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 :-
- purching frequency
- purchasing quantity
- brand equity
- brand positioning
- brand relevance
… 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.
To your business success,
Stephen C Campbell
Every company or small / home business exists for the purpose of providing their product or service to the market place. With this point in mind it is sometimes baffling not to mention amazing that a great deal of businesses do not spend time on market segmentation (or niche marketing and we will use the terms interchangeably) as a regular part of their business strategy planning sessions. Failure to focus on implementations of market segmentation essentially means that the given business may well end up selling their product or service into a section of the market place which is not as good as a fit as it otherwise could have been. To develop your Market Segmentation or Niche Marketing strategy consider the following process steps :-
- Determine which set of Market Segmentation criteria you will use within your company for a specific product or service. You can segment the population by Age, Race, Earning Capacity, Geographic Location, Skin Colour, Language Abilities, Marital Status and so the list can go on. You need to determine which set of characteristics you will use to determine you target market.
- Determine if you need to further segment any of the major categories identified above. E.G. you may identify Music Lovers as a segment of the market however, on closer inspection you may find that you need to further segment by classification of music, Jazz, Rock, R&B etc and the list can go on.
- Consider which section of the population fits with your product or service, E.G. you are selling a sports car with two seats which costs in excess of $60K. Would you spend thousands of dollars sending out leaflets to young mothers with children at school or would you go to college campuses to target postgraduate students ? Of course not but in effect this is what many small businesses do.
- Look for the group of people within society willing to pay you the maximum amount of money for your product or service.
- Stand from your company’s point of view the landscape which is called the marketplace, this will help you to determine who your ideal client is.
In summary, there are various components which make up a marketing strategy, niche marketing or market segmentation strategies play a major part in the overall marketing strategy of any organization or small business. Use the process above as a template for your niche marketing planning exercises, this will chang ethe way you approach your business in the future.
Stephen C Campbell
Carrying on from the previous post :-
The first problem which is normally uncovered is when working with a client who already has a website, the website normally looks pretty, was designed by a software development house and is normally the company’s brochure replicated online. It is then always interesting to examine the source of the website and in 9 times out of ten the website is not optimized, the small business owner does not know this, or exactly what this means.
A part of the consultation should focus on educating clients on exactly what search engine optimization means, what keywords are, linking and related strategies. The objective being to leave the client with a basic understanding of how to get their website recognized in their relevant market categories. In the long run, this knowledge should be worth thousands of dollars (providing the client takes the relevant action) to the company’s bottom line as they use their website as a business asset.
The next thing to focus on is on how to use some of the low cost and no cost tools which are available to gain visibility in the online world and in order to drive traffic to their website. A major focus should be on using the Web 2.0 technologies as much as possible, these mainly free resources are great for using as part of your company’s online marketing strategy which can and will drive your offline businesses.
Get in touch if you feel my international business experience can help you in your business ventures.
I’ll finish this up in the next post in a couple of day.
Stephen C Campbell