The Disruptions And Adaptations In B2B Product Life Cycles

The Disruptions And Adaptations In B2B Product Life Cycles

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” ~ Winston Churchill

Perfection is limitless but striving proactively for it is a rewarding virtue. All but obvious, it is natural to change for the better. And such changes are welcomed, aren’t they? 

This is very much applicable to the B2B world as well. Be it the B2B marketplace or the product genesis phase, the evolution in trends is massive. What remains constant is the brands’ center of attention – generation of revenue coupled with customer satisfaction with their product/service. 

Products VS Services

The B2B marketplace deals with two major things – products and services. To move forward effectively, we have to distinguish between B2B products and services. This can help a company craft suitable strategies for each of these categories. At certain levels, services ought to be “productized” for better viability on the market front.

Tangibility is the fundamental point of difference between products and services. You can physically see, feel, touch, or smell products,  whereas the exact cannot be stated for services. Very often, marketers try to produce tangible elements or effects with their services for better reach. 

Products are designed to satisfy the needs of a customer. Services do cater to certain needs but also initiate a relationship that thereafter is nurtured.

However, in the long run, these traits are practiced interchangeably. After the consumer buys a product or subscribes to a service, brands opt for keeping in touch for future purposes and keeping in touch. 

The product life cycle has undergone its own share of metamorphosis. The lengthy phase for product curation can be broken down into several steps or segments. 

1. Identifying customers

This seems the easiest and the most basic of steps. Identifying the customer group for your product confines your baseline for the suture strategies for marketing the product/service. Before customers, one should conduct extensive research about the various aspects of consumer needs. 

Subsequently, the various features of the service or product should be studied. A proper picture of how your product’s characteristics are aptly addressing the problems and needs of people should be drawn. It is this picture that will be used in most parts of the product cycle at different times. 

2. Underline The Singularity

At present, uniqueness hits the numbers. Extraordinary catches the eye today. As it runs in the business world, the USP (unique selling proposition) of a specific product or service should have the capacity to tap maximum traction. 

How are you different from your fellow competitors? What extra can you offer that others cannot? When designing or prototyping your product, ensure to highlight your USP well enough. It’s something you can apply to other aspects of your company, such as your return policy and distribution network. The proposition should be more memorable, assertive, but defensible. 

A well-done analysis of the competition pool and your product would be instrumental in getting this done. 

3. Flexibility Of Features

Product flexibility has to be an indispensable part of your product genesis. Since we are addressing how the product cycle has evolved, it only makes sense to restrict this pointer as too important to miss!

The market is too dynamic to predict. What is highly in-demand today might be extremely ordinary tomorrow. The discrete survey data you have gathered about your potential clients will undergo a 180 degrees flip over a decade. Will you still be able to sustain ground in such situations? Definitely not.

Adaptability – This is a building’s ability to sustain multiple functions without changing its architecture. In simple terms, the building’s function changes, but the structure remains the same.

Transformability – This makes it possible to transform the interior or external area in reaction to particular inputs without building new structures. Changes might be permanent or transient. Transformability is divided into two categories: moveability and responsiveness.

Convertibility – This entails altering a building’s function through a particular degree of construction work. Potential future demands can be anticipated, and the time and expense necessary lowered by planning for convertibility during the design stage. The changes that ensue are frequently irreversible.

4. Use Technology To Your Advantage

Earlier Product Design and Inception mostly revolved around creativity and human experience. Today, technology has become an integral component for rendering the best user experience via your products.

As per SuperOffice, only 29% of your buyers want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product. Your deployed chatbots can do for a replaced human-like interaction without actually going up to a salesperson. 

5. Presentation Should Be A Hit

“Never judge a book by its cover”, feels quite out of place in the B2B sphere. First impressions should never be a miss. That is the very first interaction with your supposed buyers. You want to cast an indelible mark. 

Be it your website or social media ads, or promotional campaigns, pay heed to each of such extensions of your brand. Maintain a uniform tone across all boulevards. It can be your content language, color theme, the objective of the website/ad. Consistency with the brand outlook conveys a good message to the audience. 

6. Content Library For The Audience

Buyers today are smarter than you think. They try to acquire ample information about the particular service and product. How can you project yourself as a more credible distributor than others in the market? If you can educate the viewers more about the problem,  you are solving. 

How to spread awareness about your product in a more factual format? Upload blogs, videos where you can cover the maximum angles of the issue and offer. This will contain your audience to a larger extent. Get your hands on the most reliable resources and curate a full-fledged content library for your potential buyers. 

