WE ARE BETTER - SEVEN CHALLENGES
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
The company's employees are key to delivering the B2B
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.™
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.
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.
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
and other customer touches must support a sequence of
decision stages, as well as the role of influencers.
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.
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).
support and engagement of internal functional groups beyond
the marketing department needs to be gained to accomplish change.
building and maintaining customer relationships is complicated
by the large number of matrixed functions within
the B2B or services company who shape those relationships.
entire team of internal constituents must be drawn
together around the customer to work together effectively.