Short for business-to–business, B2B is the exchange of services, information and/or products from one business to another, as opposed to between a business and a consumer (see B2C). B2B buying cycles can be long, and sometimes months are spent on product evaluation, testing, negotiation and implementation. In technology buying, these cycles can be even longer, so the pressure to get the right product or service can be intense – and make or break a career.
B2B marketing is often characterized by a great deal of intense personalized marketing, where one business promotes its specialized services to another, and customers can be targeted in highly specific ways through techniques like account-based marketing, with the goal of delivering highly qualified leads to sales teams.
B2B communication should be specific and personal, so that businesses can know their clients and provide high-level leads for their sales teams – and appropriate products and services for clients. As B2B purchases are often made with strategic goals and growth in mind, B2B relationships can benefit each business immensely when the solution is well matched to a customer’s needs.