How to be successful as a medium-sized B2B company in a troubled world. Strategies and the role of a B2B marketing agency in facing global challenges.
In a world full of geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainties and rapidly changing technologies, B2B companies face numerous challenges. These challenges have a direct impact on how B2B companies develop and implement their marketing strategies. In this blog, we will discuss some of the key global challenges that a medium-sized B2B company in Belgium or Europe may face. We will also explore possible strategies that can help companies successfully deal with these challenges, with a focus on the role of a B2B marketing agency such as Living Stone.
Geopolitical instability and trade wars
Increasing geopolitical instability and trade wars can disrupt international trade and supply chains, posing a major challenge for your B2B business. To deal with this, consider the following strategies:
Market diversification: By exploring new markets and reducing dependence on a single market, you can minimize the impact of trade wars. A B2B marketing agency such as Living Stone can help identify and develop personalized marketing campaigns to accelerate penetration of these markets.
Working with local partners: By establishing strategic partnerships with local partners in different markets, you can benefit from their knowledge and network to overcome obstacles related to geopolitical instability. A B2B marketing agency can help identify potential partners and establish effective collaboration strategies.
Securing the market position of your B2B business, which is facing higher purchase prices due to geopolitical instability and trade wars, without raising prices significantly, requires a strategic approach. Here are some possible strategies you can consider:
Efficient inventory management: Careful inventory management can help minimize any supply disruptions. You can work proactively to optimize inventory levels, identify alternative suppliers and diversify supply chains to reduce the impact of instability.
Negotiating with suppliers: Engaging in constructive discussions with suppliers can help to secure better pricing arrangements and explore opportunities for cost efficiencies. By building close relationships with suppliers and communicating openly about the challenges you face, it may be possible to obtain more favorable purchasing terms.
Optimize internal processes: You can improve the efficiency of internal processes and operational activities to cut costs and maintain margins. Through process optimization, automation and identifying opportunities for cost savings, you can offset the impact of higher purchase prices.
Value creation and differentiation: You can focus on creating value for customers and differentiation in the marketplace apart from price alone. By offering unique product features, excellent customer service, technical expertise or other value propositions, you can strengthen your competitive position and reduce price elasticity.
 See also our blog "5 strategies for wage indexing"
Technological disruption and digitization
Rapid technological advances and digitization are transforming industries and creating new competition. Consider the following strategies to address this challenge:
Digital transformation: Embracing digital technologies and processes can help you as a medium-sized B2B company operate more efficiently and seize new opportunities. A B2B marketing agency such as Living Stone can provide support in developing digital marketing strategies, setting up e-commerce platforms and optimizing online visibility.
Innovation and differentiation: Constantly innovating and differentiating from competitors helps you stay relevant in a rapidly changing technological landscape. A B2B marketing agency can help conduct market research to understand customer needs and preferences, allowing you to focus on developing unique products or services.
Changing consumer behavior and expectations
Consumer behavior and expectations are constantly evolving, forcing B2B companies to adapt their marketing approaches. Here are some strategies to consider:
Customer focus: Understanding customer needs and expectations is essential to staying relevant. A B2B marketing agency can help conduct in-depth customer research and develop personalized marketing campaigns that address the specific needs of different customer segments.
Customer experience management: Providing an excellent customer experience is crucial to retaining customers and attracting new ones. A B2B marketing agency can help develop customer-centric processes, optimize touch points with customers and implement customer loyalty programs.
At Living Stone, we help our customers create the right strategies and content, supporting their sales and marketing goals. We call our approach “smarketing,” because it integrates the objectives from both sides, resulting in sales enablement programs that work for everyone.
At Living Stone, we are focused on the marketing trends of today, and the developments that are shaping the future. If you would like to talk to us about your marketing goals, and how you can achieve your objectives in this changing landscape, please contact Anne-Mie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +32 (0)55 59 10 07.
Strategy 1: Diversification of markets
World Trade Organization (WTO) – report: "Global Trade and Investment Trends." Link to report: [https://www.wto.org]
This report offers insights into recent trends and developments in global trade and investment. It highlights the importance of market diversification for companies to become more resilient against trade wars and geopolitical instability.
Strategy 2: Collaboration with local partners
Stefan Rickert and Gerd Finck. “Harnessing the power of partnerships to thrive in turbulent times,” McKinsey & Company website, Dec. 1, 2022.
Link to article: shttps://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/the-strategy-and-corporate-finance-blog/harnessing-the-power-of-partnerships-to-thrive-in-turbulent-times
Strategy 3: Digital transformation
BCG (Boston Consulting Group) – report: "The Digital Imperative in B2B Companies."
Link to report: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2015/digital-imperative
This report examines the need for digital transformation in B2B companies and how it can lead to growth and competitive advantage. It provides an in-depth analysis of successful digital transformation strategies and their impact on the B2B market.
Strategy 4: Innovation and differentiation
Eric Almquist, Jamie Cleghorn, and Lori Sherer. "The B2B Elements of Value," Harvard Business Review, March-April 2018. Link to article: https://hbr.org/2018/03/the-b2b-elements-of-value
This article discusses the importance of innovation and differentiation in B2B markets and how companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors. It offers practical insights and strategies that companies can use to establish successful innovation and differentiation programs.
Strategy 5: Customer focus
Prayag Narula. "It’s Time For A Customer-Centric Movement In B2B Companies," Forbes website, Feb. 4, 2022. Link to article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/02/04/its-time-for-a-customer-centric-movement-in-b2b-companies/
This article highlights the shift to customer-centric marketing in B2B companies and explains how focusing on customer needs and wants can lead to better results. It offers practical insights and strategies to implement a customer-centric approach in B2B marketing strategy.
Strategy 6: Customer experience management
This research report from KPMG highlights the importance of customer experience management in B2B companies and how it can contribute to customer retention and growth. It offers insights into best practices and emphasizes the need to understand the "moments that matter" in the customer journey.