Innovative B2B Marketing
eBook - ePub

Innovative B2B Marketing

New Models, Processes and Theory

Simon Hall

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eBook - ePub

Innovative B2B Marketing

New Models, Processes and Theory

Simon Hall

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About This Book

Innovative B2B Marketing is a clear, practical guide that demystifies modern aspects of B2B marketing, including marketing models, processes and thought leadership pieces. New customer buying habits, the digital era and the new industry landscape (influenced by the application economy) have all had a great impact, with marketing professionals consequently facing a shift away from traditional practices. The focus of Innovative B2B Marketing is to cut through the noise and make sense of the new models, methods and processes that have recently emerged in the B2B marketing sphere.

Authored by Simon Hall, an ex-CMO who brings over 20 years' senior level experience as one of the leading voices in the B2B sphere actively working with the CIM, the IDM, and other major associations, Innovative B2B Marketing brings together a wealth of insight and information sourced from the author's own first-hand experience. Featuring real-life examples from diverse sectors, plus topical discussion points and problems from key B2B marketing forums and associations, marketers will find new approaches, models and solutions to help deal with any B2B marketing challenge.

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Developing your marketing strategy


The new marketing mix

This chapter will give you an understanding of:
  • the benefits of the marketing mix
  • the new marketing mix
  • the marketing mix process
  • how to trade-off on marketing mix elements

The marketing mix defined

The marketing mix is a framework for marketers to strategize, plan and execute their marketing activities. The marketing mix was originally defined as putting the right product (or combination thereof) in the right place at the right time and at the right price, sometimes called the 4Ps. Some of the original work on the 4Ps has evolved to be more customer-centric.
The purpose of the marketing mix is to capture all the key variables that need to be considered in marketing strategy, planning and implementation, and to reach an optimum balance between the marketing variables. One focus of the marketing mix has remained core to all recent marketing mix approaches: that the needs of the target customers are met. The challenges in defining the marketing mix are many, such as market forces and changes in business environments and customers’ needs.

Is the marketing mix still relevant?

The marketing mix provides multiple benefits for marketers; it is a framework for assessing resource allocation within the team. For example, where the marketing department is required to put greater emphasis on social media or digital marketing, the marketing head of department may need to consider allocating more resources.
The marketing mix also serves as a checklist for marketers, whether in creating strategy, planning, implementing or reviewing activities. It’s a steer for responsibilities: each mix element can have accountable owners or one owner, for example some can be accountable for channel marketing, others for pricing, others for solutions marketing. It also facilitates better internal communication due to assigned SPOCs (sales point of contacts), so sales understand who to go to for what; in turn clearer communication reduces confusion or conflict between sales and marketing departments.

The shift away from the four Ps

The original marketing mix was associated with the four Ps: price, product, promotion, and place. It assumed little difference existed between B2B marketing and B2C marketing, marketing of products in volume or marketing of complex solutions, and marketing supporting a simple sales process compared to marketing to customers requiring higher sales touches.
After the 1980s it was felt the original four Ps were centred on the business rather than the customers and an adapted set of mix variables or descriptors was required to become more customer-centric. The four Ps were adapted as follows:
  • Product was originally about tangible goods or intangible services a customer requires. Most products under the original 4Ps were considered subject to a product lifecycle, from launch to end of life. The changed focus was centred on customer solutions.
  • Place was originally about where the product was found and its associated distribution channel; this has evolved into channel and accessibility to the product or service and how convenient it is for customers to receive or access products and services.
  • Price: the focus on the amount the customer pays for the product shifted to cost; cost became the new determining factor behind pricing where marketers help businesses correctly price products or service according to needs or buying capabilities.
  • Promotion represented different communication vehicles; ‘communication’ or channels of communication became the new elements, where they allow for customers wanting two-way communication with the companies that make the products or services.
Since 2000 there has been a greater move to the internet as a buying channel, which has given customers a greater ease in purchasing. The ability to access data through more powerful mobile devices means customers and business customers could use different types of content. There has been a greater richness in the content customers use, which has placed more demands on business to align through content marketing. Additionally, with more sophistication in social platforms and more real-time usage, business customers can engage quicker, better and with more people than even five years ago.

The new B2B marketing mix

These influences have brought about a new B2B marketing mix (see Figure 2.1) and the five Cs to help marketers deal with the new B2B ...

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