In addition to my previous post, these are some notes on B2B marketing;
True customer orientation should work through:
- vision & mission
- company culture
- STP strategy – being organised around customer segments instead of around product groups
- structure, systems & incentives – and their implementation
- front-line behaviour – the dealing with the customer
- customer relation capability – how to keep a customer
- market learning capability – pick up on signals of change
Targeting strategies can be mass marketing, niche or multi-segment strategy.
What is so different about B2B marketing?
- customers are relatively more important – there are less and bigger ones
- the customer has a customer – demand is indirect
- buyers are professional and use more complex procedures for a purchase
- decision making units
On this last item: a DMU can be diverse and very hard to reach: a person can have a role as buyer, influencer, decider, user, gatekeeper, prescriber etc. What is important is to find the most important in the buying process. This is defined by who benefits the most of a transaction. The best segmentation you can make is by decision maker.
Push and Pull: as a marketing manager you might decide to change the DMU to influence, and move from a push to a pull strategy.
Back to the segmentation: for B2B this is a good additional segmentation:
- Company technology
- Product and brand-use status
- Customer capabilities (how sophisticated is the customer)
- Product application
- Benefits sought
- Manifest needs, latent needs: sometimes you can segment and target according to needs that the customer does not even knew he had
After segmentation, let’s look at these 3 levels:
- Features: which are the features the company has and can offer
- Benefits: What benefits do the above-mentioned features bring to your customer. Which features are irrelevant to the customer?
- Values: Understand what the above is worth to your customer
Finally there are three ways to do a value proposition. From less to more effective:
- All benefits are listed in a value proposition to a customer
- Favourable points of difference: comparing to the competition, the company lists the most favourable benefits to the customer
- Resonating focus: you bring out the one point with the greatest customer value. This obviously presumes a correct segmentation, a very well understood set of values of the customer and flawless communication.