Business to business marketing and branding is at the heart of society considering that the majority of goods and services that we purchase are in fact a subset of what goes on in the b2b branding and marketing realms. This aspect of business development is being given a lot of attention and for good reason when we consider that in some cases the sales process can take years but – securing a business to business supplier contract could means many tens of thousands of dollars of revenues.
In my training and consulting I have developed a framework from which to move on to craft a business strategy in marketing and branding products and services to another business. Much of this comes from my experience when managing in the OEM [original equipment manufacturer] business unit for Hewlett Packard [in Europe, Japan, the U.S. and S.E. Asia].
Some things to consider :-
… and many other terms which need to be understand and worked on in order to develop excellence as a business to business supplier.
When we consider that the strength of the business that we are selling to is directly proportional to the strength of the brand of the weakest component – we want to ensure that our brand is not the cause of say –
the production line stopping
end user customers having to make returns
The above is when we consider product quality but what about sales and marketing ?
Of course we will take steps to market our products to our business partner but whose responsibility is it to create pull in the market place ? Could we take steps to co market our business partners product ? Considering that the more that they sell the more revenue we will generate – depending on our product and/or service, maybe we could move from simply selling product to a business partner and leaving them to perform all of the marketing promotion.
Maybe we could move to education the market place, training our business to business partner and many other specific activities depending on the development of the strategy.
Strategy development can take many months but in the first instance I would typically run a day’s seminar on the topic [anywhere in the world – based on demand]. Hopefully, I have touched on a few points which can serve as food for thought so you can take and use in your business.
Should you wish to make contact to explore working together – do not hesitate to get in touch.
We as business people all know that we are living in a real world economic downturn which has lead to many corporations having to downsize their workforce in order to stay afloat. Some agree and many disagree with the various mergers and acquisitions that are taking place as
companies look to get into new market and to improve their offerings to the marketplace. With all of the variable that take place with running a business most agree that it is the Sales and Marketing function that is probably the most important part of the operation of the business unit in question. There are an abundance of examples that we can see in the business world where – the best product has not dominated the market place or; where the product and/or service that everyone acknowledges is not the market leader rises to command maximum market share.
In getting an organisation to deliver excellence when it comes to getting their message out to the world at large we are seeing an increasing trend where where marketing strategy consulting [the service I provide] is being employed more and more. Part of the benefit of using external consultants is that they do not have the baggage or history and political connection with the organisation they are working with. And as a consequence are able to look at the data objectively, develop the right strategy and put in the relevant execution steps.
Is the organisation that you are working in stuck ? or stagnant ? are your management team doing the same thing this year that was being done last year ? Is is time for some external marketing strategy consulting to get your business unit kick started ? Whatever the case, you are encourage to approach your markets as if you are going into it anew – by that I mean considering the questions :-
Are we targetting the right customers
Are we using the correct communication channels
Are we using the most appropriate marketing channels to deliver the product/service
Do we know what our end user clients think about us [have we asked]
Is the internet being fully utilised as a marketing channel ?
These are some of the key questions that get buried, and lost in the day to day activities or any organisation and why using an external business strategy consultant may well be the thing that you should be strongly considering employing in your business.
Businesses of all sizes are looking to make use of the very best marketing consultants given that we are living in tough economic times. It has been said numerous times for good reason that ‘the heart and soul of business is the sales and marketing function’.
The fact is that making the desired end user customers aware of the products and services that the organisation has to offer is key in the first step for a successful business, to do this appropriate markerting channels need to the made use of.
Assuming the targets decide to purchase – the necessary and most efficient sales channels will then need to be employed to enable the marketplace to be able to purchase as many of the organisation’s products and services as possible.
Above are some of the necessities of ensuring the success of organisations and why the best marketing consultants are always in demand. As companies spend their time executing previously devised plans – there is often not the time and urgency to focus on developing key go to market strategies that will at times take the company in different directions.
It is for the reason above that it will continue to make sense for companies to seek outside help that can bring a much needed perspective that will act as :-
a catalyst for change
better customer understanding
The bullets points above are some of the benefits that skilled business marketing strategy consultants can bring to any company.
