Designing and implementing a B2B marketing strategy is definitely challenging. There are more than every sales channel to develop, marketing strategies to select and brand messaging to a wider audience. Sometimes, during your SWOT analysis, you may even discover you don’t have that many opportunities to go after. Either way, committing to specific marketing strategies can feel like your jumping off a high cliff.
Either way, the result should be a customer-centric and competitively dominant marketing strategy. This can be achieved in not just knowing the core concepts of a marketing strategy but also in how to implement an integrated marketing program.
What’s changed in B2B Marketing Strategy?
The tools of marketing management
Artificial intelligence, CRM, database management, analytics, automated marketing, online forums, online chatbox, Facebook groups, and websites as your best sales rep. These measurement tools, customer engagement processes and lead generation programs are
Your first competitive advantage can change and erode over time and even your competition can also change. But what’s changed is the increase in customer loyalty. Their ability to switch to another competitor overnight based on increased product or service knowledge erodes your competitive advantage. Your client can now buy the almost same product overseas, online and at a cheaper price.
What has changed is the increased advertising and promotional venues, this includes all things digital. Designing and managing distribution channels has also expanded, from online shopping, brand ambassadors to affiliate marketing programs requires specific communication tools, KPIs and expanded Brand Policy.
Corporate Communications & Public Relations
As a company, I’m sure you’ve seen that the customer has a bigger voice. They can leave a disgruntled comment on your Facebook Business Page, Yelp or worse, on their personal feed, leaving you with the ongoing work to control over your brand public image. Plus, the customer is not alone. You now have to manage your employees and the community who are online and talking about your company and brand.
What has not changed
Core Concepts in Marketing
The four P’s still matter!
What hasn’t changed in B2B marketing strategy is integrating marketing and communications efforts into a single message. Where the overall plan focuses on customer value and results are still very relevant. B2B marketing strategy or strategies are the same as they were before digital marketing. What digital marketing has provided is better tracking and measurement.
SWOT Analysis, Competitive Research & Strategic Questions
Strategic questions have not changed. Questions noted below have not gone out of style.
- What else can we make?
- Do we matter?
- Is our brand relevant?
- What do our customers want?
- Why is the competitor moving in that new direction?
Market segmentation and product positioning to create targeted campaigns, better communications and improve service offering – these have not changed. You’ve got better marketing management tools as highlighted in competitive analysis and communications—these are the core concepts that have not changed and the foundation in developing your own effective customer-centric marketing strategy.
We’ve always worked towards removing standardization to one-to-one marketing and using a product positioning platform as the foundation for developing the marketing mix.