The B2B-marketing stack in product development and sales

Well, we all learned our lessons at university that marketing is grounded on the four 4s – product, place, price and promotion. Today’s marketing emphasize quite intensely the promotional aspect only. Digital marketing with all the sophisticated tools is playing a significant role in promotion and grabs a large attention share of the marketers mind-set.

In B2B-marketing the promotional aspect is way too dominant on today’s marketing agenda. To achieve a well-integrated and respected marketing entity within a B2B-company it is a smart way to build and maintain strong relations toward the product and sales department. Stretching one’s leg into a different area shouldn’t have a hostile takeover taste – of course. But without an appropriate understanding, structuring and market-oriented calibration of the product it would be hard for every promotional approach to conquer the internal and external audience. Even more the marketers should have a clear understanding of the distribution and the needs within the sales organisation.

Impulse A – Put the value first
I strongly believe that the marketing department has to dive deeply into the product and structuring the purpose into an easy to get value driver for the user. Turn features into benefits, turn boring technical descriptions into explorational paths to enable business. Important – if you and your team didn’t get it, the external audience won’t get it either. What’s looks complex and sophisticated is still not finished in an easy to run application manual. If it’s not simple, don’t accept it. Values – gain revenue (productivity), save costs (lean processes) – are appropriate links. Search of the reference in your product.

Impulse B – You have to do your homework – an agency is not helpful
I’ve seen quite a couple of times, when a marketing manager hands over an incomplete briefing with a lot of open strings at the products site towards an agency to develop the next big impact campaign. First of all, your best sparring partner isn’t the agency it’s your local sales department. If they get it, the briefing is fine. Guess what, you will hardly get more than 15 minutes from them – that’s your briefing timeslot.

Impulse C – One consistent story – the proof is in the pudding
If you’ve already defined your WHY (for your company) the real effort would be the integration on the product level. You can’t accept a compromise on that. Don’t trust your marketing headline or copy – the proof is in the pudding. The experience is the final trust point. The product better embraces the WHY, the user must feel that there is a “higher” purpose behind it. Don’t stop searching and investigating before you haven’t got a clue about it. In a nutshell the product itself – especially the software part – holds various options for sustainable, in-build benefit and messaging with the highest social authority proof factor. Actually it’s common knowledge since the amazon customer reviews conquer the user-based marketing. In my view there is still a large potential in B2B-marketing, because marketers concentrate too much on promotion rather than shifting the product towards its self-fulfilling marketing campaign.

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