If you’ve ever taken a college marketing class, then you already know the marketing mix plays a pretty big role in overall advertising strategy. Originally coined by Harvard professor Neil H. Borden in the 1950s, the term generally refers to the various areas of a marketing strategy that brands need to pay most attention to.
However, the process is a little different between B2B and B2C marketers. After all, selling business to business requires a set of strategies that’s a little more robust than just offering products directly to consumers.
Ready to find out what you need to know about the ideal B2B marketing mix and how to create one for your company? Let’s go.
What is the Marketing Mix and Why is It Important?
When it comes to creating winning marketing strategies, most industry experts will tell you that it begins with having a healthy marketing mix. What is this?
The marketing mix is a list of elements that help companies make sound decisions when it comes to strategies and advertising efforts. By looking at the various categories it encompasses, businesses are able to make more profitable decisions in numerous areas.
For example, they can use the information to become more adaptable in the current marketplace, improve overall collaboration between departments, scale-up strength areas, and minimize weaknesses.
Elements of the B2B Marketing Mix
Typically, the process typically encompasses the four Ps of price, product, promotion, and place. However, three more are added to include people, process, and physical evidence.
Each one is key to evaluating how well a business handles specific aspects of operations and marketing. By concentrating on one, you could be missing out on key components of another. But by having a well-rounded approach to all seven, you can easily create a comprehensive overview of how successful you are at reaching your target market in the long term.
Here are the seven elements of the B2B marketing mix that you need to pay close attention to.
As you might have guessed, this is what you’re selling to the customer. In a B2B environment, this is usually a product or service that the purchasing company sees value in. To achieve success, it is important to have a product that has value and offers your clients a solution to a specific problem.
When evaluating the product aspect of the marketing mix, your company should address any problems related to the life cycle of the item. Does it need to be replaced after so many uses? Are there any known bugs or issues with it? What would a decision-maker need to know about the item or service before making a B2B purchase? If there are too many issues or the buying process is too complicated, there’s a good chance this can affect the number of sales.
While price is certainly a consideration when it comes to individual consumers, it is especially important to decision-makers at B2B companies. Ultimately, the cost you set for customers must be cohesive to the apparent value they perceive it is worth.
For example, if a client asked you how much it would be to purchase a specific widget in your product catalog, you probably wouldn’t tell them ten million dollars. By evaluating your pricing, you can ensure this aspect of the marketing mix makes sense for what you’re selling.
When we discuss promotion in the B2B marketing mix, what we’re really referring to is how you promote your product in front of potential customers. Your company might do this with brochures, email marketing, cold outreach, or even attendance at trade shows.
It is super important to have a firm plan in place about how you want to market your products or services. While some B2B companies have full sales teams, not all of them do. If your company is small or falls into the latter category, your organization needs to decide the best way to get the word out about your products.
The concept of place within the B2B marketing strategy doesn’t mean a physical location. Instead, it is in reference to where your business buyers are looking for the product or service you sell.
Need a hint? If you’re trying to reach B2B buyers, then there’s a pretty good chance you wouldn’t use TikTok as a digital marketing strategy. Instead, you might consider LinkedIn or running Google ads as a better alternative. In some industries, you might even skip online marketing altogether in lieu of in-person sales.
The people portion of the B2B marketing mix doesn’t mean those you’re selling to. Rather, it is your sales team. How you train your sales staff and the processes that they use to get in touch with your target market is crucial to how successful you’ll be.
This is a key element in the B2B marketing mix and one you’ll have to reevaluate time and again to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
Process is essentially how your organization operates from the beginning of the buyer journey to the post-purchase phase. Reviewing and evaluating this category is vital, as it really gives you a clear picture of who you are as a company and where you might need to make adjustments to improve sales.
Common areas where firms notice issues are often customer service, order fulfillment delays, and other specific issues associated with how the client is able to make a purchase and receive delivery in a timely manner.
7. Physical Evidence
The concept of physical evidence is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the B2B marketing mix. However, it is also one of the more crucial ones — especially as it relates to your advertising efforts.
Physical evidence is proof that your product or service is the best choice for the customer’s needs. In a B2B environment, your clientele wants facts and data to back up their purchase. For example, you might provide them with testimonials, case studies, or whatever else you have that offers concrete evidence of why they should buy from you.
Conclusion: The B2B Marketing Mix
The B2B marketing mix is an important part of any company’s overall strategy. By understanding how the seven parts contribute to sales and the customer buying process, you can help scale what’s working and reduce issues for the long run.