing. About 80 percent of marketers said they use blogs for content and 62 percent stated using videos. Regardless the platform, according to 90 percent of B2B marketers, the content needs to be relevant for the audience in order to be effective. About 81 percent believe that the most important attribute of content marketing is a having an engaging and compelling story.
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