• Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

welcome everybody and thank you for joining us my name is Jason balland with Columbia Business School we're here with business-to-business marketing strategy and we're excited to have you all join us today we're coming to you from the campus here at Columbia I'm with Professor Miklos sovery he's the faculty director of this great new program that we have called business to business marketing strategy it's coming up October 7th here on a campus in New York City we hope that you have a great time engaging with the content in today's webinar and then you know thinking about your professional development how this topic can connect to the program that we have coming up in October and we hope to engage you further along your journey of professional development I see we have a number of folks here from all over the world and that's really exciting because this really reflects the kind of audience that we have at our programs I see Maria has just said she's coming in from Columbia I know some folks here from New York and really all over the world we have an international audience here and we really want to encourage you to interact with each other and with us by asking questions and really showcasing the diversity of thought that is it not in the room today and so to do that I would encourage you to to chat with us using the chat window below I see Ashley from New England which is exciting I'm also from New England so hello Ashley thank you for joining us and before we get started I'll just say you know miklós is a really great professor he were so excited that he's at Columbia he started his career at IBM then moved on to do some work at INSEAD then Harvard Business School and also Stanford University and here at Columbia now we're super excited that he's with us today and running this amazing new program if at some point you're thinking about exploring you're getting excited about the content thinking about exploring the program further I'm just going to show you the link right here in the chat you can go ahead and visit the program page and learn more about what's going to happen in October right here on a cambia in New York Miklos thanks so much for being here we're really excited for today's session thank you thank you Jason for this great introduction and good morning everybody good afternoon for those of you who are worth checking in from Europe I have seen somebody checking in from Serbia actually which is kind of kind of exciting I am also from that part of the world I am originally from Hungary and have moved around quite a bit in my life it's an extremely diverse audience as Jason said and so I would like to leave a lot of room as much room as possible for interactivity for you to ask questions I I would like to just do a little bit of an introduction with respect to what the topic is really and then show you a little bit what we are planning to do over those three days and then really turn it to to turn it over to you for for questions so really what is business-to-business marketing and I would like to provide a very brief and simple definition the idea is how do you do marketing when you market to organisations rather than to individuals and very often your marketing products that are going to be made into other products who ultimately will be ending up in the consumer so your mind should be somewhere at the end of the value chain so that is what really differentiates b2b marketing from from consumer marketing you are having organizations as clients and there are a variety of differences between traditional marketing or b2c marketing and b2b marketing I have listed a couple of these I will not list those to you reading them up because none of these are really that fundamental quite frankly the flag that your products are more complex I mean you can even argue it's not the case so these are not very deep differences that the two big important differences that I would like to highlight and this is in some way is going to be a recurring theme during the program is the fact that now you're addressing an organization so therefore the the decision making process of this of this client is going to be much much more complicated and usually much more different quite different from simple decision making process that individual consumers have so rather than a linear process this is usually a complex process that goes back and forth that is what we call a decision-making unit that is that is composed of multiple decision-makers understanding the decision-making process the behind process is one of the key things in b2b marketing and we are going to concentrate on how to do this and how to approach it what what what is the mental model that you should have have there to to be successful at discovering this decision-making process the second thing that is that is clearly very different from B to B to C marketing is that the importance of process and relationship benefits what do I mean by that so if you think about benefits in general that you provide to clients you can categorize these in three different buckets the normal usage or functional benefits these would be the core benefits of the product or service and technical specifications quality would all be in this cart in this category and this is something that is very central to to everybody who is selling something and in b2b marketing process benefits the benefits that are related on how you deliver this product to the clients are also very important so transportation insurance and you know the whole idea of of of a value chain a smooth value chain that you provide to your customer beyond the actual functional benefits of the product these are very important in email envy to be marketing think about an oil pipeline where the oil is less important the pipeline is actually more important and then finally relationship benefits are the third category the fact that you're selling to an organization often you rely on a sales force of annually you rely on your account managers and the relationship that these people develop with with the client organization are extremely important you know like understanding this client organization you know being able to cater to their specific needs and being a trusted advisor the all of these are important important things in b2b marketing now usually if you look at branding for example and b2c brands are built very much around functional benefits think about ethyl or it is one of the companies that that provides some other type of benefits as well but but mostly the benefits the ethyl brand is built around the functional benefits you know the looks the the actual products and and the ease of use of this product and so forth if you look at a b2b brand often this functional benefits are not that exciting they're it's difficult to build a brand around