For so long B2B marketers have had the concept of targeting businesses and corporates with their marketing activities and sucess is ultimately achieved by the number of new businesses acquired by a particular campaign.
But things have changed now.
Yes B2B is still business to business but if you think about it, you have always been targeting a person within that business to influence and direct your messaging towards right? It’s that one person who is seen as an influencer or a decision maker, it’s not the business that makes the decisions it’s that one person (together with the influencer) whether it be a buyer or I.T Manager or an Architect. It’s the one person who either engages with your brand or messaging or passes it on. So is this person to person (P2P) marketing or even business to person (B2P) marketing to be a bit more specific?
Heard of the saying “Campaigns are only as good as the data?” How many times has incorrect data let you down? The data consists of people right? How many times have you had direct mail/e-mails returned because the target had opted out or no longer works there? It’s not the companies who are opting out, it’s the individual. Again is this classed as P2P marketing? It’s up to marketers to market person to person (P2P) and not B2B.
P2P marketing is about getting upclose and personal, engaging and building relationships with individuals within businesses by creating engaging content and using the tools (particularly social media tools) necessary to assist with targeting the right person with the right message at right time with right medium. Be it social media, which in my opinion is the best form of P2P. By creating these online communities you can comunicate on a person to person level and provide them with much more specific, focused and relevant content. No longer does broadcasting the same message to 100 buyers or any other target work, each buyer is different. They all have different buying habits, processes, personas and thoughts.
So of you did a bit more P2P and less B2B do you think you would see better conversions if you knew your audience better? Would you see more engagement with your brand or you? Could existing and new relationships be strengthened for you or your sales force?
This is dead on. It all comes down to the personal relationships. What kind of things would you suggest to get to know the audience better?
Thanks for your comment Rudi!
B2B is all about relationships and the confidence one individual has in your business services and products.
Getting to know the audience comes in two parts i think.
One is to create high impact campaigns which allow your target/audience to respond to different areas (involve them) depending on their needs and requirements which ultimately will allow you to almost build a picture or persona. Analyse behaviour over periods of time. What are they downloading? What e-mails did they open? What links did they click on? etc etc
Secondly, improving customer experiences will also help you to get to know your audience. For example, including personalised URL’s for landing pages or personalised newsletters can also help create high levels of engagement. Take this one step further and you can create dynamic content populated into landing pages, e-newsletters or e-mail campaigns based on an individual targets area of interests or focus.
Oh and one final one is automation. If you have long buying cycles then pinpoint key ‘touch points’ within the cycle and introduce automation into your campaigns or strategy and carry on analysing the data and behaviour patterns.