Thursday, 29 April 2010

Priorities for B2B Marketers

I came across 2 interesting pieces this week. The first, a piece from B2B Marketing on 'Rebounding from the Recession' where a debate between senior figures on the IDM's B2B Marketing Council tackled this topic. Interestingly enough, one participant claims that 'The difference between B2B and B2C has been the acknowledgement of the need to retain relationships'. I'm not sure if they are trying to say that this is a difference between B2B and B2C or whether it's taken B2B time to acknowledge the need to retain relationships'.

In both cases I disagree.
Both B2B and B2C require the need to maintain relationships, it's just the way those relationships are managed that may be different. Fundametally all business is done via some kind of relationship whether it be on a one to one basis as is the case in many B2B scenarios ( or indeed high value B2C settings); or whether it be the relationship in the consumer world that is often a mass ''one to one'' relationship.

B2B as long as I have been doing it has known that maintaining that relationship is key, if only because of the complexity ( length, number of decision makers, value, process) of B2B deals

And the second,was an interesting chart from Marketing Sherpa ( below) that talks specifically about the challenges B2B marketers face.

One could argue, that all these challenges are dependant on creating a quality conversation in the B2B relationship. And by quality, I obviously mean conversations that talk to the right people ( understanding the make up of the Decision Making Unit) at the right time ( so understanding the sales cycle and the way it has changed as a result of the economic conditions) with the right message ( creating engaging/relevant content and delivering in the way the audience wants it). Generating 'buzz', is just a way to start the conversation or to give the conversation some content

Maintaining this relationship over time is the key to delivering the ultimate goal of high quality lead generation

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