Business marketing is based on a business to business marketing model. This means that unique marketing strategies are required to enable the two parties to complete the transaction. This article aims to give a very brief overview of some of the more common ways in which marketing strategies are applied to this a particular model. Because of the relatively limited constraints of this article, it is not possible to provide detailed examples of these strategies in practice. Rather it is a starting point for managers to explore their options.
Branding is one of the key tactics used especially by the wholesaler or manufacturer to ensure that the product is delivered in a particular format to particular standards. Obviously this may cause some tensions between the two parties but it enables to have some quality control and allows the manufacturer to provide direct enhancements to the final customer by way of minimum standards. The branding can take the form of the product features themselves or even add enhancements in terms of the customer service that is expected if someone decides to purchase that particular product.
The second strategy involves targeting a particular segment of society on the basis that they are the most likely to want the product in hand and that they are the most likely to be able to buy it. The whole business marketing model is then focused on identifying those end consumers and directing marketing activity directly to them. The manufacturer may even decide to run a marketing campaign on behalf of the retailer with the express aim of targeting that segment of the consumer spectrum. It is a costly and involved process but it can focus production and marketing directly to the end buyer.
Pricing and promotion are particularly powerful tools in marketing the product. The price variations can be adjusted to such an extent that the end consumer will feel benefit, even where the retailer is making substantial profits. Promotions are self explanatory in as much as they provide to the end buyer a perceived additional benefit beyond the strict return on payment for a good or service. The promotions can be undertaken between the retailer and the manufacturer or even between the manufacturer and the final consumer themselves. The level of promotional activity is then adjusted according to fluctuating demands and changes in consumer patterns.
The final element of the marketing mix is the place or distribution channels. The geographical location at which buyers can access products can have a significant impact on the level of sales and the nature of sales. With the advent of modern technology some organizations have gone as far as removing physical geography so that items can be purchased online. In fact where the buyer is only an intermediary, they might never see the product at all. Enhancements can be provided in terms of convenience and access as well as transportation. Discounts and special concessions can be given for long term purchase contracts or bulk buying. These four elements are then put into the business plan and form the marketing mix for the company.