Marketing in many B2B firms is often lackadaisical at best. However, B2B marketing should not be halfhearted, especially in today’s digital, customer-driven marketing environment. B2B companies that achieve marketing excellence often outperform competitors because they put customers first, create strategic alliances, and are value and outcome-driven.
“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” – Peter Drucker
What is Marketing Excellence?
Reaching excellence in marketing is a process of implementing marketing best practices where the firm delivers exceptional value to customers, vendors, and other stakeholders. The Marketing Excellence Review chart below shows the best practices for achieving excellence in marketing. The table also identifies two different marketing performance areas that a B2B company may fall within, poor and good marketing practice.
According to Phillip Kotler, considered the father of modern marketing, organizational management must examine their marketing processes in relation to the review chart. They create a marketing profile based on determining where they think the business stands on each review list line. In areas where the company falls short of excellence, the business leaders can make changes that help the firm become an outstanding player in their industry.
|Product driven||Market Driven||Market Driving|
|Mass-market oriented||Segment-oriented||Niche-oriented and customer-oriented|
|Product offer||Augmented product offer||Customer solutions offer|
|Average product quality||Better than average product quality||Legendary product quality|
|Average service quality||Better than average service quality||Legendary service quality|
|End-product oriented||Core-product oriented||Core-competency oriented|
|Function oriented||Process oriented||Outcome oriented|
|Reacting to competitiors||Benchmarking competitiors||Leapfrogging competitors|
|Supplier exploitation||Supplier preference||Supplier partnership|
|Dealer exploitation||Dealer support||Dealer partnership|
|Price driven||Quality driven||Value driven|
|Average speed||Better than average speed||Legendary speed|
|Vertically integrated||Flattened organization||Strategic alliance|
|Stockholder driven||Stakeholder driven||Societally driven|
Achieving excellence is an achievable goal. It requires management to understand where they currently are in marketing proficiency, identify areas for improvement, then develop and execute a strategy to reach excellence.
Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, stated, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” If you are not marketing and not innovating, your competitors will eventually outpace you.