Depending where your business stands today in its development, it may be that you can do your business a huge favour by making use of the services of a marketing consultant, work with them for a few months which can results in many millions of benefit in the long run.
Of course, as this is my profession – you could say that I am biased, however – the facts are there to speak for themselves. Sometime – "we don’t know what we don’t know" that of course goes for any area in life but for the purpose of this discussion; the application to the development of business is the main point.
When we look at the makeup of corporations, we can readily identify the different functions that makeup the organisation. Some of the more common functions are :-
Research And Development
Human Resource Management
.. and we could go on adding to the list. Now if we are to ask the question as to what most important functions are, we would most likely get different responses depending on who we posed the question to.
As the reason for the existence of any organisation is to provide its products and services to specific end user customers and; no matter how fantastic the research development engineers are, how streamlined the manufacturing department has become, how well the employees are looked after – if not enough attention is put into the Sales and Marketing functions; there will of course not be enough clients who are purchasing from the corporation.
I’d like to make the statement that Sales and Marketing is the Heart and Soul of every business and the failure to pay significant attention to this part of the business will ultimately end in the failure of the organisation.
To illustrate the point – let’s talk about my favourite company at this point in time when I am looking to illustrate excellence in the Sales and Marketing function – that company is Apple. To learn more about Apple’s latest and fantastic release I suggest you read apple ipad reviews by following the link. In recent years we have seen changes in Apple’s distribution strategies and walking into any Apple store will enable anyone to see what every company looks for – Raving Fanatics – who are passionate about the organisation’s products and services.
During my business radion program when going through the Marketing Mix – I posed the questions :-
… the answer to all are Yes and yet Apple, through excellence is Sales and Marketing Strategies dominate in each specific Marketing Category. Time will tell as the iPad starts to sell internationally. At the time of writing – the iPad is yet to be release here in the UK and I for one cannot wait to get mine !!
To summarise – never fall so much in love with the products and services of the organisation so that you lose focus in constantly engaging with the targetted end user clients – they at the end of the day are the ones who must be depended upon to make consistent purchases from the organisation in order to keep the company in business.
The constant ongoing refinement and development [and execution] of the Sales and Marketing Strategies of the company – from large corporate to Small and Medium Enterprise, right down to the Solo Preneur will ensure the success of the business endeavour.
The topics of Business, Sales, Marketing and the Internet and their relation to each other is perhaps one of the most relevant topics of conversation that need to be take seriously by all business owners.
It must be stated time and time again that it is the Sales and Marketing that is the heart and soul of any business – not the products and services that are on offer !
The last point made above is a tough one to take in for many business leaders that fall in love with what they have to offer to the public at large – [ i.e. their product or service]. When this happens, we see that the focus on presenting the message/brand to the marketplace that was originially targetted fall away from an external to internal direction of attention.
The process of marketing is used to effectively target just ‘who the products and services are for and then this is where the sales process takes over in order to effect the sale. As for the internet – it is a wonderful tool and the subject that I am being asked to speak about the most. In short – we have to use the internet as a supplementary tool to act in conjunction with the ‘standard offline strategies and processes that have been developed.
The internet for sure is a wonderful Sales and Marketing tool but first, any company needs to have well defined messages for which they will be making use of the internet in order to convey that message.
Here is a podcast of the 1st question posed to me on the Drive Time Show for PassionRadioBristol on 15th June 2009. This 4min 30second discussion covers the following :-
A Business Marketing Plan Is The Foundation Of The organisation :-
Just as any building needs a really good foundation, it is paramount that business appropriately understands the Category of their product as well as having a clear understanding of their target End User Client.
The Business Marketing Plan consists of several components, one which is important is that of :-
The particular route / channel that a company chooses to use to sell their product through will have a bearing on the price as well as by default defining ones end user client profile.
If one has no experience of marketing one is advised not to fall in love with their product and to focus their energy and attention on the End User who will be eventually using the Product and/or Service. Understanding how the people who will be using your product will put the business owner in a strong position to be able to further shape the product to meet the needs of the end user client.