7. Foster A Connection

Developing a good relationship with the customers is vital for every B2B brand. Some key steps to building a bond are stated below. This is no chronological arrangement. You may work on them as and when you feel the need depending on the set customers.

Focus on problem-solving

Your customers want someone who can handle a problem for them faster and more effectively than anybody else. Find a gap in the market and fill it.

Prioritize value over price

Maintain a laser-like concentration on problem-solving and exceeding expectations. Focus on how you can bring value to your customer’s business rather than promoting your product or service at a discount.

Take your time 

Developing solid B2B ties takes time, just like any other relationship. Take the effort to communicate with your customers on a human level, and trust will develop over time. While it may be tempting to cast a wide net and gain as many clients as possible, focusing on quality, tailored interactions with each customer will be more beneficial in the long term.

Communicate your company’s story 

What do you want your brand to stand for? What are you known and appreciated for among your current clients? Find a way to humanize your firm by using its image to appeal to your customers’ emotions.

Bring humanity to marketing 

People want to do business with people they know, so give your brand a face. When your brand establishes personal contact with a consumer and shows how you offer value to their business, the relationship shifts from the vendor to a trusted partner.

8. Influence Of Peer Recommendations

According to Business2community, more than 90% of B2B purchase decisions are influenced by peer recommendations, with 84 percent of B2B buyers commencing the buying process with a referral.

While there are some differences between B2B and B2C buying, such as the price point, the complexity of the solution, and the number of participants (as many as six or more) in the decision process, the importance of peer recommendations, which is common in B2C buying, has crept into the B2B buying process. As the view and function of the salesperson in the B2B purchasing process evolves, this trend will become even more significant.

Find employees from your company who are similar to the peers of your current and potential clients. Make it clear what their role is. The primary role, we believe, should be that of advisor. Give them a list of their peers and the groups they belong to.

Customers will be able to watch your colleagues in action if you put them in the spotlight. Allow them to contribute bylined blog entries, appear in videos, speak at events, write white papers, and so on. Focus the information on answering questions that that peer group would most likely ask. Distribute this information to your peer groups

9. B2B Social Media Presence

According to Hootsuite, some of the stats that should be taken into consideration are: 

→ 31.3% of global Internet users conduct business-related research on the web.

→ 22.7% of internet users use social media for networking and research related to their jobs.

For content marketing, 96% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn.

With 82%, Twitter is the next most popular social media platform.

For social media B2B lead generation, 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn.

When the entire world seeks their first word of advice from social media, you cannot let go of the unimaginable benefits from these platforms. An omnipresent strategy on social media is quintessential. It helps you reach a large set of audience at once. 

Also, it helps in acquiring data. Data has always been crucial in sales, but social media has made it easier than ever to get customer data, and new automation technologies have made it easier to analyze it, resulting in a greater focus on analytics and data-driven sales.

10. Make Them Feel The Need

Why would anyone buy something unless he or she does not need it? The B2B market does not run by purchases based on whims and fancies. Your product or service should add something valuable to your prospects’ business. 

An alternative way to present this could be to first stir the needs. Reiterate their business practices and show them what they are lacking – and how it is affecting their brand eventually. In a nutshell, you have to delve them into believing and seeing the new heights their company can reach if they come on board with you. 

This fear can be successfully capitalized. Offering limited-time items or services has proven to be a profitable strategy for many firms. Another FOMO strategy that helps drive customers through the sales funnel is this. Essentially, you want to promote a product or service that is only accessible for a short period of time. Prospects may feel compelled to acquire a product or service even though it is still sold at full price because it is only accessible for a limited time.

11. Personalize Campaigns And Content

Today’s age is all about personalization and customization. Personalization entails generating a unique offer customized to the needs of a single consumer or segment. 

You must generate segmented content to address different categories of potential customers now that your potential client has opted into your email list.

Let’s take a different approach. Every day, hundreds of emails arrive. What types of emails will you open and read as a customer?

A quirky subject line?

Content in the email based on your website search history?

Emails that are consistent and relevant to your interests?

Curating such content for your buyers’ mail will fetch you the attention and also their interest to be converted in the near future. Such personalization can also be well executed on social media. Categorize your target audience and run group-specific ads. 

Consequently, the customers will feel a specialized pitch from your brand’s end. 

Appreciate Customer Escalation

Suggestion, reviews of feedback from your buyers’ end is a positive stimulus. Act upon it as quickly as possible. Let them know that you appreciate their involvement and will revert to them soon.