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Study: B2B Needs to Learn From B2C

Jul 29, 2009, 3:50 PM
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Business-to-business (B2B) firms that adopt strategic marketing practices are gaining market share, according to a new study conducted by Booz & Company and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which surveyed more than 100 business-to-business marketers across nearly a dozen industries through a custom on-line questionnaire and personal interviews. Many of those surveyed were marketers from large, multinational corporations.

The study found that 40% of firms with above-average marketing capabilities gained market share versus only 26% of firms with below-average capabilities. However, the study also found that nearly half of all firms (49%) limit marketing to a tactical role within the business, rather than a strategic one.

More than one-third of B2B marketing organizations have been strategically realigned over the past three years. However, nearly half of the firms surveyed do not take a strategic approach to marketing. While 53% of firms surveyed have a chief marketing officer, only 13% of those surveyed agreed that senior leaders greatly value marketing experience, especially in grooming high-potential employees.

As a result, B2B marketers tend to oversee advertising (68%) and public relations (50%) programs, but have much less responsibility for strategic areas like new market entry (35%), high-level strategy (33%) and customer retention (28%).

Companies winning market share consistently excelled in three core capabilities. However, these are areas where many B2B marketers are traditionally weak: market-back product-development process, brand and reputation management, market-driven pricing. The implications for B2B marketers are straightforward: successfully managing these three core capabilities will increase the effectiveness of the marketing team and grow business overall, according to the study.--Tanya Irwin

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