Potential B2B Markets
Our company’s Apple iWatch is a perfect fit for target markets including manufacturing and technology workers, as well as sale force workers. In each of these segments, it is probably less about the B2B end user wanting to purchase a wearable for their employees, as it is a fact that the iWatch may deliver information and technology to those employees in the most efficient manner—even when compared to the use of other Apple products such as the iMac, or the iPad.
These B2B customers can be differentiated from our retail target segments by the simple fact that B2B customers typically buy to meet needs, where retail customers buy to meet wants. Given this distinction, it is imperative that we approach these B2B segments in a manner that demonstrates why they need the iWatch and its technology for their employees and how it will enhance the way they do business with their own clients—technology and manufacturing employees able to access real time data and performance testing results; sale personnel being able to access customer information and competitive analysis/market intelligence on the fly—all critical for getting ahead of the curve in this brave new business environment.
Segmenting the B2B Market
With respect to segmenting our B2B market for the iWatch, my recommendation is that we go with a premium segmentation scheme. We have some completion in the intelligence arena for wearables or data information products, including those products being brought to market by Google and Samsung. It is my opinion that our company’s product does not turn as much on behavioral and need based ideals as it does upon what we can do to differentiate our product deliverable.
Under this premium segment construct, we will need to expend money and energy on B2B customer relationships. We would be well served to engage in face to face visits with our B2B customers and to provide product information, support, and demonstrations in person as much as possible with our larger institutional customers and prospects. These are likely customers that will be engaging in a longer term, higher volume buy, and accordingly may need and/or warrant more specialized follow up.
Marketing Information Systems
In the course of marketing the iWatch, our company should maintain and develop a comprehensive marketing information system. At minimum, this marketing information system should include measurements such as marketing ROI, direct customer feedback research, and market intelligence feedback, as applicable.
Marketing ROI will enable the company to determine what our return on investment is as it related to marketing investment. This information can assist the company in determining whether marketing dollars have been well spent, and whether they are yielding the desired and/or anticipated results, what is the customer response and/or feedback and was it what was expected.
Direct customer feedback is another critical component of effective marketing information systems. This can be accomplished through consumer focus groups, customer satisfaction surveys, or even via content protected social media queries. In B2B relationships, the company may expect more candor about the product, its value and its use.
Lastly marketing intelligence systems should be prioritized where possible. To the extent that we can generate information on competitors and where our product stacks up as to price, quality, and customer loyalty and retention, it would be very beneficial. Obtaining a more clear understanding of the competition is crucial in tight markets like ours, for both B2B and retail segments.
Performance and financial metrics are key measurements of the efficacy of our company’s strategic marketing efforts. In terms of performance and our iWatch sales, we can look towards metrics including market share, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty. These metrics will not only help to tell us where we stand at present, but will also serve to help inform as to where we might do better, and where we might stand in the future.
In terms of financial metrics, we may wish to consider the following: Cost of Customer Acquisition or COCA, which looks at what we are investing in to acquire new customers. This is measure of the cost to acquire a customer during a set period of time/number of customers acquired during same time period. There is also the measure of Customer Lifetime Value or CLV, which relates to the value that your customers potentially bring to your organization. Lastly there is the measure of Customer Retention Rates or CRR, which tell us who is loyal to our brand and/or product—who we are maintaining as customers, and how our marketing is working as to the generation of loyalty amongst existing customers.
- Hague, P., Harrison, M., Market Segmentation in B2B Markets (n.d). Retrieved July 11, 2015 from: https://www.b2binternational.com/publications/b2b-segmentation-research/
- Natale, J., “Is iWatch a B2B Play for Data Hungry Workers,” (March 12, 2015). Retrieved July 11, 2015 from: https://blogs.wellsfargo.com/advantagevoice/2015/03/is-a-watch-a-b2b-play-for-data-hunghery-workers
- Wieder-Bottaro, M., “Defining a Marketing Information System for B2B Marketing,” (June 25, 2014). Retrieved July 10, 2015 from: www.sociamediatoday.com/content/defining-marketing-information-systems-b2b-marketing.