B2B or the business-to-business is the exchange of services, products, or communications among businesses as opposed to between businesses and consumers (B2C). Business-to-business communication mix is communications strategies employed to exchange information among companies, organizations or industries. As posited by Vitale and Giglierano (2002), B2B communication refers to the procedure of harmonizing and merging the abilities of the supplier with required results of the clients to create value for the “customer’s customer” and, hence, create value for both organizations”.
Although early attention centred on the development of retailing on the Internet, estimates are that B2B returns will by far surpass business-to-consumers (B2C) returns in the future. The point of Business-to-Business Communications is to ensure that the selling procedure is as cost efficient as feasible. B2B Integrated Communication Options includes Public Relations, Trade Journal Advertising, direct mail, Directories, Brochures & Sales Literature, Exhibitions, Trade Shows, Conventions, Sponsorship or Event Marketing, Media Advertising and Interactive (on-line) Advertising & Web Sites. B2B integrative communication mix involves the amalgamation and exploitation of a number of these forms of media by a company or its unit to communicate its message to create and maintain a client base and brand image.In this analysis, the IBM use of social media to realize their B2B communications objectives will be examined.
IBM centres their social media efforts on getting their workforce chatting outside the company’s firewall to sharpen their skill. The concept behind this is that the best way to represent the brand is to display its workforce and their expertise. A number of their social endeavours began within the firm as a method of enabling the staff members to learn from each other and work together. Eventually, some of these the in-house tools turned out to be products presented to the marketplace. IBM has a platform where employees upload videos and podcasts. The firm has done work on the outside by shifting the corporate pigeonholes of B2B video.
This B2B interactive communication strategy has doubled visitors to the firm’s website, and also won abundant press mentions.