Chicago—B-to-b companies should emphasize their ability to provide unique solutions, rather than focus on their products, in their marketing efforts, Emerson CMO Kathy Button Bell said Thursday in a presentation to the Chicago chapter of the Business Marketing Association.
“B-to-b companies make the world go,” Button Bell said. “Marketing our ability to provide solutions is the lever to success.”
Button Bell cited Emerson’s ongoing “It’s Never Been Done Before” global advertising campaign to demonstrate the company’s own transition from product marketing to solution marketing. The campaign includes case studies that highlight Emerson’s ability to deliver innovative solutions to customers, such as new garbage disposals that help the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District convert more food waste into electricity.
Button Bell also challenged her audience to differentiate themselves from the competition. “Show the optimistic face of global business while everyone else is down,” she said. In its TV commercials, Emerson uses upbeat alternative rock music, she noted.
Before joining Emerson in 1999, Button Bell was president of her own marketing consultancy and, before that, served as executive director of worldwide marketing communications for Converse Inc. She was named one of the Best Marketers of 2009 by BtoB, a recognition she also received in 2005 and 2006.