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Marketing to businesses versus people

What is the difference between marketing to businesses versus people? Some people believe it is the same strategy because businesses are run by people. Technically, that is true, but marketing to a business is very different from marketing to people.

A person buying a product for themselves versus for their company is a different strategy. Companies don't buy Ipods, they buy computers. Both marketing strategies follow the same opening path; identify the customer and why they would want to hear from you.

Building a good relationship with your client is also important. A business likes to feel like you are taking care of them and following up with their concerns and progress. A person who just buys a product doesn't want phone calls from you asking how they like the product and their concerns or suggestions. A person can be treated as a one-time sale, but the point is to have them like the one-time sale enough that they recommend it to others. A company should be treated as a life-long partner. You want to make them happy and keep them as a client forever. You do this with open communication and building a good relationship with them.

A business buyer is sophisticated and probably knows more about what you are marketing better than you do. A business looks at you as a way to help their company become or stay profitable, competitive and successful. Because of this your marketing strategy to a business must be sophisticated. You will need to do more research and write on a higher level to ensure you are sending the proper message.

Marketing to a business requires you to put your marketing dollars into marketing programs and materials that offer your target what they need to make a rational buying decision. You want to show the business how your product can increase revenue, reduce costs and enhance profitability. Your goal is to give the business enough satisfaction from their experience with you that they will make a rational buying decision.

Marketing to a person is a different approach. A consumer is looking for the best price and the best quality for the price. They will research on the internet usually prior to shopping. Marketing to them is typically done with pay-per click advertising and banner ads. What it comes down to is whether the buyer trusts the information they see on the internet or what they see in the retail stores. Because of this you need to build credibility to your name. Look at spending your marketing dollars on branding rather than building a relationship. Consumers are motivated by desire, style and prestige. For consumers, brand plays into the equation since we are more apt to buy "status" brands, such as BMW, Lexus, Rolex or Nike even though we most likely will pay more for the brand.

The important thing to remember is that both buyers will be impressed by quality customer service. With a business this has to be presented right away, prior to making the sale. With a person, it comes from loyalty and satisfaction they have had with you and would be willing to pay a higher price because they know they can return it if needed.

What you always have to keep in mind when marketing to both a business and an individual person is their emotional perspective about the purchase. Consumers make buying decisions based on status, security, comfort and quality. Business buyers make buying decisions based on increasing profitability, reducing costs and enhancing productivity. Create marketing materials that are appropriate for your target audience and remember to build the relationship after that point.

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