5 B2B marketing basics for Indian companies [updated]

13 min read
Vinita Malu

Do you know how a large-scale company purchases products such as stationary, desktops and furniture for its 1,000-plus employees? Will they buy such bulk items from different shops? No, they will purchase it all from a company that manufactures or sells that particular product. Such manufacturers must use special tactics to promote themselves. This is generally called Business-to-Business or B2B marketing.

 India's total B2B spend grew by 9.4 percent in Q3 2021 on a year-on-year basis and is forecast to grow by 10.3 percent in 2022.

Hence, it’s important that your B2B marketing plan is focused on the tactics with the highest return.

Rather than promoting products to a wide audience through print, television commercials and the internet, B2B marketing appeals to a very specific customer through email, search engine optimisation and content marketing. Let us examine how this is done.

5 ways to reach business customers

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing differs from business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing in important ways. Here are the tactics that work best with B2B customers.

  1. Build a professional website.

  2. Be active on select social media.

  3. Publish content to find new prospects.

  4. Court search engines.

  5. Email and text marketing.

Seems everyone’s getting into the B2B game in India. By using these tactics, you can attract your share of this growing segment.

B2B sales are on the rise in India

B2B Marketing Tannery
Businesses that sell their products to other businesses must use certain marketing tactics.
Photo: Federico Gutierrez on Unsplash

Even some of the largest business conglomerates in India are launching B2B portals.

For instance, Tata has a site wherein wholesalers and retailers can come together in their endeavor to achieve business goals. Thus, the importance of B2B marketing is increasing and evolving in India.

In the B2B arena, buyers’ decisions are based on price and quality, not status.

This is in contrast to the decision-making process of consumers (B2C), who choose products based not only on price but on popularity and status.

Although the potential of the Indian B2B market is boundless, to tap the full potential of the growing sector there is a need to have a steady and constant marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at few of these B2B strategies.

1. Build a professional website

In today’s marketplace, a firm’s website is one of its most crucial assets. Hence, most B2B businesses must aim at creating a website that is:

  • Simple to browse
  • User-friendly
  • Appealing to look at

They should make sure that the website has a robust and crucial business information and carefully-targeted offers to drive leads.

Also, each and every landing page on the website should always have a clear headline, details about the products/services and a direct call-to-action, so that the target audience understands exactly what the next step is.

A good customized logo will also boost online visibility, which is why it's important to create one that captures your brand's essence at first glance. Short on time? Try GoDaddy's free logo maker to quickly create one in minutes using hundreds of ready-made design templates.

Get detailed instructions on how to build a business website here and an eCommerce website, complete with payment processing and shipping, here.

Not the do it yourself type? Find a GoDaddy-certified web developer here by scrolling down to “Companies looking for GoDaddy certified professionals?” and submitting a request.

2. Be active on select social media

B2B marketing on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others is a great way of creating a recognizable brand and engaging likely customers.

Promoting specific deals and offers on social media platforms can improve click-through to your company’s website.

However, to generate more interest in prospects and turn them into a business lead, it’s important to follow some smart tactics on social media platforms.

For instance, if you choose to use LinkedIn for B2B marketing, there is a need to have an active and up-to-date company account. It is also vital to be active in various LinkedIn groups that are related to your business or industry.

Learn how to establish credibility and drive interested leads to your website for further information in this beginner's guide to social media marketing.

3. Publish content to find new prospects

The best part of this type of marketing is that the company’s products and services are offered in a very different way — in the guise of helpful information.

Content such as how-to blog posts, video tutorials and helpful tips posted on social media can easily convert the person reading the content into a customer or lead. Just be sure you add links to your website in everything you share.

Content marketing is like fishing: You bait the hook with useful information, then wait for a nibble (in this case, a click).

It’s vital to use the right keywords in the content to make sure search engines bring the right people to your articles, videos and posts. For faster results, you can also promote your content with internet ads you pay for.

