I have been working in the B2B Marketing world for just over a year now and I have already learned so much during my time at Napier as a Marketing Specialist. As well as working within my role at Napier, I have been completing the CIM Marketing Principles Foundation module with Chichester College. The module has just finished, and with my first exam completed I thought it would be great to cover the 6 key things I learnt during this module. Although it will be a back to basics for several B2B marketers, sometimes it can be good to be reminded of the marketing principles we already know to ensure a successful B2B marketing strategy.

The 4 and 7 Ps

The Marketing Mix also known as ‘the 4Ps’ is the framework of activity from which marketers build their strategy. This includes the following – Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

Product – The starting point and key part of any Marketing Mix

Price – Price is simple, it refers to how much you charge for your product or service

Place – As they say in marketing, it is all about the… location, location, location

Promotion – Once you have optimised the previous 3 Ps, it is time to promote your offer

Each of the 4Ps plays a vital role in determining how the marketing strategy will be implemented and how marketing activities will play out to fit a company’s objectives. Getting the right blend and balance of the different elements of the mix will help make your marketing strategy most effective.

Extended Marketing Mix

An expanded framework to the Marketing Mix that adds 3 further components making the 7Ps and is also known as the ‘Service Mix’. This includes the following – People, Process and Physical Evidence

People – The people who make contact with customers in delivering the product

Process – Systems and processes that deliver a product to a customer

Physical Evidence – The elements of the physical environment the customer experiences

The Extended Marketing Mix has become more common with businesses to enable them to meet the needs and expectations of customers as well as connect the marketing function much closer to both human resource management and operations.

Difference between Customer Needs and Wants

Understanding the differences between a customer’s needs and wants is not as easy as you might think. When I first came to this subject in the module, I did not realise the difficulty to distinguishing the two. Examples of the differences below:

Customer Needs (Necessity) – The customer lacks something and then realises that he/she needs it. For example, having a drink of water if your thirsty after a long day at work.

Customer Wants (Luxury) – A need that is qualified by choice. For example, needing a new handbag but wanting a designer one.

If marketers are to understand the differences between needs and wants, you must view the world in the same way as your customers. If you do not view the needs and wants from your customers perspective, then these could easily be confused causing issues in your marketing strategy.

Macro and Micro Environment

All organisations operate in a context that includes both internal and external environments. These environmental factors are beyond the control of marketers, but they still influence the decisions made when creating a strategic marketing plan.

Macro Environment – The broad environmental factors that are external to an organisation’s market and industry. For example, laws, regulations, changes to the economy and new technologies.

Micro Environment – The organisations close external environment, including its competitors, customers, distribution channels, suppliers, complementors and other relevant stakeholders.

Considering the following Macro and Micro environmental factors will improve the success of your organisation’s marketing campaign and the reputation of the brand in the long term.

Functional and Emotional Benefits

When a customer is looking to purchase a product or service, they will almost always consider how it will benefit them in some sort of functional or emotional way.

Functional Benefits – The tangible benefits delivered by a product or service. For example, buying a new business suit will help you appear smart in the workplace as well as fulfilling the basic human requirement of wearing clothes.

Emotional Benefits – An individual is aware that a particular brand/product/service gives them positive emotions about themselves when using it. For example, wearing a new suit is likely to make a person feel good about themselves and give them a feeling of confidence.

Getting the functional and emotional benefits of a product/service for your customers can be a very effective part of any marketing strategy so taking your time to get this right can be the key to success.

Internal and External Methods

Various types of data are very useful for marketing reports and it can help you identify any improvements that can be made to your marketing strategy or even to your internal environment. See the different data sources below:

Internal Sources – Customer Data, Financial Statements, Product Data and Human Resources Data

External Sources – Government Data, Media, Commercial Data, and the Internet (Search Engine Results)

Both kinds of data sources are helpful. Internal data helps you run your business and optimise your operations. External data helps you better understand your customer base and the competitive landscape.


Stay tuned for my next blog as I will be starting the next module, Digital Fundamentals at the start of 2021.