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One to One vs. One to Many – Strategically Extending Your Local and Global Reach

09012014

One to One vs. One to Many – Strategically Extending Your Local and Global Reach

// Tags / International / B2B / Medien und PR

Ein Beitrag von Margaret Rea (Intershop Communications)

B2B selling – at least the B2B selling that I’ve supported – has always been very high touch.  Personal relationships built by local sales reps (think dental supply rep in the lobby while you’re waiting for your root canal) have been the way to make sales, introduce new products, and build brand trust across a broad spectrum of businesses selling to other businesses.  Classic brands have been selling this way for a century.  And though so-called “one to one” sales are more costly, the model isn’t going away anytime soon.  But for brands that can adapt that model and change a corporate culture that in some cases is fiercely defended by the founders’ descendants, there is an opportunity to expand sales to a whole new set of customers.  What’s more, tweaking the one-to-one model can help secure long-term viability in an online commerce world.

The Hubert Company, founded just after WWII in what was then America’s meat packing and production hub along the Ohio river, is testament to classic customer service adapting to online commerce.  And though the company is still evolving internal processes and mindsets to think in real-time vs. catalog production schedule time, it has moved rapidly to a one-to-many model and is reaping the rewards.

I recently had Mark Woodrow, Vice President of Marketing at Hubert – a global food service supply and food retailing company and Andy Hoar, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research join me to record a webcast on the topic of migrating offline customers online.  Andy shared some very compelling research by Forrester on the after effects of transitioning customers while Mark talked specifics about Hubert’s challenges and successes.  Andy shared three convincing statistics about what happens when you move offline customers online including 1)average order value (AOV) increases, 2)total spending increases and 3)total support costs decrease.  I don’t know about your boss, but I would guess that anyone going to their executive team with these 3 benefits would definitely get invited in to argue for channel shift - even in the most traditional B2B environments. 

But shifting is not always easy.  People are naturally skeptical of change – particularly the high paid sales reps that have spent years cultivating a lucrative territory.  As Mark will tell you, it’s an evolution, not a light-switch conversion.  He will also tell you after having spent a decade at Hubert that there are ways to blend one-to-one with one-to-many selling and still grow the business.  For one thing, the marketing geniuses at Hubert have found a way to combine their high-touch merchandising consulting practice with their broad-touch online commerce engine.

You can hear all the details in the on-demand webcast on Intershop’s BrightTALK channel at: 
https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/10013/88281.  

We’re always interested in ways that companies are melding tradition with innovation in marketing and commerce so reach out and let us know what methods you’re using.

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