Content marketing can be done through:

Not just that it should also provide the reader and prospective clients with relevant information that they are looking for.

4. Court search engines

SEO is the way of adding selected words (called keywords) to your website to ensure it shows up on the first page of search engine results. Whether you implement SEO yourself or hire someone to do it for you, SEO is a surefire way to increase the number of people coming to your website.

B2B Marketing Search Engine Results

The close rate of a lead that comes from a paid ad is just 1.7 percent while the close rate of a lead resulting from SEO is a whopping 14.6 percent.

If a company or person is searching for particular B2B services on the internet, that means they are looking to close the deal. Showcasing a company’s website at the top position for a search such as “Textile mill Ahmedabad” will guarantee effective lead generation for your business.

A recent study further shows that from the overall local Google traffic, 67 percent of searches end up in a conversion. These stunning numbers prove that SEO is one of the most-effective lead generation strategies for B2B businesses.

Read SEO basics to bring more people to your website for the steps of search engine optimisation. Truly anyone can do it.

5. Email and text marketing

Promoting your business via email and text (SMS) is also an effective way to get more of the right prospects.

B2B Marketing Email
Text is a very effective means of B2B marketing because it’s easy and immediate.
Photo: rawpixel on Unsplash

Email marketing is probably one of the simplest and most-used digital marketing types, and it still remains a go-to strategy for many organizations.

Be sure to collect email addresses legally, as you can be blacklisted as a spammer if you send emails to anyone who has not requested it.

Do it yourself email tools such as Digital Marketing Suite make every step easy, from adding an email signup form to your website and Facebook business page to creating and sending professional looking emails that get opened. It includes easy tools to create social media ads and posts that look professional. Make sure you are using a business email address that matches your domain to increase your open rates.

Read the Use email campaigns to match giants for more on how to start using email marketing for your business.

Unlike social media platforms, email and text marketing does not need any frequent upgrading, and it can be easily controlled and monitored. All you require is a good list of email addresses and a tool to create, manage and send emails.

There are a number of companies providing full-service email marketing (e.g. Mantran, Bonoboz, etc.) and SMS (e.g. Bulk SMS India, Textlocal India and SMS Deals) services in India.

B2B marketing can help your business thrive

The above discussed B2B marketing strategies will help any B2B company to grow by improving its brand image and generating business leads.

So, if you are from the B2B sector, then don’t wait, just implement one or more of the above-mentioned marketing strategies and grow your business. It takes time, but your efforts will certainly pay off in more business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four types of B2B markets?  

The four types of B2B markets are producers, resellers, government, and institutions. 

  • Producers are companies that purchase goods and services that they transform into other products. They include both manufacturers and service providers. Companies like Hindustan Lever, Tata Motors, Haldiram, and HCL are some examples of producers. So are the hotels, doctors, and parlors around you. All these companies purchase specific products to produce their goods and services. For instance, Tata Motors needs steel and hundreds of thousands of other products to make cars. Hotels need bed sheets, pillows, and curtains.  
  • Resellers are companies that purchase goods and services produced by other companies and re-sell them to others without any material change to earn money. Resellers include wholesalers, brokers, and retailers. Big Bazaar, D-Mart, and Pantaloons are some examples. Resellers in India have good market power; hence if you can get them to buy your products, your sales may increase exponentially.
  • One of the biggest purchasers of goods and services is the Government of India. It buys everything you can imagine, from paper and fax machines to tanks and weapons, construction services, and medical and security services. Mainly to sell your products or services to the Government involves bidding to win the contract deal. 
  • Institutions include non-profit organizations such as NGOs, hospitals, charities, private colleges, civic clubs, etc. Like Government, they buy a considerable quantity of products and services, but they need them at a reasonable price. As lower the cost, the more people they can serve. 

What is the B2B marketing platform?  

A B2B marketing platform enables businesses to promote their products or services to other businesses and builds awareness, engagement, and community.  

Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces are e-commerce/trade sites that connect sellers with buyers.

Assume you're a small to mid-sized business or product manufacturer. In that situation, exhibiting your business catalog on the trade portal sites like IndiaMART — which has 5.98 million buyers, 47 lakhs+ sellers, and 5 crores+ products — could provide your company with an immediate boost in reach. TradeIndia and Udaan are other excellent B2B online marketplaces for buying and selling products in India. 

Content syndication

Content syndication is distributing your content in various ways to reach prospective business customers. Instead of self-promotion, content syndication involves third-party platforms promoting your content. B2B marketers use it, so their content has a more significant impact on generating top-of-funnel qualified leads at a reasonable price. It can be a vital part of prospecting, engaging with leads, and providing colossal value.

Popular B2B content syndication methods include co-marketing, social media, guest blogging, Pay Per Click ads, telemarketing, and cold emailing. 

Events (Online events and sponsorship)

Events provide fantastic opportunities to get your brand visible to potential customers.

They allow businesses to reach a global audience with hundreds of people in different places at different times. Event Sponsorship is a way of advertising your brand by sponsoring or supporting an event financially for brand exposure to highly engaged attendees.

How is B2B marketing done?  

Marketing to businesses is very different from marketing to individual consumers. Hence B2B and B2C marketing differ in their respective strategies, applications, and audiences and how they communicate to them. B2B marketing targets the customers' needs, interests, and challenges and tries to bring value to the business.

B2B marketing is done in the following ways: 

  • Inbound marketing involves creating content that attracts and encourages consumers to purchase from you on social media, YouTube or by blogging. 
  • Outbound marketing is a good B2B marketing strategy for global markets. It gets your message and product out to people, hoping that someone might be interested. Salespeople are often involved in B2B outbound marketing initiatives. 
  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a cross between inbound and outbound marketing. It directly markets to a specific audience. Salespeople identify critical consumers and create a custom message for them.  

What is a B2B marketing example?  

B2B companies are in business to sell a product or service to other businesses and thereby make money. They know the best way to do this is to create relationships and cultivate those relationships to bring the customers back to the business. Many B2B companies also do this by improving the world and industries they serve. 

Some of the well-known B2B marketing examples in India are as follows: 

  • Infosys' marketing efforts include participation in media and industry analyst events, sponsorship and participation in targeted industry conferences, trade shows, recruiting efforts, community outreach programs, and investor relations.For example, The Infosys ATP Partnership won the 'Best B2B Sponsorship' award. This partnership is garnering attention not just from fans but also from business decision-makers. 
  • Aspire's Banking and Financial Services vertical needed to scale up its sales and marketing efforts, and the marketing team at Aspire had to invent new ways to reach the target audience.The marketing team decided to implement a well-structured, multi-channel Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaign strategy, with a heavy focus on digital channels. The team took an integrated approach, bringing together multiple marketing vehicles such as targeted ad campaigns, webinars, email campaigns, content, and social media marketing. The campaign's goals were to build brand awareness through all possible channels, improve engagement, and drive demand from those engaged accounts. 
  • Leading global IT services and consulting brand Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) believes people can't read long whitepapers, and they probably need stories method of consuming information.
    Hence TCS has launched 'TCS Belief Song' to push the narrative of the new normal as the world gears up for a fresh start and emphasizes the joy of human connection. The launched anthem video features TCS employees and their families as brand ambassadors.
  • To fight the overwhelming impact of Covid-19, HCL sought to unleash the power of collaboration. Through The Better Health Hackathon, HCL partnered with Microsoft and forty more organizations across life sciences, healthcare, technology, and academia to develop innovative ideas that could help the world in its most trying times. The Better Health Hackathon: #CodeForCovid19 invited the best technology talent from across the globe to solve real-world challenges posed by the pandemic. 

UPDATE: This B2B marketing post was first published 9 October 2018 and updated on 25 May 2022.