them because many times they are specs your technical specifications you know you're selling a chemical that chemical needs to do a certain number of things it's very difficult to build a brand around those functional benefits not impossible sometimes it's possible but it's usually not the case on the other hand process and relationship benefits you can build wonderful brands around those especially relationship benefits you know what is the the kind of relationship that you have your sales force has with the client organization and the decision making the less is making unit there the decision makers there is is it important possibility so this is just an illustration to show that the fact that you're selling to organizations often means that you know like a very fundamental marketing thing like branding has to be approached in a very very different way and so you're one of the other things that we will be talking about is social media of course and a lot of people when I when I talk to to businesses they are very skeptical about social media for b2b companies and I couldn't disagree more actually it turns out that social media has got provide the largest impact for process and relationship benefit and we are going to explore this in the course in quite some detail so let me kind of like stop here a little bit and and just highlight a bunch of things that these two large differences so again the fact that you are addressing an organization and that you are you have got to think about other type of benefits than the core product benefit what do these mean you know they have implications or brand as we talked about but they have huge implications for the role of the sales force we're going to spend a lot of time on sales force management how to compensate the source how to build a sales force that is tying into the b2b marketing organization how do you allocate the budget how do you use social media I mentioned that and how do you do pricing you know how do you come up with pricing contracts that are so often the case in b2b marketing rather than just you know sort of putting a price tag on on the product so all of these are interesting topics that we will be addressing in the course and then finally let me show you this this simple chart which sort of like tells you how we will spend the time here in New York during the three days on campus we will start by spending the day on some of the strategic issues the fundamental strategic issues how do you build a b2b brand for long term competitive advantage we're going to look at two companies back Tom Dickinson and Bloomberg whose hometown of course is is New York City so really thinking about the long term value creation process of the firm on day two and day three we are diving into so much somewhat more tactical things pricing on the in the morning of day two where we are going to be looking at one of my colleagues assam ansari pricing specialist is going to be looking into a commodity pricing that is it's quite exciting actually in the afternoon we look at the use of social media and again we are going to look at an industrial market in case marks klein a last company you would think of doing a social media campaign it is the container shipping company well I show you that it's actually quite exciting what they did and and pretty easy to replicate and then finally day three we are going to spend it on these relationships talking about Salesforce management first and then extend that to professional services marketing looking at a billing company and also in the afternoon of day three I would like to leave some time to sort of summarize the the course come up with the major takeaway and along the three days we are going to be spending a lot of time giving you a lot of time to in racks to provide feedback to ask questions so this schedule is really not set in stone I would like to use and be very flexible and make sure that that we can address some of the interesting questions that come up from your personal experiences and that you can also share those personal experiences with with some of the other participants so let me stop here actually I've spoken way to match and open it up for questions so that you can kind of like inquire about what is what is ahead great thank you so much me close again I'll share the link with you if you want to look at the course materials you can just share that the chat you can look at the business-to-business marketing strategy course happening October 7th here in New York City the three-day program because actually our friend from New England Asus says so happy to hear me clothes degrees on social media for b2b marketing the value to relationships and process is exponential I wonder if you might just talk a little bit about that because that is an idea we set people might challenge whether social is for p2p who's doing it well were they doing a flyby that um so you know that people do a lot of things and they should because this is a new marketing tool so you know it's going to take a decade before it is going to be as established as television advertising or some of the other marketing variables and one of the main messages that I will provide to to to you is that that you should experiment and you should not subcontract this experimentation to some you know like marketing agencies a lot of people just don't want to deal with it and they so subcontract it but then of course you lose the learning and and I'm very much against that I think people should should get their hands dirty with with with social media marketing and and as I said you know making for example plugging the Salesforce into social media and connecting the decision-makers to your sales force having a sort of community of people talking about industry issues and is a fantastic way for you to this ever what our client needs it's a fantastic way for you to generate meaningful conversations between the salespeople and and your clients to understand and early on identify issues that the clients have in your company I mean a lot of companies use social media to just sort of like as an alarm bell whenever something goes wrong that usually kind talk to each other about that for you to discover early on these conversations is super important but also you know just to be in the buzz of the industry is extremely is extremely useful so so there are lots of good examples and bad examples I think the reason I would like to talk about this case the demarks line because it's so unintuitive that the container shipping company can build a good social media campaign but actually turns out they've done a great one and unexpectedly on Facebook which is more of a consumer goods sort of consumer social medium but so the point is that they're getting in touch with your customers being in making your sales force relevant in the conversation of the industry