With the needs, wants and desires of the customer continuing to change and evolve there is a corresponding impact on the company looking to get its message through to intended market segments. Those of you have watched some of my videos in the past or read my writings will be well aware that I form marketing campaigns and programmes around three main pillars i.e.
… of course within each pillar there are many variations to be considered but for the purposes of this article let’s focus in on the ever increasing important role that Digital Marketing has to play in promoting, branding and advertising the company.
With that said; it is important to note that I consider Digital Marketing as what it actually is and that is “another [ok it is a critically important one] channel to market [means of connecting with the customer] such as …
… and others in order to gain market intelligence and to educate and nurture the customer taking them through the marketing funnel each step taking the closer to become a paying client.
So back to the customer and the challenges that the company has when it is looking to continually develop and execute marketing campaigns.
First we have the larger companies that [may] have fully staffed marketing departments with marketing professionals that are able to keep up with the ever changing digital marketing landscape as well as looking at how the customer reacts to content, information, marketing and advertising so that however they end up viewing the brand of the company along with the associated products and services culminates in them favouring them over the competitors.
On the other hand we have organisations that maybe do not have a defined marketing department or, whose marketing is being taken care of as a side job or in addition to someone’s task; it may also be that the marketing’s task has been given to someone who may not be defined as a full blown marketing professional [not that someone who is not a marketing professional cannot perform the marketing task] – but the point being made is that at times we are need of falling back on disciplined marketing fundamentals in order to deal with the constant change within the [digital] marketing landscape.
When it comes to Digital Marketing we conveniently divide the activities into Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing. Within the two we have to deal with trends, content creation, video marketing, email marketing, podcasting, image / graphics marketing, blogging and more activities that have to be executed on a daily basis in order to keep up. In addition to this if a company [without a dedicated digital marketing professional] comes up against a company with a fully functioning marketing department it may be fighting losing battle.
One of the most common questions that I get asked by those who are starting out in business; also by those who have been involved in business maybe for some time who maybe running a functioning business and making a decent living is : ‘just how to I actually go about developing a marketing strategy’ ??
At a recent networking event when speaking a business owner who by his own admission if well versed in the technology of his business (but not in the marketing) I spoke of the three pillars that I use when thinking about, explaining and developing a marketing or business strategy. They are :-
Channels To Market
… that is to say, we work on defining the category of the market that the Product or Service fits into, we then work on the marketing Channels. When it comes to channels we consider the channel that we use to deliver the product or service to the marketplace and secondly the channels that we use to push the message to the marker place through. And finally, we have to ensure that our preferred market segments are at the end of the channels that we use. That is the essence of the framework that I work through when refining and developing a marketing strategy.
Now, let’s assume we are you are selling massage therapy services [as one of my previous clients were]. For sure the channel for delivering the service would be in the therapist’s salon but they business owner will have many options in terms of channel marketing for delivering the branding message and services of the business to the market place at large. They can use direct mail, blogging, mobile, articles, newspapers, radio and more to deliver their message to the target market.
Next, we need to ensure that our product/service is positioned appropriately in terms of location, offering and pricing – a particular segment of the market may wish to pay say $15/hour for a massage but other high end clients may be perfectly happy to pay $100/hour if they see the value in what it is that you have to offer. The question is – which market segment is it that you will choose to target ? If this discussion we have covered the market segments and the category of the market that we wish to be positioned in.
So there you have it – an insight into my methodology for developing marketing strategies whether working with $multi billion clients in China [Swatch Group] or with a wedding reception services business such as http://www.lowcostchaircovers.co.uk/ that I consulted for last year.
In summary we want to be thinking of Channels, Market Segments and Product/Service categories.
To your marketing strategy development success,
Let me know if you wish to engage with myself and the team to assist you in your business.
One of the programs that I run in companies and in public seminars is that of Business To Business Branding [Marketing & OEM Development]. Why is this topic so much in demand ? Because in the interconnected world and economy that we live in, more and more business are dependant on selling their Products and Services to other businesses. That is to say, the bulk of the marketing activities are focusses on individual customers within other companies as opposed to final end user individual consumers.
The point to be highlighted is that there are specific differences and complexities when it comes to the branding and marketing process as related to selling to other companies. Most marketing material and branding specifics are based on targetting end user consumers.
Let’s briefly explore this further in terms of the sale of television sets.
Business To Consumer : The electrical outlet store is focussed on selling A TV to the couple, student or individual – they may focus on how they television will look in their home, how easy it is to use and how they can maybe spread the cost over a period of time.
Business To Business : Or OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] situations where a TV manufacturer is selling its TV sets to other businesses, they may rebrand and sell to the end user or sell as is to the end user on a distribution basis. The focus of the branding and marketing efforts are on the needs of the BUSINESS that is performing the rebranding or that will be distributing the televisions regionally, nationally or globally. The sale quantities will be in the 1000s or 10000s, focus will be on supply chain, on time delivery and of the quality of the Tvs. The decision whether or not to purchase will depend on group decisions within the purchasing company – as opposed to the individual who purchased the television for their living room.
These basis distinctions above is fed into the Brand Equity equation and we work through this throughout the training based around Business To Business Marketing And Branding.
Hope you found this useful, feel free to get in touch if you have any comments or if you would like to take on some Business to Business Consulting or Training within your organisation.
To your business to business marketing and branding success,
The visual and audio summary of the Business To Business Marketing and Branding seminar and consulting process that I follow may be viewed/listened to in the video below for those who prefer to take in information from an audio and visual perspective :-
For a quick rundown of the sections that we will go through should you employ me to conduct consulting/training in your organization is as follows :-
Differences Between B2C & B2B Branding
Reasoning behind the structure is to first give a grounding in the fundamentals of the topic, to look at some of the terminology and establish the overall framework and methodology for marketing and establish branding excellence to other organizations as opposed to the more common marketing and branding targeted to individual consumers.
It is important to make clear distinctions between the branding and marketing process in terms of the goal of selling products and services to other organizations. Whether your business to business marketing efforts are for the purpose of the partner company reselling your products as a component of their finished product [as part of an OEM business partnership] or; for the purpose of the partner organisation reselling or distributing your product – there are key fundamentals that need to be brought to mind and paid attention to if one organisation is going to be successful selling to another as the success of the selling company and the one selling to the end user are tied.
The Equity of the Brand is explored in the “Branding Dimensions” section and gives the marketer the fundamental business parameters on which to focus on in order to raise the equity of the brand in order to make the selling, marketing of the organization’s products and/or services run more smoothly.
The “Branding Process” section deals with some of the organizational complexities that need to be address if successful B2B Branding and Marketing ongoing campaigns are to be executed within the company. Ownership and management involvement is a key component that is addressed as this is one of the reasons why companies fail to make as much out of the B2B Products & Services as they otherwise could be if they do not adopt some of the structure and process management highlighted within this consulting process.
Finally we look at why some organizations fail in their B2B marketing and branding efforts by examining real life cases in order to extract the key learnings so we make sure that we do not make the same mistakes.
Do get in touch if you would like to discuss receiving some B2B branding and/or marketing consulting and training within your company.