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Marketing to businesses and machines

It isn't just consumers that marketers have to reach. Business-to-business marketing also matters, as does reaching algorithms.
We shouldn’t forget that not all marketing focuses on individuals. Marketing is also important in business-to-business environments. B2B sees businesses sell to other businesses. This area often lags behind consumer marketing on emotional appeal, but on the other hand, it excels in some processes and measurements like returns on investment. B2B marketing often focuses more heavily on the rational appeal, but what is sometimes missed in B2B marketing is the blindingly obvious fact that businesses are run by real people, at least for now. When marketing to your person, we consider all elements of that person’s psychology. Why would we suddenly then focus only on rational things that are relatively boring and uninspiring when we come to B2B context?
Decision-making processes are indeed very different in the B2B world compared to the consumer world, no questions about it. In the B2B world, the consumer rarely bears the economic burden of the decision directly. They may have teams helping them weigh up the options and parameters set on how they buy, for example, needing a certain number of quarts before they can choose a supplier, but the eventual decision is reached
in exactly the same way as personal decisions: influenced by their emotions, feelings and gut. In the quantum-marketing era, it’s time for B2B marketers to humanize what they offer without losing the focus on the facts that their prospects need and demand. They must use psychology, behavioral economics and sensory sciences to gain buyer interest. They must put as much of effort into UX design as for any consumer product. They need to leverage the role of emotions in decision-making. They need to deploy influencer marketing. You get the drift. B2B marketing needs the same approach as all other marketing. In addition to businesses, marketers also need to market to machines.
When a machine or actually does the algorithm behind it decides which brand will show up and where it ranks in an online search, it is important to first market to the machine, which then puts our brand in front of consumers. Marketers have to learn how to influence that machine, that is, how to position the brand best in the eyes or the logic of that algorithm. I’m talking about search-engine optimization and search-engine marketing but in a brave, new, technology-led world. Now, thanks to AI, the machines are getting more sophisticated, and marketers need to figure out how to market to them.
In a literal sense, it’s a set of machines on your side marketing to a set of machines on the other side. This is an important part of marketing process, and it can break all the other efforts if it is not done right. In other words, marketers need to gear up to the new realities and rethink their machine-marketing strategies, algorithms and content. For example, when a consumer asks Alexa for a product, Alexa serves the brand based on some logic someone has programmed it with. Marketers need to know how to show up in that environment in the right way. Marketers cannot ignore this very important, new medium.
Particularly as the Internet of things gets more sophisticated, they will have to learn to market not only to machines such as search engines but machines embedded in every house, workplace and even in your pocket.

Marketers don’t just sell goods or services to people.

Marketers also have to communicate with businesses (which is known as business-to-business marketing or B2B). They also have to create campaigns and content that are designed for algorithms.

Raja Rajamannar explains in this video how the same rules apply to B2B marketing as to consumer marketing.

But marketers must also consider how they market to machines such as smart speakers and search engines.

Once you have watched the video, try using a Google search or ask smart speakers for different categories of goods, such as chips or chocolate. Which brands come up? How would you have improved the experience if you were marketing those goods? Share with your fellow learners below.

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Quantum Marketing with Raja Rajamannar

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