22
Mar

B2B Marketing

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Here are some great thoughts about B2B Marketing.

Some experts argue that branding plays no role in B2B marketing. Their arguments typically include:

B2B buyers are rational decision makers (or a committee of rational decision makers) who are not swayed by emotional factors such as brands.
B2B purchases are all about the relationship between the individual sales rep and the buyer; if the B2B brand means anything, it is created by the sales rep.
B2B products do not promise to make you “cool” or “sexy” or any other aspirational attribute. Price is the only thing that matters.
B2B products are too complex to reduce to a tagline or ad.
B2B companies sell to narrow audiences, so advertising to create a brand does not make sense.

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Business Buyers Have Emotions Too
Despite those arguments, my belief is that branding does matter to B2B marketers, and for one main reason: B2B buyers are still people, and people are emotional. And, as research increasingly indicates, emotions impact economic decision making. In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell writes that buyers make most decisions by relying on their two-second first impressions based on stored memories, images and feelings.

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Because brand-influenced heuristics impact buyer decision making, companies with strong brands often have better financial performance. The heuristics used by potential buyers lead to greater access, lower price sensitivity, better openness, and more forgiveness for mistakes for well-branded companies.

The book Business Market Management: Understanding, Creating, and Delivering Value argues that strong brands are reflected in these preferential actions:

Greater willingness to try a product or service
Less time needed to close the sale of an offering
Greater likelihood that the product or service is purchased
Willingness to award a larger share of purchase requirement
Willingness to pay a price premium
Less sensitive in regard to price increases
Less inducement to try a competitive offering

Read the full article: B2B Branding – Why Branding Matters in B2B Marketing

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