Explore the Strategy of B2P Marketing
A major component of effective marketing is understanding your audience, and tailoring your presentation to suit that audience. The differences surrounding target audiences usually require marketing teams to re-think their outreach strategies in distinct ways.
While B2B marketing often employs detailed and analytic presentations about value propositions and return on investment, B2C marketing often uses emotion-driven, catchy, impulse-based advertising to appeal to people’s desires.
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However, most marketers and sales reps know that businesses don’t make the ultimate purchasing decisions—people do. Typically, B2C marketing targets a particular demographic such as 18-25 year-old women, or 35-50 year-old middle-class men who play golf. However, such demographics exist only in the abstract. A real-life 35-year-old man who likes to golf might have twin daughters, and a taste for musicals, expressing his preferences to sellers online. (See also Relationship Marketing)
Business-to-people (B2P) marketing takes note of such unique individuals, who will never be described in the market segmentation of an everyday B2C campaign. Those who engage in B2P marketing approach their business customers not as mere organizations, but as individual people with unique wants, expectations, and tastes.
Business-to-people marketing is conducted by any business willing and able to get feedback from individual customers, whether those customers are end consumers or other businesses with customers of their own. Some notable examples include:
Modern information and communications technologies have eroded the old distinctions between home and marketplace. Today, many people have access to social media networks on a near-24/7 basis, allowing them to interact with businesses through their phones, laptops, and tablets.
B2P is effective for both businesses and consumers—so much so that some businesses may no longer observe the B2B/B2C distinction and just take a single B2P approach.
B2P in place of B2B marketing. Again, business decisions may be reached differently than individual buying decisions, but ultimately both types of decisions are made by people. Emotion and personal relationship play into both personal and business decisions. Thus, a B2P marketer will make personal contact with a business’ decision makers and find out what motivates them, what values and visions they have, and what the needs of their own customers are.
B2P in place of B2C marketing. Consumer segmentation can create plausible groupings of customers, but individual customers can use data to place themselves into even more unique categories. Online shopping enables customers to search for the information they need, according to highly personalized criteria. B2P marketing considers this when creating websites, anticipating questions customers might have about products, and creating options for customers to give specific feedback.
For example, some sites have a person-to-person chat option. Any customer who uses this option does not need to be talked into taking an interest in a given product; they’re already interested, and want to know more. B2P considers the question “What is the customer looking for?” instead of the old B2C question, “What can I convince the customer to buy?” (See also Inbound Marketing)
Before the Internet, marketing communications were primarily one-way: The business simply advertised the products and services they offered prospective customers. Today, this communication is a two-way street, with customers actively asking more specific questions about a company’s products and services. The online shopper isn’t simply hoping for information and transparency from a business—they’re expecting it.
Business websites must be built to respond to the customer. Thus, the goal is to tailor the information and experience according to each person’s preferences. When the funding and technology is available, the website can use information about the customer’s location (from their IP address), their browsing history (from tracking cookies), and activity on your site (which can be tracked without cookies) to determine what information appears to them.(See also Closed-Loop Marketing)
Smaller businesses may not have the wherewithal to create such a site. However, what they can do is manage a business fan site—through a Facebook page, for example. Companies of all sizes should have some means of receiving customer communications, such as an online chat option or a forum on a site.
An effective B2P campaign must engage people through social media. Which type(s) of social networking websites used will be dictated by who a company markets to. If a business markets directly to consumers, sites like Facebook and Bebo are useful; if they target business professionals and innovators, LinkedIn, Innocentive, and TopCoder are better options.
These websites provide users a place to share thoughts and contribute to discussion; so whichever social media a company uses, it’s important engage in dialogue with users. Paying attention to users’ contributions to these sites reveals what consumers think about a business, and what they want from it. Independent of advertising, different users will discuss the values of products and services—and their disappointments as well. A company's participation in these sites allows them to respond directly and immediately to consumer wants and needs. (See also User-Generated Marketing)
What do they do?
Education and experience
Most marketing managers have at least a bachelor’s degree (often in marketing, advertising, or business management), as well as substantial experience in their industry. Education preparing them for this career will include classes in marketing, market research, statistics, psychology, and consumer behavior. Additionally, future marketing managers often pursue and complete an internship while still in school.
What do they do?
Education and experience
Internet marketing managers should have at least a bachelor’s degree (often in marketing, advertising, or business management) and substantial successful experience in online commerce (including advertising and sales). They should be familiar with how to leverage social networking sites, viral marketing, and affiliate marketing strategies. Education preparing them for this career will include classes in marketing, market research, statistics, microeconomics, consumer behavior, and internet law.
What do they do?
Education and experience:
Market research analysts need at least a bachelor’s degree in market research or related field, such as statistics or computer science. Many jobs also require a master’s degree, particularly leadership positions or positions that engage in more technical research. Many complete internships while in school, and may gain additional experience in jobs which require collecting and analyzing data and writing reports.
B2P marketing is about recognizing customers—whether business clients or end consumers—as people, and responding to their needs. To do so effectively, a marketer must be aquire a number of different skills through a marketing eduaction program.
Marketing programs teach students how to acquire useful data, which in turn helps them understand customers and their decisions. A marketing school trains students to research, collect data, and analyze statistics so they can paint a clear picture of a market’s needs, preferences, and habits. This training includes some knowledge of psychology, in order to better understand how people interpret communication and make decisions. (See also Consumer Psychology)
Communications skills are an essential component of conducting business and maintaining relationships. Therefore, students also learn and hone a variety of presentation skills. Students discover ways to approach to communication differently depending on their audience -- whether implementing marketing campaigns for businesses or consumers.
Finally, computer and technology courses help them understand the Web 2.0 world. Unlike the early days of the Internet, where information was provided by fewer groups, most information in the Web 2.0 environment is added by end users. A college program will prepare future marketers to deal with this new and still-developing market environment.
To learn more about what a marketing school can do for you, request information from schools with degrees in marketing, and discover how they can respond to your individual needs.