Unicist Functionalist Approach

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Sponsor Building in B2B Marketing

The B2B marketing process of differentiated and innovative products / services requires the integration of sponsors. This B2B marketing process includes the participation of 4 basic roles:

  1. The decision makers
  2. The users
  3. The gatekeepers
  4. The sponsors

There are two alternative paths to introduce a new proposition:

  1. The approach to decision makers, which is the natural path when the value proposition implies a systemic use that includes different functionalities.
  2. The approach to users, which is the natural path when the innovation introduces notorious benefits for the user.

The gatekeepers have a significant role by ensuring the convenience of the new value proposition. They need to be addressed by providing the necessary proofs of the need of the solution and the convenience of its adoption.

The role of the sponsor is to endorse the differentiated or innovative value propositions. To endorse a value proposition, it is necessary to be aware of its functionality. Sponsors of B2B marketing processes have two roles:

  1. To introduce value propositions, which is the case of recommenders.
  2. To endorse the value propositions after they are perceived as necessary.

It has to be considered that the members of the organization that proposes differentiated or innovative solutions need to be the first witnesses that sponsor the value propositions.

The Sponsor Building Process

The possibility of building sponsors is fully related with intrinsic characteristics of the value propositions and of the institution that is proposing them. The basic condition for having sponsors is defined by the existence of a greater good that underlies the value propositions.

This is evident in the sponsoring of sports, arts, or science, but not so evident in the sponsoring of differentiated or innovative B2B value propositions.

The greater good

This requires that the organization that is proposing these innovations is truly sustained by this greater good. The greater good has to be perceived as being underneath the value proposition without being part of it.

Sales agents must witness this greater good when the value propositions are proposed. The greater good provides the benefits for the clients, the sponsors and the providers.

The catalyst of sponsor building

The greater good is only believable if the organization includes a reference group that sustains or builds the greater good, which has to be noticeable in the market. The reference group needs to be recognized by its deeds in the market and is the “intangible” influencer to build sponsors.

The building of sponsors is immediate when the greater good is notoriously differentiated and the reference group is consistent.

The next step to build a sponsor is the establishment of the possibility of a complementation. This requires the development of a sort of pilot test that allows potential sponsors to experience the solution that is being proposed.

Sponsoring implies sharing the benefits of the greater good that sustains the value propositions. This experience establishes the starting point that has to be followed by actions that transfer solutions to the client and sponsor to share the benefits of the greater good.

This drives towards the building of a functional reliability, which needs to include the development of personal relationships among the participants. The participation in exchange spaces with clients builds an environment that helps to maintain the relationships with clients and sponsors.

Sponsors can exist when there is a stable relationship between the members of the organization that proposes the differentiated or innovative value propositions and its users. This relationship requires that the provider has ongoing activities that open the expectation of possibilities of upgrades of the value propositions in the future.

Based on the research on decision making led by Peter Belohlavek at The Unicist Research Institute.

Martin Alvaro

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute (TURI) is a world leader in its segment. Since 1976, it has been specialized in complexity sciences applied to the research on the roots of evolution and its application to social, institutional, business and individual evolution.

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