Strategic Marketing is more than Advertising
Manufacturers of complex technical products often believe that Marketing is synomymous with marketing communications. This includes producing sales literature, organizing trade fairs and publishing advertisements in the specialized press. However, with this thinking, companies only leverage a tiny part of Marketing´s full potential, because Marketing is more than advertising!
What can Marketing offer a company which doesn´t sell consumer goods, but which produces technically complex solutions for other businesses?
Strategic Marketing can be described as a value creation process which focuses the entire organization on the customer.
The strategic marketing process starts with a detailed analysis of customer needs and of the supplier´s competitive position. On that basis, customers can be subdivided into different segments. In most cases, they can be grouped into price buyers and value buyers.
Next, specific solutions with clear competitive advantages are developed for the different customer segments.
Then, the most appropriate distribution channels, marketing communications activities and pricing strategies are chosen to market the offerings. By adressing different market segments with specific solutions, customer satisfaction will be enhanced, different price elasticities will be better monetized and profit margins will be boosted.
Introducing strategic Marketing is a change process which must be driven by Top Management. To find acceptance with their colleagues, marketers have to show measurable results, e.g. through the number of new products successfully launched within a given period.
Marketing makes the difference in B-to-B companies as well. As a value creation process it involves the entire organization and focuses it on the customer. By addressing different customer segments with tailored solutions, companies can enhance customer satisfaction, better monetize different price elasticities and dramatically increase their profit margins.