The Foundation Principles
Business practices are anchored upon the necessity for margins of both growth and profit. In order to manage the needs for growth and monetary increase, a strategy must be placed to ensure a business is captivating their audience and hitting the necessary checkpoints for success.
It is for this reason that businesses must utilise the full potential of their marketing and sales teams. To revisit the goal of any business, increasing sales and growth, there are two predominant audiences to target; the consumer of a product/ service (B2C) or supporting a business that provides the product/service (B2B).
Putting the Customer First
If your company is engaging in B2B Marketing your aim is vastly different than marketing to an individual. B2B Marketing requires a focus on the needs, interests and challenges of individuals who are making purchases on behalf of an organisation.
Comparing this organisation framework, where there is a process for approval that must be passed up the chain of command, against an individual-based purchase, who is the decision maker, reveals a much longer process for B2B organisation-based marketing. Due to this time frame being significantly longer than B2C marketing Harry Markowitz’s risk-return trade off principle dictates that the return will be significantly higher.
Be Aware of Timeframes
It is for this reason that B2B Marketing is noted as being a slower process with a lower volume than B2C Marketing but generates higher returns per successful transaction.
This longer process therefore increases contact time between your company and the organisation. This is a major factor for organisations keeping companies on for multiple contracts, as they can count on your company to provide and deliver expert services. This is well and good once you’ve won the work, but how do you go about achieving this?
The B2B Marketing Process
There are three stages to B2B Marketing;
The Awareness Stage – Prospect is experiencing and expressing a problem or opportunity, without a solution.
Consideration Stage – Prospect has now clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity.
Decision Stage – Prospect has now decided on their solution strategy, method or approach.
Your aim as a company is to be able to support this organisation at every stage of this process and make the period between each as short as possible.
Engaging your Prospects
To get onto the Prospect Timeline you must be able to identify the needs and problems of your chosen market or industry and develop a strategy that can effectively solve them. Therefore, you must determine your service offering prior to contact.
This can take the form of developing an e-flyer, brochure, targeted presentation, or website to relay your services that have been tailored to the needs of the market.