There are some people who think that it is time to rethink the 4 P’s of marketing in the B2B environment. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review article talked specifically about fine-tuning the marketing mix–product, place, price, and promotion–and focusing more on a solution selling tip atmosphere. And while the concept of solutions seems to be a common campaign these days, it is not something that is easily sold.
In the B2B world, 57% of the selling cycle is complete before human interaction takes place, according to a study by the Corporate Executive Board. So, while we may have the greatest solutions or products next to sliced bread, it does not mean that our solutions will get selected. In other words, solutions, products, and services come and go, but clients and markets endure.
The 4Ps of tactical marketing are certainly relevant, but the 4 Ps of strategic marketing – Probing (Research), Partitioning (Segmentation), Prioritizing, and Positioning – addresses that 57%. Your offering may be spectacular, but if nobody knows you or your brand, it won’t matter.
Our success is cemented in the idea that the ability to identify problems dwarfs the creation of solutions. In fact, solutions simply cannot exist without problem identification. Therefore, those that can get close enough to their markets will gain the trust to understand issues, and they will own the 57% percent. The mindset change that is needed to move from a marketing mix to a strategic marketing focus is not easy, but it will create long term sustainability.
In order to make the shift, leadership should promote a customer-centric perspective throughout the organization. Secondly, management needs to ensure that the organization of the marketing department reflects and reinforces a market-based focus. And finally, management must create collaboration between the marketing and sales organizations and with the development and delivery teams.
It is a new day where marketing is at the center of our future success. Some of us may have argued that that should have always been the case, but better late then never.
Tom Moe, Daily Printing VP of Sales & Marketing
“Pioneers get the arrows and settlers get the land.” In the connected world, “Pioneers get the land and settlers pay the rent.”
– an old entrepreneur’s phrase
In case you missed it…
Sept/Oct Connect Daily
(1) How to Channel Your Creativity, Find Courage and Defy Convention (2) Something Old, Something New (3) Trending with Serial Entrepreneur Jill Salzman (4) All Print, All the Time