B2P = Business to People

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Posted: November 8, 2011 | Modern Marketing

There I was…trying to plan my next marketing program. The question I ask myself is obviously, “who am I marketing to?” Well, being a marketer at Marketo, the answer, one would assume, is the business marketer. Ok. So, I have to create a compelling piece of B2B content? Uh huh, got it. Done and done. Take some white paper bits, condense it to a paragraph, throw in a few bullet points. Well shucks, you got yourself a landing page, email, or both!

Seriously though, B2B = businesses selling to businesses. B2C? Businesses selling to consumers. So, there’s the division, that’s that. Black and white. B2B marketing must be professionally positioned, super serious, no personality, bland. B2C gets to have all the flavor and fun, and that is just the way it is. Deal with it.

STOP

Picture that. A salesman walking up to a business…hm, a business, what is that? Duh, a business is an organi…ok, I’m not going to ramble, but here is my point: a business is nothing but a group of consumers that have the same career path, or different careers in the same industry, whatever. “Business” is simply a label for a group of consumers with a similar path. Hence, it’s not as much B2Business as it is B2Consumers.

Tsk tsk, so unprofessional, Rick. Best of luck on your professional endeavors with that mentality. *insert snotty laugh*

Now take a second to remove your work mask and listen to what is going on inside your head when you’re at your job. You don’t convey it, but you actually have independent thoughts that have a subconscious influence on how you conduct your professional life. What catches your eye? – things that naturally interest you. You can’t train your instincts to adapt to your career. Your instincts are what makes you the ever evolving and unpredictable, consumer.

Sure, a business is a large group of professionals, and I’m not saying go completely bonkers and start throwing a bunch of slang and edgy images into your marketing mix. But it is an undeniable fact that people like to be entertained. Are those beings sitting next to you at your job not people? Have they lost their soul? Their personality? All that makes them unique individuals? Of course not! Just because you are marketing to businesses, doesn’t mean that your message can’t include a sense of humor, an emotional connection, a pop culture reference, or whatever else you think might resonate with your target audience.

I know this is a large pill to swallow, but we are no longer marketing to businesses. It is 2012, give or take a few months ;), and we must start marketing smarter. B2B, B2C, it’s all the same. What it boils down to is marketing to people. Connecting with what matters to you as a person, be it on a personal level or a professional level. I implore you to try writing from your heart, not your brain. You might be surprised at how natural compelling B2B marketing content can be.

Dagnabit! I’ve gone off on a tangent. I have to go plan my next B2P marketing campaign!

Rick Siegfried is Customer Marketing Manager at Marketo, where he manages the strategy and execution of all customer demand generation efforts. In his personal life, he lives in Evanston, IL with his lovely wife and plays drums in a grunge band. #GoBlackhawks

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B2P = Business to People

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