What is the 5th P of marketing?
The 4 Ps of marketing—product, price, place and promotion—have been a staple of business planning for decades, and chances are they are already part of your business’s marketing strategy. But, in order to capture today’s digital-first buyers, brands need to lean into the 5th P of marketing—payments—to win B2B customer loyalty, stay competitive and increase revenue.
The digital transformation started before the pandemic but was quickly accelerated as B2B businesses were forced to change their sales models. Many B2B businesses began offering eCommerce solutions to keep up. The missing piece of the customer experience for many? A seamless checkout experience for B2B buyers that also meets their behind-the-scenes complex needs.
Here are five reasons that your business should implement a 5th P strategy:
1. To improve the customer journey
Many businesses invest a significant amount of time and energy in improving their buyer journey but come to a screeching halt at payments. Today’s buyers, informed by their experiences with B2C companies, expect to transact seamlessly on their terms, with their preferred payment methods.
2. Because the competition is fierce
The rapid expansion of the B2B market—it’s expected to reach US $33.3 trillion in revenue by 2030—has made competition for customers fierce and the quest to make them sticky even greater. Plus, about 65% of B2B companies across industries are fully transacting online and for the first time, they’re more likely to offer eCommerce over in-person sales. Businesses that want to compete must focus on digitization.
3. Because credit cards aren’t favored in B2B
Credit cards are often the default payment method in digital B2B transactions, but that doesn’t mean that they are the preferred method. Although research shows that more than half of B2B buyers use credit cards to make online purchases, they aren’t completely happy—50% actually prefer to pay with methods other than credit cards when given the option.
4. Because B2B buyers expect trade credit and net terms invoicing
Today’s B2B buyers are also looking for sellers that offer trade credit—a much stickier payment method than a credit card on file. In fact, 82% would choose one vendor over others if that vendor offered invoicing at checkout with 30, 60 or 90-day terms. To keep up with today’s savvy buyers, B2B businesses need to modernize the checkout experience or risk losing customers to competitors with better payment alternatives.
5. To grow your business
There are numerous benefits to implementing a 5th P strategy, including stronger conversion rates, repeat purchases and increased volumes, higher AOV, increased customer LTV, deeper loyalty and more.
Incorporating a payments strategy isn’t without its challenges. Our new eBook, Improving the B2B Customer Experience with the 5th P of Marketing, outlines everything you need to know about why payments is crucial to the customer journey, including how to overcome these three common hurdles when incorporating the 5th P:
1. Inflexible legacy systems
2. Dozens of manual steps are required for approving and onboarding new customers
3. Fear of risk and fraud with unknown online buyers
An effective 5th P strategy takes effort, but the payoff can be substantial. Not to mention that your competitors are also doing all they can to put themselves at an advantage. Remember: A 5th P strategy is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-do for every B2B business.
Get your copy of Improving the B2B Customer Experience with the 5th P of Marketing for a deep dive into how to incorporate payments into your company roadmap and overcome common challenges along the way.