As in all areas of life, we as humans need to get outside help in order to help us to get closer to where we need to be in as short as time as possible. This rule also applies to the business scene in Bristol as we see that many of the corporate leaders as well as the SMEs are looking to take advantage of the business coaches that are in the region to come into their organisations and assist in the development of business, sales and marketing strategies. Based in Bristol – I find myself working with clients all over the country but in recent months have been providing consulting services for more local clients.
This was part of the reasoning behind the launch of bristol business coaching Bristol Business Seminar (www.BristolBusinessSeminars.com) which gives me the opportunity to impart quality strategic business, sales and marketing information for those who are not yet ready for or sure about taking on one on one consulting.
Due to the technologically advanced world in which we live, I have found that there is a rising trend in those organisations that are looking to really embrace the internet and to make their business websites work as equity in their businesses. As we manage multiple websites in various market sectors the focus on the next bristol business seminar will most likely be focussed on the bristol internet marketing needs for businesses.
If you are looking to work with a business coach to help to your organisation to the next level, then please do not hesitate to get in touch to see how we can work together.
One of the things that advisable for the business owner is to look for as many niche marketing examples as possible and take from them, specific examples that can be used in ones own business. Carefully analyzing the end user market using specific market segmentation strategies and processes will mean that the business owner will end up with a clear picture of its ideal client and where the main focus of the organization needs to be.
When considering specific internet marketing niche strategies – this will include making use of the various technologies such as podcasting, video marketing, blogging and a whole host of other tools that can be made use of to build ones business and brand making use of the universal power and availability of the internet.
With that said, we should make note that it is critical at the outset to ensure that the core value proposition and theme of the company [whether they happen to sell books online] is developed andcommunicated to the end user market place. When all is said and done – no matter what type of business is being executed, it is critically important to get the business fundamentals in place as early as possible, when this is done any small work from home business can end up ‘looking like the largest corporate and capture significant amounts of market share in their target market.
When we look at various companies and businesses that are found throughout the world – many people go on and wonder what it takes for those companies to keep major market shares and keep their brands at the forefront of the end user customers. After analysis we can be sure that it is down to significant and quality sales and marketing strategies that are developed and executed that can account for the success of those businesses.
With the widespread use of the internet, the use of a coherent business marketing strategy and of technologies – there is no reason why small work from home business cannot get hold of the very same go to market business strategies that are used by some of the most successful companies.
There seems to be no shortage of small business marketing ideas from which to choose from and with the state of the economies we see that there is a growing number of people who are looking to make their dreams come true their small work from home business. Some of the small business marketing strategies that have to be considered are in the area of niche marketing. This is an area that is not understood by many business owners and yet, when it is understood we can see remarkable increases in the fortunes of any business.
… more on this in the next post : let me know what you think.
Employing proper business branding strategies could spell the success for your business. Although it might be an intangible aspect of your business, it is basically what convinces people to buy or avail of your products or services. And when you garner enough sales, then only then can your business thrive.
What is a Branding Strategy?
A brand is not just a logo or a name, it represents your business identity. Therefore, it is a crucial part of the startup process for any business. Branding strategies are employed to provide the fundamental steps and recognize the valuable tools that will help create a strong business brand. In general terms, a strong brand is one that people recognize and believe to deliver good quality. Have you ever found yourself at the grocery choosing one product over the other because it is the more recognized or trusted brand?
It is therefore a branding strategy’s objective to recognize what could turn your business into a trusted brand name. How can you make people trust your brand and its reputation? What should you do to communicate the objective and mission of your company? What is the message you are trying to send out to produce loyal customers? A sound business branding strategy will aim to find answers to these questions before you can establish a brand for your company that would excel in the market.
Create Name, Logo, or Website
Coming up with a name for your business goes hand in hand with creating a logo that will identify your company. When it comes to logos, always opt for something unique. Logos will be utilized in your advertising and marketing campaigns, so it must be well-recognized.
For beginners, think of a logo that will readily hint consumers about the nature of your business – such as whether you are in the food, automotive, or telecommunications business. Hence, choose images that are associated with the nature of your business and the products they will be used to represent.