context this is this can have a huge benefits for for the company Nick was another question just came in which i think is interesting as companies are looking to expand beyond their trip origin in going into foreign markets where the well given any thoughts on what were some of the considerations in terms of b2b marketing going to be carefully thought through as folks coverage I'll expand right so so with respect to so there are multiple ways to expand you can sort of like to M&A for example you can expand in your home market or foreign market for a market with us I don't think that there is there are lots of specificities when it comes to b2b marketing when you expand in foreign markets to to the best of my knowledge or given my my sort of experience I think it's actually easier for a b2b company to go to foreign markets because very often what happens is that you do this via agents either salespeople or retailers and you will have to build these agents locally anyway which means that II you know and you so therefore you will be mostly hiring local people and they will be able to convey sort of like the ways to do businesses in those countries which is the most important thing you know like if you are a consumer goods company and you're importing a foreign brand with all its values that may be culturally charged it is actually very difficult to translate at that marketing process you know think about the advertising campaigns and whatnot to a different culture when it comes to b2b marketing the issue is to be able to establish a relationship with the clients and so you will need legwork and and if you rely on the locals if you manage to build a local sales force that is that is efficient I think it's sort of like culturally less sensitive then then be to see market scenarios um question is hey I just want to just generally Zook number of questions coming in I'm I think I just want to focus right now on some questions about the content or just topic so that people bringing up and then some questions about the course itself in terms of the structure of the course and we're going to just for folks who ask that we'll get to some of those in just a minute once we to talk about some these topics um question just came from Kenneth saying when you talk about b2b relationships are these relationships less emotional more qualitative than b2c I would tell you I guess describe the attributes of soso there is there is this concept of micro segmentation and micro segmentation that that I will push during the course so micro segmentation means segmenting your clients your the organization's the target organizations according to their organizational needs and that process is actually not very emotional because organizations don't have emotions individuals of emotions so organizations have needs that are usually very utilitarian they want to be more efficient they want to get inputs that are cheaper they want to get more efficient deliveries and so on and so forth or better quality ingredients for their own processes so that type of segmentation and and related branding was process which is basically on functional benefit is not that not the charge dull emotions much less charged then in the case of b2c brands where the functional benefits might be extremely charged with emotions like for example I'm thinking of sunglasses the major benefit is how do I look that's a very emotional thing on the process and relationship benefit there are emotions because they are targeting individuals so when a salesperson and this is what I call micro segmentation it's the needs of the decision makers within the organization you know when I'm a purchase manager I have got personal needs that have to do with courier concerns that have to do with the risk that I'm taking in making decisions for the company that have to do with trust of the supplier that that you know indeed that person represents their company in such a way that I can trust trust them and so in when it comes to micro segmentation the individual needs of the decision-makers then there is quite a lot of emotions at play sales is very much about empathy and Trust how to build empathy and Trust is is really the crux of the sales persons job and and it is very charged with emotions so it's interesting in b2b that on one hand you've got this extreme utilitarian environment where organizations have very practical and pragmatic need on the other hand they're composed of individuals and managing these two is what is difficult about this you know how are you responsive to an organization be organized provide you know like a pitch on time and with that with the right sort of like features and the right information that you provide to the company at the same time you find the balance to be relating to the decision-makers in a in a I wouldn't say overly emotional but as human beings obviously and also and tracking the balance between professionalism and and being being sort of like related and friends with your video client this is this is I think some of the the trade of Sweden says that is very interesting because I think three of the program in the afternoon you talk about professional services and that connects to a question that just came in from Francisco who's asking about sort of the differences in we're talking about in terms of how do we think of a product marketing versus service marketing where the same principles apply to anything about them different ways right I mean generally the same principles apply or but but there is there's a continuum to what extent a you know b2b sales is a the professional service sales a lot of products do they come with services attached to the value-added services and and it's very rare that you're just sort of like selling cement or some very simple product most of the time these markets are happening on some spot markets so there is not like much room for marketing so the minute marketing and sales is comes to play you know to some extent you you're selling services now there are some extreme product if you think about investment banking that's really professional services you're not selling any product it's really just the service that you're providing and so the in the morning of day three I would like to talk about some of the general principles of of what motivates these people how do you motivate these people financially and non-financial and those principles are very general across across the different product categories in the afternoon we would like to talk a little bit more about you know the relationship building aspect of of sales you know what are the some of the best practices and to what extent can you do this in fact one of the interesting the interesting case study that we look at Bain and come we show that it shows that there is a limit to relationship building and you need to leave room to actually