Marketing Debate

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MARKETING DEBATE 1:

What Makes Business-to-Business Marketing Different?

Take a position: Business-to-business marketing requires a special, unique set of marketing concepts and principles.

Business-to-business marketing (often referred to as B2B) is the development and marketing of services and products to business, governmental, and institutional markets at the local, national, or international level, rather than private retail consumers (Reference for BusinessEncyclopedia of Business, 2nd edition)

There are various distinctions in business-to-business marketing from other types of marketing. Some different points are mentioned as below:

• Relationship driven
• Maximize the value of the relationship
• Small, focused target market
• Multi-step buying process, longer sales cycle
• Brand identity created on personal relationship
• Educational and awareness building activities
• Rational buying decision based on business value

I am currently working for Canon, a company provides imaging products to business and consumer. Canon’s products include Medical equipments, Copiers, Large Format Printers, Scanners, Faxes, Printers, Cameras and video Camcorders. Before Canon enters into Vietnam market, it defines itself very well on who its customers are by classifying its products into 2 categories: Business products and Consumer products.

B2B Marketers Experience Longer Sales Cycles:
The B2B purchase cycle is an extended process, often lasting several months or longer. Marketing to B2B prospects requires different actions, depending on what stage of the buying cycle your prospect is in. The goal of B2B marketing is to convert prospects into customers. This process is often longer compared to other types of marketing. The reason is because B2B companies need to focus on relationship building and communication using various marketing activities that can be nurtured during the sales cycle. The decision to purchase in business is usually a multi-step process involving more than one person. For example, to persuade a customer buying a Canon photocopier iR3530, B2B company needs to involve in multi-step process from introduction, demonstration, meeting up with top people like board of management or decision makers to accounting people or end-users.

B2B Products and Services are more complex
B2B products and services are typically complex and sophisticated. B2B marketing needs to take the technical and make it clear, understandable, and persuasive. There are many communication and advertising companies in Vietnam now. These companies provides services like PR write up, media relationship, event organization, advertising…These services are typically sophisticated and B2B need to understand inside of customer well in order to deliver expected results. Max Communication is one of the good examples. Max Communication stands No.1 position among PR agencies in Vietnam for its understanding of customer’s want and needs.

B2B Selling Propositions are more complex
B2B selling propositions are very important that must present value-based differentiated solutions to influence buying decisions. Differences must be articulated and delivered through intelligent communication strategies. Web design companies might have intelligent software designers, however, each one will differentiate itself from other by their own articulate layout or services.

B2B Pricing is different
The pricing of B2C products doesn’t change very much from store to store. Pricing of B2B products, however, are often different for every buyer and every sale. The product pricing of B2B companies can be dependent on who the buyer is. The price is determined on the basis of numerous factors and specifications, all of which take significant time to calculate and add greatly to selling costs. Canon is well-known for its good reputation and great products in Vietnam. Many vendors in Vietnam, therefore,...
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