BtoB/B2B (Business-to-Business)

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Businesses whose primary customers are other businesses.[Business-to-business ] marketing may be one of the least understood disciplines in business.

It's ironic, because consumer-centric marketing has been widely popularized - just check out the marketing section at any bookstore or peruse the curriculum of most MBA marketing programs. But while a number of consumer marketing concepts have analogs in marketing to businesses, it's not a simple translation from targeting "Joe" to targeting "Joe's Discount Auto Parts" with 28 stores in five states.

That's certainly true in search marketing.

On March 22, at Day 2 of SES New York 2010, Patricia Hursh, Tony Wright, and myself will present at the session Advanced B2B Search Marketing. In our brief hour, we'll cover search marketing methods that are purely about reaching and converting businesses.

In particular, we'll focus on three dynamics that are unique to B2B marketing.

First, B2B buying is a group activity. For purchases of any significance, a number of people will weigh in on the decision, often from several departments. Internally, there can be a mix of collaboration and competition in this process - everyone wants the business to succeed, but everyone wants to look good in their particular job too.