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. ]
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.
In the Coronavirus age (yes it’s just six months but seems like an age!) there are great challenges and no “re-opening” strategy seems to be perfect. Organizations can just try to do their best (be excellent) instead of trying to be perfect. The virus is invisible and thus it brings the “Excellence vs. Perfection” dilemma into sharp focus.
Ask anyone – What is marketing? And you’ll get answers like advertising, social media or mobile marketing. Others, who have taken a formal marketing class, will say 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). This is surprising and at the root of any marketing effort that fails or provides a less than hoped results. And as anyone who has tried to market anything has learnt – marketing results tend to disappoint. Unless, the marketer is razor focussed on the customer and their perceived value.
States like New York have started to reopen after reaching low COVID infection rates. Here are some thoughts about opportunities for B2B marketer:
The Coronavirus has challenged everyone globally. However, all content creators can get inspired by some popular nuggets from Mark Twain.
With the experience of coronavirus COVID 19 lockdowns work-life will change forever. . With 91% US kids at home parents are spending more time than ever with children. Some parents have jobs that allow digital work and these folks are so lucky. Then there are the struggling 25 million unemployed in the travel, tourism, retail and any type of jobs that require a physical presence. At the other end of essential workers are the beleaguered medical worker, true heros, who show up every day to work. No less valiant are factory workers, grocery retail workers, law enforcement folks who are keeping essential services working. For everyone in each of these situations the pandemic has been trying as the USA tries to reopen. Going forward here is how work life will change:
The most exciting thing for business over the 2019 summer was when the Business Roundtable put out a Statement on the “Purpose of the Corporation.” Signed by 181 American CEO’s all of whose brands are well known to consumers or businesses, the statement reflects the changing times. Download the Roundtable Statement here and check out the 181 signatures from many CEO’s of companies you are already familiar with.American politicians have been telling us what we know to be true – the “American Dream” eludes most folks today due to rapid changes in globalization and technology. Thankfully, leaders of American businesses have taken notice and have decided to move their focus from the “next quarter” to “long term shareholder value” on the shareholder element and have included all stakeholders in the “Purpose of the Corporation”. The times have truly changed in the last decade with all stakeholders having a voice on social media and the old dictum of “just focus on shareholder (short-term) value” can no longer work. See Eric Posner’s article “Milton Friedman was wrong” in the Atlantic.
Enter big, bad, old world, clunky Microsoft who acquires Github last year and the Internet exploded with jokes. Both Bill Gates and Steve Balmer were tough industrial age managers and Satya Nadella realized that the world had changed- see “How Microsoft got its groove back.”Command and Control” and top down strategy days are over in the knowledge age.