There’s a brand new trendy thought stating that B2B and B2C marketing are converging. It’s amazing how mixing signals leads to this controversy and wrong belief.
Gary Slack, Chairman and CEO of Slack & Company, member of Worldwide Partners (our international B2B Network) stood up against this idea in an excellent article on B2B Marketing website.
Three confusing signals lead to the conclusion.
Do these change the B2B purchase process? Yes, definitely. Does it mean that it is converging with B2C process? No. Unless we admit that a man can get divorced because he chose the wrong yogurt brand while shopping, just like a CIO may be fired because he signed a 5-year contract with Hatkins Marvel Software, Inc. instead of IBM. (May every Hatkins family forgive me for the example. Nothing personal, of course).
So what is a B2B buyer made of? B2B buyers are 3D human beings. Rational, Emotional, Relational. Whether they are purchasing for personal or professional goods, that’s right.
Let’s stop surfing on the wave of common thinking and dive into details. The main difference lies in the proportional weight of each dimension, due to the level of threat in case of mistake and negative consequences of the choice. Neurologically, human beings act according to their emotions first. But the pressure, the perception of risk or danger bring rational thinking up. Meanwhile, the past and present relationship between the buyer and a brand also plays a major role.
It’s interesting to see how the marketing world is developing a schizophrenic double message. While the idea of a B2B/B2C convergence is spreading out, the technology is obsessed by the highest adaptation possible to B2B or B2C specific needs. So, Inbound strategists, Content producers, Marketing Automation Platforms, RTB/Programmatic Platforms and others are striving to specialize whether on B2B or B2C field, in order to make them more efficient. i.e. reduce the perception of risk in the buying process.
Mainly Inbound strategies, content production and Marketing automation platforms are developing at skyrocket speed, to answer the quest to indisputable evidences of brands and products’ reliability, credibility, relevancy.
So, believe me, B2B and B2C marketing will converge when pigs are flying!
Gary will do and highly interesting conference about the subject during Worldwide Partners World Meeting, in Jamaica, May 14th. You can follow the three day Meeting with #WPIWM16