Marketing communications are probably the highest profile area of marketing. Everyone has experience of marketing communications as a consumer. We are bombarded with marketing messages every day.
Business-to-business marketing is very different from consumer marketing though. The marketing communication tools used need to be very different too.
So, what are the most important business-to-business marketing communication tools?
Personal selling is top of my list because building relationships with actual people is so important. You may think this is a sales tool but it’s a marketing tool too. It is the job of marketing to get the product or service package right, the message right and the target market right.
Advertising is bottom of my list mainly because it is difficult to measure return on investment. Advertising does raise awareness and if your competitors are doing it you may well feel you need to do it too. Maybe you feel you get a good return on your advertising spend? Have you tested that? Could you be investing that money in something more tangible and effective?
Direct marketing, the internet, events and public relations are also important tools. Getting the mix right is the key. That mix varies from business to business. Getting it right is important because it will help you reap the greatest rewards from your marketing communications.