The concept of matchmaking is pretty straightforward and has been around in many cultures for decades. Matchmaking comes from the words 'matching' and 'making', and while it was used in a different context then, it still has a similar meaning in the business world.
The focus of an online B2B matchmaking platform is to matchmake businesses during B2B events to form beneficial business connections with other attendees. This article discusses what you need to know about B2B matchmaking and tips for creating a B2B matchmaking platform.
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According to Virgin, 85% of jobs are filled through networking, even though most businesses put more effort into digital marketing and social media.1 An online B2B matchmaking platform is designed to connect you with more businesses, thus helping you form beneficial business relationships. This tool is meant to optimize B2B networking, so business owners can connect with new business connections. It is usually used for B2B events like buyer/seller events, startup/investor events, job fairs, business conferences, and other events where networking is usually a main item on the agenda :
What is the point of online B2B matchmaking?
One thing you should know about selling a product or providing a service is that people buy from people. That's why there are instances where businesses offer exceptional products but have only a few customers because they've not been able to connect with their buyers. B2B matchmaking platforms are beneficial because they make building meaningful relationships with prospective buyers, investors, or partners easier.
A matchmaking platform enables a search for promising contacts based on the user profiles of providers and consumers. Also, this matchmaking platform is used to organize meetings between event participants before, during, or after a B2B event.
Matchmaking platforms improve networking at B2B events to another level. B2B networking often involves an uncoordinated activity where guests interact with others with the hope of clicking with someone interesting. However, matchmaking software is more structured, coordinated, and optimized in the sense that you can search for potential business connections.
Also, many matchmaking platforms use AI that automatically matches and initiates contact between attendees according to their interests. So, instead of hoping to find a business connection, B2B matchmaking software is more robust as it takes it further by setting a well-coordinated meeting according to interests. Matchmaking software is best for business owners looking for a structured way to find suitable companies and partners to do business with.
So, the main difference between matchmaking and networking is that the latter happens by chance while the former is more structured, and the attendee already knows who they are meeting with. Also, regular networking takes place in an unstructured way, usually during breaks between events, while matchmaking is more structured.
It's often hard for B2B owners and marketers to bring their sales team in direct contact with relevant customers or investors that may move the company forward. However, with B2B matchmaking, you can directly connect with prospective customers.
A B2B matchmaking often works by organizing events and matching the attendees with event sponsors based on their common areas of interest. The matched people are then expected to have a short meeting of about 15-20 minutes to communicate and share knowledge. The matched participants will agree on a follow-up meeting after the event, depending on how the meeting goes.
If you break down how the event matchmaking process, you will end up with the following six steps;
The first step of using a B2B matchmaking platform is to register on the platform and then select your area of interest or expertise. Participants can usually create user profiles, add personal details and then select their area of expertise. With this, the matchmaking platform can set up a meeting between people of similar interests. Some matchmaking platforms allow users to select multiple areas of expertise that fit their niche.
Also, you have to state other information like what it is you are searching for and what you have to offer so that the system can identify people who can meet your needs.
After you register, the event organizer will usually send a mail to confirm your attendance and set your meeting preference. Also, you can use the matchmaking software before the event to browse other attendees' profiles and find business connections. Some matchmaking tools let you select who you want to meet so that they can connect you with them by setting up a private meeting or appointment with them. In this case, you have to identify promising networks you want to connect with. You can use social media to research attendees to know more about them before setting up a meeting.
Matchmakers on the platform are then expected to secure meetings between attendees with similar interests. The attendees can also indicate their interest or preference in the person they would like to meet. The event organizers will set up a meeting between the two parties with this information.
You will get information about the meeting schedule before the event. It's best to indicate interest in the right people and those you believe can move your business forward.
Like any other meeting, you're meant to prepare. Know what you need to do and how to do it. Do you want to pitch your brand? Learn something meaningful or convince them to partner with you.
The meeting is usually short, so it's best to prepare for it to make the most out of your time. Also, attend the meeting on time, introduce yourself and describe how you can help or how they can help.
One of the most important parts of the matchmaking process is following up on your business connections. Keep following up on people you meet because this is how to build a long-term and fruitful relationship with them.
There are many benefits of using matchmaking software as a business owner. One of the most important is that the platform helps improve lead generation by connecting you with the perfect seller, buyer, business owner, or other meaningful business connection. Here are some steps and tips for creating your online matchmaking software:
Business owners need relationships with different categories of people like investors, service providers, product companies, suppliers, and other businesses. The first tip to creating an online B2B matchmaking platform is to figure out what niche you want to focus on.
Do you want to focus on a single solution like matchmaking businesses with suppliers, or do you want a hybrid solution like combining the solution connecting businesses with other businesses while also connecting them with service providers? Also, figure out your goal for the platform. What are you hoping business owners can achieve?
Once you understand your goal, it will be easy to carry on with other steps to create a successful B2B matchmaking platform.
To ensure the success of your platform, you need to build a niche for yourself. Also, you might want to segment your audience into different groups and figure out the industry you want to operate.
Do you want to focus on cosmetics? Games? Household items? Media and Advertising? Freelancing? Handicraft?
There are so many niches out there, and choosing an industry focus will help you build authority faster. Also, a specific industry focus will help you determine the best strategy to promote your matchmaking platform.
Now that you know your niche, it's time to figure out the persona of your potential users. Try to find their demographic and psychographic data. What is their age group? What kind of people are they? Do they enjoy networking? What social media are they likely to use the most? Are they tech-savvy?
Knowing your target audience will help you build a suitable platform for them.
The next step is to identify your competitors and analyze them to determine how to perform better. There are already a lot of successful B2B matchmaking platforms out there, so if you are creating yours, you have to ensure you have a solid business plan to stand out.
Creating a B2B matchmaking platform will cost you money, so it's best to calculate your costs and determine what type of platform you can create within your budget. Therefore, start by researching your competitors' features and use that to determine what you need on your platform and how much it will cost you.
Some of the parts of the development stage that will cost you money include:
Also, you should know that the more features your platform has, the more it will cost you to develop it. So it's best to determine your budget first, so you can create something within your budget,
In this case, you want to figure out the features you want in your matchmaking platform to function properly. Some of the features you can consider include;
You need a team of developers and web designers to build your B2B matchmaking platform, so it's important to find the right company or person for the job.
Once you have developed the B2B matchmaking platform, it is time to launch it for the world to see.
Your matchmaking platform is a product, so you need to market it for other business owners to use it. Market your platform effectively and ensure you market to the right audience.
To market your matchmaking software, you can:
Once your matchmaking platform is up and running, you can start creating events where business owners can meet other people. Your events can be virtual or physical, depending on your target audience. You can consider having a speaker or moderator for this event to keep it organized and more structured.
By creating events where users have to register, your platform can start matchmaking businesses with other connections. We recommend creating event visuals like banners and ads to promote your event so that it can get to the right people.
At Alibaba.com, we matchmake business owners with buyers and suppliers through our global marketplace. Through Alibaba.com, you can showcase your products as a B2B seller making it easy for your potential customers to find. Also, with Alibaba.com, you can browse for suppliers and manufacturers to restock your products.
That's not all; Alibaba.com also offers:
To start with Alibaba.com, simply open a seller account, set up a storefront, post your products, and start selling to a global audience.