B2B Technology markets can make switching by the customer too easy. Existing or legacy technology can become too cumbersome to use . Or refuses to realize its promise after trying for years. The client, in despair, becomes willing to try a new supplier. That supplier is willing to transfer the legacy system.
The solution is not to become sticky by merely embedding your technology in the customer’s processes. Or make the customer a hostage to your technology. Instead, it’s useful to think of what we learnt in the industrial B2B era as we continue to compete in the knowledge economy.
Engineering companies are often unsure as to how digital marketing is relevant for them. Frequently, they rely on the sales-force alone to clinch contracts. This can be challenging without digital marketing support. Engineering companies that are in B2B markets need to think in B2B Buy Task format as they structure their Google AdWords campaigns.
[ Note: This post was originally published on May 20, 2016 and due to the great interest of our dear readers this post is updated on March 3, 2021. We have added an example from aerospace from high tech manufacturing. The earlier example food manufacturing remains. In 2021 though, modern food processing facilities tend to be comparable to aerospace in terms of automation, digitization. We hope that this post will inspire readers from manufacturing to redouble their marketing efforts as we come out of COVID 19. ]
In Step 2 of the B2B Buying Process, the buying organization develops the Product Specifications/Scope of Work (SoW). This is the document that will be put out for request for proposals (RFP) or tenders. If you have never supplied to the buying company, and you are generally capable, you can face a sudden roadblock. That roadblock feels similar to rigged job descriptions that our dear readers have all experienced.
If you research “B2B buying process” you’ll come up with the steps that a business goes through in the B2B buying process. These include (1) Business need recognition (2) Developing specifications of what will meet the need (3) Request for proposals (RFP) (4) Comparison of proposals/bids and negotiate with suppliers (5) Purchase order placement (6) Delivery and receipt of goods or services (7) Evaluation of suppliers.
What are the “S” curves? Each of the above S curves represent a technology platform. Movement up an “S” curve is incremental innovation while stepping down on a lower new “S” curve now, may lead to radical innovation, as the new “S” curve surpasses your existing “S” curve.
The Cost and Performance Y axis, Time on X Axis: If you look at the Y axis you see performance going up and cost coming down. Just as time goes on. In other words over time a particular S curve and technology platform gets improved. This improvement is through factors such as experience, techniques like 6 Sigma, more adoption by customer. The adoption by customer mean higher sales volumes and costs keep going down. However there is a catch for each S curve.
No junior or middle manager would like to admit that they have a problem when faced with a new B2B solution that has the potential to vastly improve efficiency or reduce cost. Such an admission involves potentially admitting that the manager is not doing her job. The risks seem just too much with a new supplier, legacy systems and the fear of the unknown. A classic case of marketers trying to promote value as buyers try to reduce risk. And we are not just referring to purchasing and supply management folk- but the potential users of the new product that the marketers is trying to convince in the buying center.
If you have enabled demographic reports on your B2B marketing website in Google Analytics, you would have noticed it: there are lots of visitors from the 18-24 and 25-34 age group. We would not be surprised if you sell some non-glamorous industrial product (eg. valves or switches.. with no offence to readers from these industries)Continue reading “B2B Buying Center members getting younger”
Coca Cola results today pulled down the stock market as overall global sales volumes dipped. Just to cheer up all those Coca Cola loyalists out there, check out the Coca Cola social sharing can video which is truly a brilliant idea. The "sharing can" idea has come from Coca Cola ad agency Ogilvy and MatherContinue reading “Coca Cola “social sharing” can is a brilliant idea”
Imagine the New York subways with 300-400 million gallons of water after Hurricane Sandy. Well, the US Army Core of Engineers "Unwatering" team are at New York and expect to get all this water out in a matter of days pumping through about a mile of subway at a time. The Unwatering team gets itsContinue reading ““Unwatering” New York subway tunnels within days: US Army Core of Engineers”
That B2B marketing opportunity appears when the Buying Center members face Buy Task challenges is a concept that is simple and obvious to the buying firm buying center and strangely only to the more perceptive B2B marketer. Here is how the Buy Task challenge plays out for the Buying Center and spells B2B marketing opportunityContinue reading “B2B marketing opportunity appears when the Buying Center members face Buy Task challenges”