In business and marketing, we normally group companies into two basic categories: B2B and B2C (business-to-business and business-to-consumer). This makes perfect sense as B2B and B2C companies have very unique challenges they must address and overcome. But does this make sense for 2017 and years following?
B2B and B2C Marketing – A Quick Recap
B2B marketing is primarily about getting “leads” through detailed and analytic presentations about value propositions and return on investment (ROI). Whereas B2C marketing is traditionally about catchy advertising and leveraging emotion to appeal to people’s desires around simple products for personal use.
However, due to the rapid spread and acceptance of social media for both personal and business use, it is becoming increasingly obvious that, while unique challenges still exist, B2B and B2C companies are better grouped into the same category: B2P, or business-to-people.
In a nutshell, B2P marketing takes note of each individuals’ interests and lifestyle and approaches them not as an organization, but as an individual with unique wants, expectations and tastes.
With the rise of social engagement, it is apparent that marketers and sales reps are targeting people, not businesses.
People are consuming media like never before, across a range of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Individuals look to connect online with brands that matter to their personal choices, and to inform their professional choices.
– Amy Sorrells, Senior Manager, Strategic Communication at Oracle
Why is B2P Marketing Important in Basel?
Basel is what I like to call a “little, big city.” What I mean by this is, while Basel, Switzerland itself isn’t huge (with a population of just over 165,000), it is business dense. Some of the largest and most well known chemical and pharmaceutical companies in the world are based in Basel; Clariant, Syngenta, Novartis and Roche, just to name a few. Not to mention the hundreds of small and medium sized businesses that rely on these corporations; from manufacturing, engineering and IT to hospitality, catering and other services. If your business strategy is focused on winning a business over (not a person), you may peak someone’s interest but ultimately you might not get very far. But if you focus on building a relationship with a key influencer or decision maker within the company, you may just find yourself in a lasting and successful business relationship. You can do this by learning and understanding the person’s challenges and offering solutions that truly resolve their pain points, which ultimately helps their business as well. After all…
Businesses don't make decisions, people do.
B2P Marketing – A Subtle Switch in Thinking
B2P in place of B2B marketing. A B2P marketer will initiate a personal connection (face-to-face, eMeeting or even chat or email) with a decision maker within the company. The primary goal here is to find out their individual challenges, motivations and needs; as well as the challenges, motivations and needs of their customers. It replaces the old B2B tactic of selling through convincing with, “How can I best support my prospect?”
B2P in place of B2C marketing. B2C companies have a leg up in the B2P competition as they are already used to working with detailed consumer segmentation. But a B2P marketer will allow the consumer possibilities to segment themselves further by collecting data at certain stages and offering highly personalized content in return. A B2P marketer can then go one step further and apply the found data to their website that can anticipate and answer questions customers might have.
How to Successfully Implement B2P Marketing
Adjusting to the B2P landscape doesn’t have to be a complete marketing overhaul. It is really just a slight change in strategy and exploiting and leveraging your current content by combining all available and essential tools; i.e., social media, chat boxes, bots, deep analytics, etc.
Inbound Marketing is hands down the best way to achieve B2P marketing because the sole idea of Inbound is to connect with prospects (1) where they are hanging out online and (2) by offering them valuable and useful content about topics or products they are already searching for. This is the opposite of annoying banner ads, cold calling or other disruptive outbound marketing tactics. It is discoverable and well-positioned content that can be found in:
- Topical blogs
- Social media campaigns
- SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
For example, a well-positioned and skillfully crafted blog post that relates to the challenges your prospect may have will speak to this potential customer in a way a banner ad or cold call can’t.
Want to learn more?
Read our 4 part blog series “Intro to Inbound Marketing“