Understanding B2B Science Marketing

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Understanding B2B Science Marketing

Reading Time: 7 minutes
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Perhaps you’re new to business-to-business (B2B) marketing, new to marketing for a company in the science and technology sector, or maybe you’re a scientist and new to the world of marketing. Whatever the case, if you’re involved in B2B marketing or marketing for a science-focused company, it can feel overwhelming.

There’s a lot to learn, and it can be confusing as content marketing trends shift, customers and stakeholders experience higher turnover, and new digital marketing technologies emerge more rapidly than ever. B2B marketing strategies need to be flexible, agile, and tested frequently.

Strong, effective B2B marketing is critical for science-driven companies to stand out in increasingly competitive industries. From pharmaceuticals to materials science to medical devices, specialty chemicals, and beyond, you can maximize B2B marketing by following a standard set of best practices.

This blog will compare B2B marketing with business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing and discuss the challenges and best practices of B2B marketing for science-focused companies. No matter where you are in the journey, learn how to make strategic changes to improve your results.

B2B Marketing vs. B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Significant differences exist between B2B marketing strategies and B2C marketing, especially in science-driven industries. In B2C marketing, your company might be a yogurt manufacturer and your job is to promote the health benefits of blueberry yogurt to parents of toddlers. In B2B marketing, however, your company might supply additives to the yogurt manufacturer that can give its products increased nutritional benefits or a desired appearance, flavor, or texture. You can quickly see how you would use different channels to reach these two audiences and why a strategic marketing plan is important.

A typical B2B relationship involves a more complex buyer journey. This usually accompanies a longer decision-making process, a longer sales cycle, a greater number of stakeholders, a smaller pool of potential buyers or prospective customers, referral marketing, and the need for a different type of product knowledge.

There are also many commonalities between B2B and B2C in marketing campaigns. For example, both types, at their core, need to attract attention from humans and can take advantage of emotional appeals. In addition, marketing at a basic level involves getting the right information in front of the right people at the right time in the right way so they can decide to purchase your company’s products.

Back to Basics

If you’ve stepped into a new business role and don’t understand your company’s B2B marketing strategy, or if it doesn’t seem to deliver the results you’re looking for, it may be time to revisit the primary data on which that strategy was built.

How long has it been since your company has performed a detailed audience analysis? How closely do your content marketing strategy and deliverables align with your audience’s interests and pain points? And where does your company’s voice fall in the educational content mix? Are you considered a thought leader in your industry?

Taking time to step back and refresh your knowledge base might reveal new information and lead to new ways of communicating with your audience.

B2B Marketing Best Practices

Consider the following tips as you plan and implement your B2B marketing strategies.

Define your ideal customer profile and target audience.

Identify and evaluate your audience, including who they are, their challenges, and how they make decisions. Focus on individuals as well as on companies. Review all the demographic and behavioral information available about your current business customers and potential customers, including age, gender, location, language, spending power, patterns, and interests. Analyze company size, annual revenue, roles and titles of the people making the buying decisions, and their biggest challenges.

Learn which marketing channels work best to reach the people in your target audience. Do they prefer print or digital communications? Email marketing or social media marketing? Videos or written material?

To understand customer behavior as a whole, look for the common characteristics, needs, and demographics of existing customers in your target group.

Tailor your message.

Customize your content as much as possible. The better you understand your audience and how your product specifically meets their needs, the more you can tailor your communication. Keep a sharp focus on your product’s value proposition, which is key to differentiating your offering from competitors. A compelling value proposition captures attention, showcases the specific benefits and solutions you offer, highlights your expertise, innovation, and industry knowledge. In addition, focused messaging builds credibility and trust, which can help to build brand loyalty.

By developing focused marketing content, tailored to your audience, you’ll increase your chances for lead acquisition and conversion.

Educate your audience.

Readers of B2B science marketing materials will be looking for specific technical details about your products and services. Create informative and engaging content that resonates with your audience. This content can include blog posts, white papers, webinars, videos, and podcasts. Focus on the most relevant details in your business to business marketing and materials, and highlight those that set your offering apart from the competition.

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Keep content digestible and easy to understand.

When you know your audience, you can communicate with them more effectively. For example, are you targeting software engineers or pharmaceutical purchasing agents? It’s important to understand your audience’s background knowledge so that you can explain scientific concepts with the right level of technical detail. Avoid jargon and overly complicated technical language. Your audience will be impressed if you demonstrate how much you understand them and their specialty.