providing information on a very in a very traditional way like advertising like brochures and those kind of things you still have to worry about building an image you cannot rely entirely on relationship building in order to do good marketing to organizations those are some of the sort of like most tricky parts off of sales force management that we're discussing idea in the afternoon obviously it was is the b2b sales person a very kind of person than the b2c sales person yes yes I definitely think so the b2b sales person is addressing multiple decision-makers some of whom might be slightly in contact with it income in conflict with each other and you might it's very rare that the b2b sales person can target one single decision maker that is that is the ultimate person who can who can make the decision each this person even if this is the CEO and who has the power to do so is going to be influenced by a variety of other people in a bit to see sales first of all it's rare that you can have a sales force addressing each individual in a b2c sells it would be difficult for Apple to address the billions of people buying that phone so so they have you have to subcontract that to retailers and so there's a lot of other things going on in b2b you the salesperson needs to discover the decision making process in the organization needs to sort of connect with each member of the decision-making unit and be able to find the right communication channel with each which might be having different and interest and and different goals and that is actually quite quite an a difficult process to to do and I won't talk about course and how that's gonna cover the format of the program before we do that I want to let folks know we're sending out a recording of today's conversation let's go they can go back and listen to that and definitely follow up you have any questions if we don't get to something today we're definitely open to continuing the conversation either on LinkedIn or just you can email us through our website I'll be happy to answer your questions um the question came up about the course earlier just wondering about how much of the courses or case work versus working teams and interacting you just talked about the format of each day yes so so I am I've been at the Harvard Business School and one of the things that I've learned before is that a case studies are really useful to highlight topics and issues that to organize the course around so in as you can see from this time table every you know like section every topic is built on on a case study so and you I don't know how many of you have been learning with case studies but the basic idea is that there is usually a business decision to be made in in a concrete company context and and the business decision is exciting because it's not an obvious decision it's not by multiplying two numbers that we come to a conclusion it's usually a complex decision and it is worthwhile to actually wrestle with this problem and and debate what might be the right answer these debates are very useful because they mimic very much the kind of decision making process that we have in organizations where we are trying to come up with with solutions to the business problems we are facing so what we do usually is there is going to divide the class in small smaller groups of four or five people each group is going to be a debating and and thinking for about half an hour forty minutes about the business decision at hand then we all get together and continue this debate in the classroom by sharing your ideas I will challenge you on on many fronts and then hopefully at the end of this conversation we come up with a bunch of conclusions on you know how to do how to approach these issues and how to do b2b branding what is the right approach rising what is the right way to design an incentive system for the Salesforce and so on and so forth and usually you know after after the debate and after the conclusions I sometimes have some shorter traditional lectures where I kind of make sure that we are covering all the all the issues and all the topics of that particular subject these are also very interactive so you like we can enter in the conversation any time you have questions and more than happy to derail the conversation in that direction so it's a very interactive environment where we try to start from a case and then generalize to a couple of more general and an overarching sort of principles tools and and conclusions because I think you know a lot of people interested in this topic and the program and maybe thinking about okay I'll tennis for three days what's what's gonna be the ROI when I get back to my office what can i what can I do after this program so how can I get impact whatever talk about that a little bit yes yes I like people to go away with a couple of of basic a to-do list and I will emphasize this over the three days is you know every night write down one or two ideas that have strived you as something that you could try it's something that you should do Monday morning when you when you hit the office after the course the course is also going to be highlighting a number of tools that are you know what analytical to strategy tools marketing tools and that you can use in your own context and and hopefully during the course I would also encourage people to just come to me over the dinner over the lunch time and and and ask you know like what is it if they have a marketing problem how is it that they can they can approach it and what part of the course might be particularly relevant or for those to attack those problems so I very much hope that that Monday morning when people leave the course they will have at least two or three ideas that are going to be improving their own operations that are on with season or their own processes very nice well because we are out of time and I want to thank you for taking the time to answer a lot of questions today I can really showcase the interactive nature of our programs that we have and the conversations we often have in our classes at Columbia I do want to thank all of you for attending it's really great having you thank you so much for the great question I will once again share with you once I pulled up here I will share with you the link to the program so you can go ahead and check that out please send us information if you have a question that wasn't answered again please feel free to reach out to us we'd be happy to continue the conversation again I do want to thank you it's always quick to see everyone here and is from all over the world connecting with us and we hope to see you soon another one of our web events or an online program or one of item person programs here in New York City thanks to all of you and may close thanks you for being here take care and cute

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