Communication Strategies in B2B Markets

5. February 2014 – 14:03

A high degree of innovation and the impact on several departments make purchasing decisions in B2B markets very complex. Therefore suppliers in B2B markets have to inform their customers very well to reduce the buyers’ risks on the one hand and to strengthen their own competitive position on the other hand.

Objectives of communication

  • inform prospects about company’s products/services
  • provide information to give potential customers the opportunity to check products according to their needs
  • offer possibility for immediate trial of products/services
  • aim regular purchasing
  • create large sales volume

Communication tools

  • personal selling
  • advertising
  • Internet
  • Direct Mail
  • seminars
  • trade fairs
  • press releases
  • telesales

Choose appropriate communication tools for different objectives

increase knowledge about products: advertising, trade fairs, public relations
create positive image: advertising, trade fairs, public relations
decrease cost of demand: trade fairs, public relations
create trust in quality of products/services: personal selling, public relations
create trust in performance of company: trade fairs, personal selling, public relations

Timeline of communication process

  1. public relations – to create knowledge
  2. advertising –  to provide information about products and company
  3. sales promotion/trade fairs – give information about usage of products, communicate advantages for customers
  4. personal selling – persuade customer that product/service is the appropriate tool to solve customer’s problem

Public relations

have to address the following publics:

  • customers
  • employees and unions
  • shareholders and banks
  • suppliers
  • government authorities
  • media and other opinion leaders

Questions

  1. What are the aims of marketing communication in B2B markets?
  2. Name classical communication tools affecting the customer
  3. Describe the different stages of the communication process in B2B markets
  4. How are information and risk linked in B2B purchasing decisions?
  5. Why might public relations be more important in B2B markets than in B2C markets?
  6. Explain the function of PR.
  7. Name the most important publics/target groups of public relations in B2B markets?

Literature:

Godefroid, P. (2003). Business-to-Business-Marketing. In H. C. Weis (Hrsg.) Modernes Marketing für Studium und Praxis. Ludwigshafen (Rhein): Kiehl

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