Business marketers serve the largest market of all: The dollar volume of transactions iin the industrial ot business market significantly exceeds that of the ultimate consumer market. In the business market, a single customer can account for an enormous level of purchasing activity. For example, the corporate procurement department at IBM spends more than $40 billion annually on industrial products and services.
Organizational buying is often supposed to be more rational and less emotional than consumer purchasing behavior. However, it would be wrong to assume that organizational buying is always entirely rational: those responsible for making buying decisions within organizations are still human beings and do not leave their emotions at the door when they come to work, so it seems unrealistic to suppose that they do not have some emotional or irrational input in their decision-making.
In the B2B world, an organization may involve dozens of individuals with vasty different backgrounds in the purchasing decision-making process. ... a firm's prospect list may include firms of vastly different sizes and whose use of the focal firm's offering may differ widely.
Industrial buying is one of the few areas in marketing where the importance of social networks is not only considered received wisdom but also well supported by evidence. In particular, the relation between one's position in the decision-making unit and one's indluence and access to resources is well established.
Because a number of people can influence purchases of B2B products, business buyers face a variety of organizational influences in addition to their own preferences.
Business buying behaviour is influenced by economical, company, individual and interpersonal factors. Economical factors like regulatory changes, technology changes, competition, fiscal policy and monetary policy influence buying behaviour. Company level factors also play a major role is deciding buying behaviour. Sales people have to pay importance in understanding how purchase department is organized and players in the department.
The demand for business products is based on derived demand. Derived demand is demand that springs from, or is derived from, a secondary source other than the primary buyer of a product. For business markets, this source is consumers.
Unlike many consumers, most business buyers demand that the products they buy meet strict standards. Take, for example, the Five Guys burger chain, based in Virginia. The company taste-tested eighteen different types of mayonnaise before settling on the one it uses.
Although the goal of B2B marketing is to convert prospects into customers, the process is longer and more involved. A B2B company needs to focus on relationship building and communication using marketing activities that generate leads that can be nurtured during the sales cycle. B2B companies use marketing to educate various players in the target audience because the decision to purchase is usually a multi-step process involving more than one person.
B2B buyers behave differently from consumers when they visit a website. Business buyers have longer buying cycles so they are seeking "specific information." In addition, business buyers are constrained by bid purchasing procedures...
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