How (and Why) B2B Marketing Studies Anti-Competitive Behavior

Focusing on the field of B2B marketing doesn’t keep you from broaching topics such as antitrust and anti-competitive behaviour. On the contrary, it can put you right in the middle of it! That’s why it’s important to at least know the basics of investigating anti-competitive behaviour and understanding its consequences.

 

To demonstrate, many of the basics of B2B marketing start in the same square as antitrust investigators:

 

  • Step 1: Understanding the market – B2B marketers and lead generators analyze the entire market for the purpose of entering it. This objective is the only thing that sets them apart from those looking into anti-competitive practices.

 

  • Step 2: Understanding policies – Con text is also important. Whether or not something is regarded as anti-competitive is also dependent on any government policies in play. These policies act as both a guideline and a measure against anti-competitive behaviour.

 

  • Step 3: Effects on prospects and customers – Any negative effect on prospects and customers is automatically a concern for marketers. Thus, it makes sense that when a practice of your own company or a competitor’s has this effect, it’s necessary to put at stop to it.

 

  • Step 4: Effects on other market participants – The actions of anti-competitive behaviour (such as cartels) can affect even law-abiding participants in the market. While this can make the behaviour hard to detect (blurring the difference between affected and guilty parties), it does mean that marketers will be among the first to note anomalies in market behaviour and suspect foul play.

 

  • Step 5: Foresee PR consequences – Being accused of anti-competitive behaviour is bad press and logically, it follows that bad press creates bad marketing. Many prospects in the B2B sales process will undoubtedly look up any information that paints vendors in bad light. This only adds to the marketer’s responsibility when looking into anti-competitive practices.

 

On the other hand, too much preoccupation on the subject can be just as counterproductive. There is a point when you’ll need to bring in legal expertise as well as marketing expertise before conducting full investigation into abuses inside or outside your organization.

 

A better alternative would be to treat it as you would health problems. Understand self-diagnose when the symptoms seem small and basic but be on the alert when complications arise.

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