V.I. KOVSHIK, student, NTU
PECULARITIES OF BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS MARKETING STRATEGY CREATION IN UKRAINIAN ENTERPRISES
В статье рассматриваются основные отличительные черты процесса маркетинга в сегменте business-to-business (B2B). Анализируется влияние различных факторов на процесс разработки маркетинговой стратегии для предприятий этого сегмента. Изложены возможные проблемы, возникающие в процессе стратегического планирования на украинских предприятиях B2B, и предлагаются возможные пути их предупреждения.
У статті розглядаються основні відмінні риси процесу маркетингу в сегменті business-to-business (B2B). Аналізується вплив різних чинників на процес розробки маркетингової стратегії для підприємств цього сегмента. Викладені можливі проблеми, що виникають у процесі стратегічного планування на українських підприємствах B2B, і пропонуються можливі шляхи їх попередження.
In the article the main distinguishing characteristic of business-to-business (B2B) marketing process are considered. Impact of various factors on the process of marketing strategy creation for enterprises of this segment is reviewed. The possible problems occurring in the strategic planning process at Ukrainian B2B enterprises are outlined and ways of their avoidance are proposed.
Nowadays in conditions of strong competition on domestic and international markets many companies understand the necessity of effective marketing strategy creation. Marketing strategy is the planning and implementation of various marketing activities that are subject to the achievement of the company. The marketing strategy is an integral part of overall company’s strategy, defining the main areas of activity in the market for consumers and competitors. The successful marketing strategy implementation is critical point on the way to the effective and profitable company’s performance. And in conditions of business-to-business market, where companies sell their products or services to other companies or organizations, the managers’ ability to make right marketing decisions is crucial for firms’ success.
Problems of business-to-business marketing (b2b marketing, business marketing, industrial marketing) were studied by such scientist as P. Kotler, R. Dwyer, J. Tanner, W. Pfoertsch, I. Michi and others. In their works different aspects of business marketing were considered in detail. However, in Ukrainian scientific literature and specialized publications, the theme of B2B marketing strategy creation is not completely developed and should be the subject of consecutive studies. This fact and complexity and importance of such problem cause an urgency of a theme of given article.
Therefore, the objectives of this article can be defined as follows: to review main peculiarities of business marketing and features of respective marketing strategies, to find out the possible issues which may occur during strategy creation on Ukrainian enterprises and to propose ways of their overcoming.
In the case if choosing the marketing strategy and formulating objectives for enterprises in many industries, it is needed to understand the main distinguishing characteristic of business-to-business marketing and its differences from consumer marketing (B2C – business-to-consumer).
Business маркетинг is characterized by supporting of shorter supply chains than in the case of consumer marketing. Business marketing, like the general marketing, is based on the basic marketing principles [1, 2]:
- product must meet the needs of the target group
- price and product positioning must be compatible with the relevant market of similar goods
- communication and sales method should effectively show the product’s advantages for the target group.
In comparison with the market of consumer goods (B2C), in B2B market there are fewer buyers, these buyers are larger and often more closely concentrated geographically.
The major consumers in such markets are the following subjects :
- companies that consume products or services,
- government institutions, ministries and institutions,
- institutions that are state and municipal property,
- sales intermediaries.
Obviously, this list may vary depending on the industry.
B2B Market is characterized by more complex decision-making about the purchase. It is collectively, not individually, not based on emotions of specific person but on the the technological needs of production or service providing process, it is more protracted, and often it is more dependent on the reputation of the supplier company [2, 4].
Companies specialized in business marketing have a small portion of their marketing budgets to spend on advertising, and mainly in this process direct mailings and advertising in industry publications are used. Despite the fact that advertising in specialized media usually is limited, it is one of the most efficient contracting factors . Also the product presentation at the trade shows is widely used. Feasibility of branding in B2B market is determined by how the brand will separate from competitors, and how quickly and effectively it can be implemented .
In developing B2B marketing strategy there is one more fact that must take into account. It is that in the conditions of competition in some sectors manufacturers often conceal information about their prices, clients and production volumes. And information on government statistics, such as market volume or external transactions may be unreliable due to significant share of «shadow» activities.
The constant market changes, global competition make the requirements for response to all companies and business functions more stringent, but, as analysis of specialized publications shows, a large number of Ukrainian companies have found themselves unprepared for this. It is just because of that their marketing function is very weak. As a result they cannot effectively compete on the market with other companies, especially foreign, which use more applicable approaches in marketing strategy creation and implementation, while our enterprises are still conservative in B2B sphere.
The major difficulties in developing industrial marketing strategies in general case and in Ukrainian business situation particularly are related with the following factors:
- lack of reliable information that can be used for strategic decision making process, due to peculiarities of companies’ policy (most companies in B2B segment hide their incomes, clients, terms of additional services; state statistics is not taking into account all operations on markets), that cause wrong interpretation of current market situation and wrong evaluation of company’s place on the market;
- low orientation on consumer’s needs;
- prevalence of personal promotion among existing and potential clients, that decrease the effectiveness of marketing, unwillingness to extend the business;
- low qualification of marketers particularly in B2B marketing
It is obvious that the most of these problems are of informational character. It is possible to recommend the following steps to avoid such problems or to reduce their impact on the process of strategic marketing decision making. It is might be recommended to improve a market data gathering system; to provide qualifications improvement techniques for managers; to widen usage of modern promotion methods like internet promotion, direct mail etc. instead of personal presence of supplier ; to reconsider the existing approaches of determination and improvement of competitive advantage on domestic and foreign markets.
It is possible to conclude that marketing strategic planning systems on Ukrainian enterprises in B2B segment require instant improvement and further development, because of their critical importance for increasing of competitiveness of enterprises on domestic and international markets. In the result of this investigation the peculiarities of business-to-business marketing strategy creation process were considered, the possible problems connected with this process at Ukrainian enterprises were explored, the need to overcome such issues was accentuated and the possible ways of such overcoming were outlined.
Надійшла до редколегії 17.02.11