• SruthiMurali

B2B World!

Creating Brand Awareness is a bit different for marketers in the B2B world. When I first started off with B2B marketing, I have been bombarded with a lot of questions like “what will be the scope and elements for your B2B marketing strategy?” “Are we dealing with the right set of customers?” “Are we in the right market?” “Is our communication channel suitable for our target market?”, “How will we gauge the tools and campaigns?” etc.

B2C was pretty much predictable in terms of consumer reach. We place our product with some generic promotions and it will reach a set of customers. Since the purchase decision or lead time is not very complex, the results are fast compared to B2B. In general, the market is always in motion and everything the marketers do will reach a few customers, but it might not be your target customers. Hence, defining your target market is the very first thing that a marketer should take care of when you deal with B2B. This is not an easy job. Sometimes businesses tend to assume its target market and this could be overwhelming to both the business and their customers at the same time. Now, what marketers want to do is define a compact core group instead of a large dispersed target market.

As a marketer, you should be able to differentiate B2C and B2B strategy in real sense and not in terms of textbook definition. If you are dealing with B2B business, you will start with a list of companies. Start from filtering those lists and grouping them to different core groups or sub-industries. Once we have a different set of core groups, we can filter out the irrelevant leads by analyzing the process in detail. Design different marketing strategies for each core group. But make sure your implementation aligns with your company’s brand image. Once we know our customers, we understand where to place our product or services for maximum reach within sub-industries.

Placement in B2B is very complex and expensive. Customization is crucial here and it will be difficult to make it readily available in different locations, when it comes in various shapes and huge sizes. Now, what makes the difference is the channel. If the business has a strong network of channels and logistics to cater to different geographical locations, your job is half done.

Product and the price are the two elements of marketing which don’t undergo a frequent change in the product lifecycle. The product can have improvements, so does price. However, frequent price fluctuations can question the credibility of the brand. But that being said, the company should be ready to sit back and analyze the price in a while. Discounted and complementary pricing can be applied to give a boost to the brand.

Marketing collaterals and merchandises are important segments of branding. Your marketing materials should talk for the brand. They should leave a long lasting impression on your customers. Both traditional and digital branding materials are equally important these days. Be it your website, brochures, flyers and any other automated sales tool, the most important thing to keep in mind is the uniformity. All our materials should give out the same message to our customers. In B2B, social media is not so crucial (again, depends upon your target market), whereas word of mouth is still considered golden.

Next step is watching the market response, not just in sales terms, in every aspect. Do frequent follow-ups and surveys with customers. We will measure the pace, emotion behind the product, brand and the market respectively. “Most products fail because they don’t consider the “Convenience” of the end users” (P.G ChilPrakash, MD & Founder, Chilton Personal Communication, 2019). Some market reports rapid growth whereas some have a very slow pace. Time consistency is crucial. Business has to be consistent with the brand and their values throughout its growth phase since B2B decisions are time-consuming. Lead time is higher compared to B2C.

Consumer Psychology

House-hold consumers tend to get attracted more to free goods and coupons whereas business consumers are keen on relationships, price negotiations etc. Hence, rather than investing a lot on marketing materials business should focus on “how to gain trust within our customers”. Constant communication, empathetical approach, problem-solving, mutual benefit, convenience and time-consistency are few approaches that one might want to consider while dealing with business consumers.

References

B2B Marketing PNG Image. PNG Arts. August 8, 2017. https://www.pngarts.com/files/1/B2B-Marketing-Free-PNG-Image.png

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