HOW WE ARE BETTER - SEVEN CHALLENGES

Seven Reasons B2B Marketing is so Challenging
Successful marketing in any category is challenging, but especially in “complex categories” such as healthcare, business services, financial services, and information technology.  What makes B2B marketing even more challenging?  Here are the seven reasons…

BRAND INSIDE
The company's employees are key to delivering the B2B brand promise.
Implication: True branding cannot be conjured up in the marketing department - the company IS the brand. The most powerful brands reflect the internal passion that motivates management and the employees as well as external customer needs. When we audit your brand, we prepare a complete inside/outside (I/O) analysis as part of our BRAND BI/OPSY.™

TECHNOLOGY
The B2B marketplace is especially dynamic due to disruptive technology and frequent competitive actions. The continuity of your company's employees is key to delivering the continuing brand promise.
Implication: A brand’s health must be managed continuouslyto ensure success in a shifting brandscape.

DIVERSITY
You must appeal simultaneously to multiple diverse stakeholders. Not only do they vary insophistication and involvement, but their roles vary from prospects to customers to business partners who may be both colleagues and competitors.
Implication: You must reflect the perspective of each class of stakeholder in marketing decisions.

PURCHASE PROCESS
The decision-making process is longer, riskier, more public, and more complex in services and B2B settings than in B2C.  You – and your management – need to have the appreciation and patience for the greater time and effort required.
Implication: Communications and other customer touches must support a sequence of decision stages, as well as the role of influencers.

BRAND/PRODUCT MANAGEMENT
You must manage a continuing stream of real product news while simultaneously reinforcing the enduring consistency of your brand. Sometimes the two get scrambled.
Implication: Product news must be directed to reinforce
the brand positioning. 

COMPANY/OFFERING MANAGEMENT
B2B customers are buying a company, not just a product.  Services and products need to be positioned in the company context of the overall organization (like Windows® and Office® for Microsoft).They cannot be positioned independently (like Crest and Pampers for P&G).
Implication: The support and engagement of internal functional groups beyond the marketing department needs to be gained to accomplish change.   

INTERNAL MANAGEMENT
Accordingly, building and maintaining customer relationships is complicated by the large number of matrixed functions within the B2B or services company who shape those relationships. 
Implication: The entire team of internal constituents must be drawn together around the customer to work together effectively.