The B2B marketing strategy consists of generating a competitive difference by formulating and transferring the value proposition to our target audience. A value proposition according to the objectives that have been established in the business strategy. In the medium and long term, the marketing strategy should help to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage that supports the growth of the company.
Depending on the competitive scenario, the type of value proposition, the expected acceptance of that value proposition and the inherent maturity of the industry, the clients and the organization itself, we will use one type of strategy or another. We can fit all marketing strategies into a matrix like the one shown in the figure. This matrix takes into account:
- The value proposition is based on its ability to differentiate : from the most basic, undifferentiated, to the proposals that are capable of generating a greater perceived differential value.
- The level of depth of the value proposition in our target market will be determined by the position in the market: from uncompetitive to competitive or market leader.
Depending on the position in the market and the type of value proposition we will have:
Table of Contents
We will start from the least competitive situation and with the greatest risk of being unsustainable: Undifferentiated Value Proposition and Uncompetitive Position. The value proposition is undifferentiated, therefore easily substitutable. It forces us to compete on price, practically as the only option. Furthermore, there is no competitive position in the market, so the company does not have bargaining power or dominant position.
The marketing strategy goes through transformation. As a first step, seek a position with a greater presence in the market to capture more share. As a second step, try to differentiate the value proposition from marketing to go to a development stage. It is a stage that applies to many family companies or small businesses that need to completely transform their marketing and sales model.
We are in a strong competitive situation, in the top positions in the market or as a leader. However, the Undifferentiated Value Proposition. We are not in the competitive danger that we found ourselves in the previous stage, but there are risks: the product is substitutable, any competitor that enters with a lower price can erode commercial margins via price or aggressive discounts and weaken the competitive position.
The alternatives that are presented to us are related to Innovation. Either we innovate in the value proposition, complementing the undifferentiated product with more differentiated value proposition services or alternatives, or we evolve towards an experiential model where the undifferentiated value proposition has a buyer’s journey very exclusive.
It is a model that applies to medium-large companies that have enjoyed, and still enjoy, a strong position in some industry, but are beginning to receive attacks from many applicants to fill their position. B2B Marketing has to align with brand communications, continue to create branding, disseminate content, be very present in all channels, establish very solid relationships in the ecosystem, that is, continue to be the benchmark.
We have a Differentiated Value Proposition, but without sufficient commercial experience to have acquired a solid competitive position. Unlike in transformation, the normal of the Development stage is that the company has an attractive market proposal, but marketing has the challenge of correctly communicating to that potential market the very attractive proposal that this alternative represents.
This is a stage that applies to many start-ups or companies that have managed to innovate in any of their business lines, but have yet to capture more value and gain size to be sustainable. Marketing will work on collaborative development, on differential content, on the creation of alliances with direct and indirect channels.
The last stage is the experiential one. It can be accessed through innovation or development, it would be a major challenge to go from Transformation to Customer Centric , it could even be detrimental for the company because the brand promise would surely not be aligned with the quality of the service provided.
This model applies to those companies that have a differentiated value proposition or leading companies that want to advance to a model where the value proposition connects emotionally with customer expectations. Something that traditionally occurs in B2C and that is increasingly being observed in B2B.
The focus here is on meeting the expectations of our B2B client with an end-to-end experience taken care of to the maximum from the first marketing interactions to the after-sales service. B2B marketing actions should be aimed at building an aspirational influence network where the brand once again takes center stage. In addition, marketing must support each of the interactions of the customer journey with a lot of focus on personalization.
Marketing strategies will be aligned with activities to be developed in the marketing plan, specifically, in the application of the end-to-end operational model . The following figure details the activities according to the type of strategy that the organization needs.
It is worth mentioning that a company may start with one strategy and evolve to the next, or even use combined activities of different strategies. All this will depend on your value proposition, your competitive position, the ecosystem with which you can collaborate, the social receptivity of your B2B clients and the relationships that can be built with your channels.