Business to business advertising – how does it differ from ordinary advertising?
Business to business advertising basically refers to advertising aimed and directed at business and corporate customers. With a few exceptions, the items sold to business are the same as those sold to individuals. The main difference between business to business advertising and advertising aimed at individual customers is the size of the order. Typically, individual customers buy very small volumes and have to pay a retail price for the product whereas the business customers buy in high volumes and pay a wholesale price for the same product.
Why wholesalers and manufacturers should pursue business to business advertising
You would be amazed to know that less than 40% of wholesalers and manufacturers vigorously pursue corporate customers or indulge in business to business advertising. Quite simply, they fail to realize the potential right under their noses. This happens because of the misconception that corporate or business customers do not buy their products. For example, last year only $170,000 was spent in business to business advertising promoting personal hygiene products to the corporate world. Now consider this; there are millions of Americans going to work i.e. when they are not at home they are in their offices. Office and business establishments too require personal hygiene products such as soaps, shampoos, sanitary napkins, hair gels, shaving creams, hand towels and so on. Because there is not much business to business advertising in personal hygiene products and no effort at promoting these items to the corporate houses, the purchase managers end up buying these items in retail by calling up the local supplier.
The potential for business to business advertising
Business establishments buy just about everything that individual customers buy. Their maintenance departments require hardware tools and consumables, they require electrical items and consumables, the office cafeteria requires food stocks and cooking implements, the stationery section will require stationery products and so on. All this business is at present being garnered by the local retail suppliers.
Given the potential size for each order, a conscious effort has to be made to ensure that your business to business advertising must be ultra-sleek and captivating. Ditch the dull business to business advertising of yesteryears. The idea that advertising to businesses requires a different approach is totally obsolete and false. Businesses are run by humans – the same humans at whom we aim glitzy ads for the purchase of cars and consumer durables. When it comes to business to business advertising, somehow we tend to forget that these very same individuals might also be CEO’s or purchase managers in the corporate world and instead aim some dull ads that look like they might be made in the 18th century. If nothing, the very potential size of the order should make the wholesalers and manufacturers think twice.
So the next time you do some business to business advertising remember to make it as sexy, glitzy, and racy as any other ad that you might aim at individuals.