Everyone wants a bundle. As consumers, our brains are wired towards getting bundles – the consumer sales machine has driven this. From phone and broadband packages, TV streaming being included with music (and free shopping delivery…), a car clean with a car service, and of course a Big Mac Meal… we could go on. We are of course in the B2B product positioning world, so things are different, but the mentality should be considered.
This blog will help you take a step back and reconsider your B2B product marketing strategy and how you could make your product offerings more appealing to your customers through bundling.
Simplify your solution to benefit your customers
Ultimately, at work we all want shortcuts to efficiency and opportunities to save time and money. Bundles are a great way to achieve this, offering simplicity in procurement, simplicity in specification (a bundle implies it all works together), simplicity in evaluation, and an easier way to tick all the boxes.
When it comes to your B2B product strategy, a bundle can be a win-win for you and your customer. You get to sell a potentially bigger package; the customer gets a good deal because you can be more competitive by cross selling, up-selling or having a blended income. Of course that is your decision – sometimes bundling can imply better value even if it is not, and maybe the customer value is simplicity rather than price.
Make your customers’ lives easy and highlight it!
Promote the benefits of your bundles with terms like “plug-and-play”, “fully provisioned”, “complete package”, “turnkey solution”, and “one-stop-shop”. However, you should ensure these terms are correct and appropriate for your industry, and fit with your potential thought leadership strategy.
Highlight the simplicity of implementation if possible, using terms like “live integration”, “hot-swappable”, “zero downtime”, “simple swap-in-swap-out solution”, “full implementation support”, “fast track installation”, or “project managed by experts”. These phrases all highlight efficiency and promote peace of mind.
Your B2B product strategy should remove barriers to purchase wherever possible, by getting the message across simply and quickly – always consider the skim reader!
What can you wrap into your bundle?
For your B2B product positioning, try to consider what you might be able to wrap into a bundle. From project evaluation such as a site survey or solution test, to installation and configuration, implementation and training, software / hardware / equipment, support and maintenance, operational services, or full ongoing project management. Consider the full lifecycle, and think about where you can take pain away from the customer and add value that you can charge for.
But clarity is vital. So your bid must be clear and precise.
Consider your typical project lifecycle and all the elements involved – which of these could you include as part of a bundle? The image below was created for one of our customers, Loxia, to show their multi-stage consultancy process as part of a branding project. Mapping out your services like this can help identify bundling opportunities and also convey them visually to customers.
How you communicate your bundle is important
Remember that one of the key purposes of a bundle is to appeal to customers by making their lives easier. You don’t want to put them off by providing confusing or overly-complex communications about the bundles and features on offer.
Consider infographics that visually explain your bundles and show how the different elements work together, perhaps highlighting the different services that wrap around the solution. Maybe back these up with tick lists that clarify what is included in the bundle.
We created this diagram for one of our customers, SecurEnvoy, to visually convey the different elements included in their solution. Infographics like this are often much easier for customers to digest at a glance and can be ideal for representing bundle offerings as part of your B2B product marketing plan.
If you have multiple bundles, a simple comparison chart like the one we created for School of Phish below can be a great way to show the differences between them and help customers identify which is the most appropriate for their requirements.
Whatever method you use to showcase your bundle offerings, ensure it is clean, clear and simple, to help you stand out from the competition.
Read more about some of the technical marketing tools you can use to communicate your bundles >
Identify bundling opportunities in your B2B product marketing strategy
Use your B2B product strategy planning to really consider the range of products and services you offer and identify opportunities for bundling. Which ones are complementary and which ones are best kept separate? Which ones do your customers typically buy together, and which options represent quick wins for you?
Not everything can be bundled of course, but maybe some of your offerings can. Microsoft includes an awful lot in Office 365, but not everything – Dynamics, for example, is a big add-on. If most of your customers use a specific configuration of what you offer, that is probably something you can bundle, then offer the other elements as upgrades or extensions.
Talk to your customers about CAPEX to OPEX considerations – where can you help them? Consider your competition. What are they doing? How can you differentiate or learn from them?
By spending a little time now to identify your best opportunities for bundling, you can provide the most attractive solutions to your customers and help position your business above the competition.
Bundling is just one consideration in a B2B product marketing strategy. We work with our clients to ask many of these questions, do the research, evaluate the marketplace, and communicate effectively. We are not your average marketing agency – we are technical people with a marketing passion. Contact us to discuss how B2B product marketing might form part of your marketing strategy.