When individuals or organizations sell their products or services to other companies that, in turn, resell them, make them a part of the products or services they offer, or use them to support their operations, this is known as business marketing, industrial marketing or business-to-business marketing.
For many years, business marketing was overshadowed by consumer marketing. Providers of goods or services sold directly to households using the mass media and retail channels. This changed in the 1970s with the appearance of several academic periodicals that have published studies on the subject and the holing of yearly professional conferences on business marketing. Business marketing courses are also more common nowadays than in the past leading to a shift to the former.
Business markets include products and services, local or international that are bought by businesses, government bodies, and institutions like hospitals or corporate offices for consumption or for resale. It doesn’t cover markets that deal with products or services aimed at personal use or consumption like packaged grocery products, home appliances or consumer banking.
How does business marketing differ from consumer marketing? First, business marketing uses shorter and more direct channels of distribution. While consumer marketing targets big groups through mass media and retailers, the negotiation process between the buyer and seller is a lot more personal in business marketing.
Many business marketers use only a small amount of their promotional budgets to advertise. This is often done through direct mail efforts and trade journals. But even when advertising is limited, it helps the business marketer make successful sales calls.