B2B PROMOTION STARTEGIES
By: Oluwaseun P. adeola
How to Promote B2B Businesses
As Dann &Dann (2011, 186) submitted that the promotional mix consists of six techniques designed to raise awareness and influence attitudes towards products, brands and the organization through personal and impersonal media. It is generally believed by businesses across the globe that if a business, its services and brand must be made known to the targeted potential customers, the machinery of promotion has to be set in motion. However, the question does not only stop at whether a firm recognizes the potency of the various promotional tools or not but how strategic-driven is the firm’s promotional programmes. For example, it would only be rational to think and conclude that a company whose main customers are other businesses (i.e. B2B) will have to design its promotion strategically different from a company whose major customers are final consumer (i.e. B2C).
The difference between a promotion programme that works and the one that does not work is the practical implication. The seemingly basic essence of promotion is to tell the target customer what the company offers, the benefits to customers, why it is far better than the competitors’ and also to ensure that customers buy the product or service so as to make revenue for the company. Therefore, if that basic idea will be achieved, Karl (2005, 289) enjoined that Strategy-driven promotions should be seen to focus on overcoming barriers to purchase. He further gives five substantive instructions to a strategy driven promotion. They are:
1. Don't ask the promotion programme to do the whole job
2. The promotion has to be creative and go beyond the conventional
3. Promotion has to be customer driving (borrow interest from something the customer really cares about)
4. Promotion has to be measurable (if you can't measure it, you can't learn from it) and;
5. It should focus on brand enhancing (Karl 2005, 290.)
Promotion is one element of the marketing mix that can be expanded into a complex subset of elements, with each of the elements possessing its own merits and demerits for the delivery of message. However, the contemporary promotional mix consists of eight different forms of marketing communications that that work well within the overall frame work of e-marketing and B2B marketing. And they are highlighted as follow: (only the relevant mixes to this study will be discussed here.)
2. Direct marketing
3. Personal selling
4. Point of sale/point of purchase displays
6. Public relations
7. Sales promotions
8. User-generated content (Dann& Dann 2011, 198.)
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