If you have read any marketing books, you may have come across the 4Ps of marketing or the 7Ps of services marketing. Here is our B2B version, adapted for the realities of B2B marketing in the 21st century – and with a bonus P of our own.
“A market is never saturated with a good product but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one.” Henry Ford
Do your research. Does your product or service meet your customers needs. Are they pleased with what you deliver? Do they highlight any gaps. If you don’t ask, you will not know. Top Question: ‘How can you make your product/service better?’
If you aim to be the cheapest, you will attract customers who buy mainly on price – and who will go elsewhere as soon as they see a cheaper offer. Price is not the only consideration for most B2B buyers. Set your price to reflect your value send a message to customers that you offer quality. Deliver on your promises and attract customers who pay you more and come back for quality and value.
There are now more ways than ever to promote your business. You probably don’t have time or resources to use them all. For B2B marketing, it is usually better to use a few channels fully than to scatter your efforts thinly across many. Make sure you choose your channels based on understanding what is most effective for your target audience. Track your results to learn what works and modify your approach accordingly.
You can sell to the world via a website, so make sure you consider on-line marketing for what you do. On the other hand, could your best customers be just down the road? Increase your business profile in your local area, and you might be surprised. There are many advantages of having local customers – not least, the opportunity to build a strong long-term relationship.
B2B marketing is all about building trust. With the exception of consumables, B2B purchases are rarely made on the spur of the moment. People are crucial in B2B marketing. The relationship is what will bring about the first and subsequent sales. Consider how you and your team engage with prospects and new enquiries.
You need solid processes for delivering your product or service. You also need solid processes for your marketing activities. How you are going to handle each stage of the interaction from lead generation right through to customer retention? Create a process and embed this into the daily routine. Consistency wins out in the long run.
Physical evidence includes both your actual product and everything the customer experiences about your business. Your virtual presence – website, social media activity, email communications. Your premises, the way you dress, the way the phone is answered. Make sure nothing reflects poorly on your business – take every opportunity to make the right impression.
Top Tip – The bonus P – Proof
In B2B Marketing your most important asset is your ability to offer proof that your product or service offer a real solution to a customer need. Collecting, assembling and presenting proof of your value is an essential part of building your business. Customer feedback, testimonial, recommendations, case studies in words, images, voice and video will help you build your business faster and with more profitable long-term customers. Start collecting now!
To be successful at B2B marketing, you have to play the long game. A business you approach now might not be in a position to pursue what you offer today, but then turn out to be a good customer in two years’ time. Keep in contact, be helpful, and make sure people do not forget who you are and what you do. You then have a good chance of being the person they turn to when the time comes to buy what you have to offer.
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From our base in Macclesfield, we provide Business Advice, Mentoring, Coaching and Training to businesses across Cheshire,Derbyshire and the North West including Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Stockport, Buxton and Manchester.