Don’t overlook the importance of visuals.

Science B2B marketing best practices encourage the use of images, videos, infographics, and other visuals to break down information and make it more engaging. Strong graphic design can go a long way when it comes to communicating technical details.

Appeal to emotions.

Even in B2B marketing, there’s a person behind every buying decision. Therefore, when it comes to B2B strategy, marketing that incorporates emotional appeals, even in science-driven industries, can play a significant role in the decision-making and buying process, and have a powerful impact. By tapping into emotions such as trust, excitement, and inspiration, science companies can forge stronger connections with their clients and differentiate themselves from competitors. Highlighting the positive impact and transformative potential of your products or services, as well as showcasing real-world success stories and testimonials, can evoke emotions that resonate with your audience.

Demonstrating how your solutions address pain points and contribute to the greater good can create a sense of purpose and trust among potential buyers. Emotions can also establish a personal bond between the customer and the brand. By weaving emotional appeals into your B2B science marketing strategy, you can engage your audience on a deeper level and foster long-lasting partnerships based on both logic and emotion.

Be a storyteller.

Storytelling techniques can make your company’s message more memorable, persuasive, and interesting. Stories evoke emotions and can help you engage with decision makers. Stories can make complex information relatable and leave a lasting impact. By incorporating storytelling into your marketing strategy, you can humanize your brand, making it more approachable and memorable. Craft narratives highlighting the challenges your customers face and how your products or services have provided solutions. Use case studies, testimonials, and real-life examples to showcase the tangible results and benefits your offerings bring.

By presenting your product or service as a valuable tool that helps your customer overcome obstacles and achieve success, you can create a powerful connection and inspire confidence in your brand. Through storytelling, B2B science marketing becomes more than just facts and figures; it traces the buyer’s journey, leaving a lasting impression and driving meaningful engagement. Case studies are one of the most effective ways to reach prospective customers because they use storytelling to demonstrate the specific benefits of a product or service in the real world.

Review “The Case Study: Using Storytelling in Science Marketing and Communications” for several critical features of a good case study and additional blog posts for ideas on incorporating storytelling into your ads, social media marketing messages, and presentations.

Establish a voice of authority.

Generate thought leadership content to establish your company and key personnel as industry experts. A well-planned and executed thought leadership strategy can include participation in industry events, conferences, and speaking engagements. By-lined articles in scientific publications and online platforms can further help generate interest and foster trust among your target group. Additional thought leadership content can include blogs, webinars, podcasts, and videos.

Leverage digital marketing efforts.

Digital marketing channels can play a crucial role. Begin by creating user-friendly and informative web pages that highlight your expertise and products. Implement search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to improve search engine visibility and drive organic traffic. Engage with the scientific community through various social media channels and platforms, sharing relevant content and participating in discussions. Consider paid advertising for targeted exposure and utilize email marketing to nurture leads and maintain customer relationships. Marketing automation can streamline processes and improve efficiency.

Assess progress and adjust as needed.

As with any strategic or tactical marketing efforts, measuring your success against your goals is paramount — as is changing course when needed. Regular evaluation allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your B2B marketing efforts and make informed decisions to optimize outcomes.

Start by setting clear, measurable goals aligned with your overall business objectives. Track key performance indicators such as lead generation, conversion rates, website traffic, and customer engagement to gain insights into your B2B marketing performance.

Analyze the data and identify trends, patterns, and areas of improvement. This evaluation process enables you to identify what’s working well and what needs adjustment. Based on your findings, adjust your strategy accordingly, whether it’s refining your messaging, targeting specific market segments, exploring new marketing channels, or improving the customer experience. Continuously monitor and measure the impact of these adjustments to ensure they are moving you closer to your goals.

Partner with B2B Marketing Experts

Ready to elevate your B2B marketing strategy? Identify and analyze your target customer. Craft a powerful message that resonates with your audience and showcases the unique benefits of your products or services. But don’t stop there! Regularly assess your progress and fine-tune your strategy based on data-driven insights.

By embracing adaptability and staying focused on delivering value, you can position your business for growth and innovation.

To learn more about how Cobalt helps science-focused B2B businesses with all aspects of B2B marketing and communications, visit the Cobalt services page or contact the Cobalt marketing team.

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As a strategic communications agency serving science- and R&D-driven organizations, we specialize in highly technical markets where complex ideas and information must be conveyed with clarity. Our team includes writers, designers, strategists and content architects, all working together to help you reach — and engage — your internal and external audiences.

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