B2B Marketing, the 4 P’s and Social Media – Place

Place

The second in a series of blogs that focus on today’s B2B marketing environment, in which the traditional 4 P’s (Product, Place, Promotion and Price) are being influenced by social (digital) media and activities.

The definition of Place in the 4 P’s model used to mean the location where the product was sold.  In the B2C retail environment this can be crucial to a product’s image and success.  While physical location is not as critical in the B2B environment, selling directly or choosing the right distribution channel and/or distribution partners is just has critical as a retail location.

Before social media, the B2B selling emphasis was on the sales person establishing relationships with the buyer, where the buyer “trusted” the salesperson more than the competitors.  The marketing department’s role was to train the salesperson on the differentiation of his product vs. competition, highlight the “plus” features that would solve the buyer’s problems through direct mail and literature, and work to provide leads for the sales force to follow.  If distribution channels were chosen/added to direct selling , the marketing department’s role didn’t change; it just had a new audience and new rules to follow.

With the introduction and use of social media, the Place for B2B marketing has changed.  With a high percentage of shopping and research now being done on-line, a company’s web site is now the Place.[1]

With the buyer community Googling for information necessary to make a buying decision, a company’s web site becomes critical in achieving success.  Someone searching for information wants it now and without complications.  A successful web site, like a prime retail location, must:

· Be attractive, pleasing to the eye.  Generally more white space is better, flashy graphics are not.

· Allow for ease of navigation, i.e., if the prospective buyer wants to know how the product works, navigation to that page should be one click away.  If he/she wants to know about your company, again it is one click away.

· Minimize the requests for information from the buyer.  If the buyer wants to download a paper, case study, etc. name and email address is all that is required.

· Be tied to marketing automation system that can detect when the buyer, or someone from the buyer’s company, returns to the site, and logs what they have seen/downloaded.

· Be constructed for mobile/table devices.  Buyers may seek information (or call it up a second or third time) while on the move.

· Be the source for new valuable information about the industry, such that the firm is considered a thought leader.

· Be maintained so that when a search for key words relating to your industry/product/feature is entered into Google or Bing, your company’s web site shows up on the first page of results that are presented.

Bottom line, in the age of social media Place for B2B company is the company’s web site.  One of Marketing’s responsibilities, through development, testing and review, is to maintain a world class web site.

RHM 2/20/2014

 


[1] "According to the study, customers reported to being nearly 60 percent through the sales process before engaging a sales rep, regardless of price point."  Forbes , Scott Gillum, gyro  1/7/2013.

 

1 comment to B2B Marketing, the 4 P’s and Social Media – Place

  • Frankly, if the situation is hoelepss, why on earth would any agent want to spend time and money when they know they will not get a return on their investment? If the house does sell short, the chances of these folks getting another mortgage anytime soon, is small. Even a short sale impacts their credit. I don’t take listings just for the fun of it! I need to know I have some hope of making money.

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