Twitter Facebook Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn

All things being equal, Trust is the determining factor.
28 Jun

History:

Though it is not common knowledge or well documented, B2B has a very vague beginning probably quite ancient but the first remarkable mentions are originating in the first half of the 18th century. The consolidation of this process continued through the 19th century when some significant developments indicated that B2B marketing was here to stay.

But, strategies and results were a bit too hazy leading Lord Leverhulme ,  the 19th century industrialist and founder of such legendary brands as Lever Brothers, Sunlight Soap, Lux and Lifebuoy, to remark that “ I know that half my advertising is wasted, I know not which”. This remark of his has been the bottom-line and the stark truth of marketing in general and B2B marketing in particular.

All marketing experts and commentators know that marketing is a necessary activity for business of any type but:

  1. Its impact can only be felt; not gauged. It is very difficult for the advertiser or marketer to pinpoint the exact part of the campaign which had an impact or the various factors that might have contributed, if at all. In other words, it is only the increase in enquiries and sales that indicate that something is positively pushing up the business; or that, one can have an idea but can never be sure,
  2. The length of time required to let the marketing effort culminate in a profitable return can never be forecasted accurately; it can only be awaited after putting in your inputs,
  3. Some commentators aver that Marketing is a thankless job and very akin to a child planting a coin in the soil with an expectation that it will sprout and yield a tree-load of fortunes.

However, marketing is supposed to be the plank on which all products are dependent for their success in the marketplace.

All marketing is a form of communication and the world is too large; this communication is to be spread properly to the maximum number of people and businesses.

B2B marketing is a vital offshoot of business marketing which was lying low, probably since ages waiting for the right stimulants to give it a boost.

The data revolution: The advent of the data revolution   from the 1960s to the 1980s was like a booster dose which transformed the face of business and industry.  It has given rise to a new generation of the art of selling, e-procurement and online stores.

With the advent of the digital of the digital revolution new concepts, which had only been envisaged but found untenable to implement, suddenly came to the fore and led to some very innovative changes in how business was done. Suddenly, there were dedicated sites where a consumer could directly deal with your business, make online enquiries, find the required product by an online search as also compare various options with a series of clicks.

The companies too geared up to these changes by global sourcing and launched their own USPs ( Unique  Selling Propositions ) which were based on:

  • Lowest cost: The ordinary consumer is always intent on getting a pocket-friendly deal; it is an age-old method of luring the customer with such deals as discounts, complimentary gifts, extra percentage of the contents, buy-one-get-one free schemes and many more,
  • Best quality: The modern buyer, while trying to get a better deal to purchase a product cheap, does not compromise on quality. A vast majority of consumers are prepared to pay more against a promise of higher quality,
  • Different/New product: A mew product or one with different properties is always an attraction for some people,
  • Testimonials: The normal practice is to provide some testimonials from satisfied customers with name, address and photo to try and authenticate the testimonial but these rarely convince the consumer,
  • Company history and success story: Present the success story and the length of your company’s service to the community.

It is a bitter truth that social selling proofs are not generally accepted by the common man; but, there must be some factors which can be brought into play to win over the confidence of the consumers, however mature and knowledgeable they may be.

But, no matter how many steps you adopt, you have to understand that, while you may attract a few by offering these sops, that is definitely not the result you need. The basic reason for the problem is that nobody is interested in what your website may claim; claims can be orchestrated, false or partly true since money is known as a motivator for wrong-doing also. It is seen that more than 50% buyers do not trust the assertions on the commercial websites.

But, there is an age-old belief  which was and is relevant universally; in fact, it is just another form of publicity which is fail-safe. That is “word of mouth” publicity and is closely interlinked with performance on the ground. If you are able to provide a solid performance with your customers, the words of praise that they convey to their friends, family and other circles; these factors are the most important to sustain in the long run.

Joannes Rhino –Bali Online Editor