B2B. . . B2C . . . There’s a virtual alphabet soup of acronyms out there describing how marketers should be communicating with their audience.
gyro has always been defined as a business-to-business (B2B) marketer, despite the fact that we declared the B2B space dead years ago. With that statement, we were acknowledging that the workday as we knew it no longer existed. Nine-to-five ended the moment we began carrying mobile technology in our pockets. Today mobile phones and tablets have not only affected how we work, but also where we work and how decisions are made. Our business life has more background noise than ever. To rise above it, our message must be more human.
That means that to influence business decisions today you must connect to the individual. This holds true whether the space is in B2B or business-to-consumer (B2C). People want to have relationships with those that they like and trust. This means emotion is the key connection to intimacy among businesses, brands and people.
In fact, Google recently partnered with CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council to study how emotion plays into business decisions. It found that B2B customers have a far more powerful emotional connection to a company or brand than B2C customers do. Part of the reason for this is that business purchases can involve huge amounts of risk. Igniting the emotional connection helps buyers to overcome that risk in their decision-making.
This means that as marketers we must transform the way we communicate to potential customers. Businesses are still the focal point; but to be successful, companies shouldn’t just be talking to a “customer.” They must reach the person—the human being. Perhaps business-to-person (B2P) is a more apt description of how we should be delivering our message.
How to do this? Start inside. At the core of any company’s new product or idea is the innovation behind it. That comes from a person. So it follows that if you are marketing to people, you should find a way to connect with them, perhaps via the dream or story behind the product and how it is used. Businesses must recognize that decision-making is not only rational; there is an emotional side, too. They must tap into those feelings.
The ignition point for marketing ideas lies in the human connection between the customer and the brand or company idea. When reaching out to the audience, the message should be built from within that connection. Knowing the customer, knowing where they are, and where they go to receive their product information is key to creating that message. Content, fueled by technology, is definitely a component of the educational process and part of the sell. It should be used to convince your audience just how and why your product is the way to go, and it should be delivered the way your customer wants it.
Communication through B2P should be genuine and simple. To get to the right message, listen to your audience and get to know them as individuals. Engage them. Give them something to talk about, using humor or emotion. Make them feel something. Personalize your message. Make it humanly relevant and, in turn, transform them.