Why There’s No Such Thing As B2B Marketing Online

By Dave Kerpen

People often ask me, “How does social media apply to my B2B business? Since we’re not B2C, we don’t need to have conversations with people on Facebook. We’re marketing to businesses, who aren’t on social media.” Those people are right about one thing: your B2B organization probably doesn’t need to invest a lot in Facebook.But there’s really no such thing as B2B marketing online, if you think about it. There’s only B2P.

No matter what you do, you’re not marketing and selling to a business, you’re marketing and selling to people – to individual decision makers who, on behalf of their business, will choose to hire your business. These decision makers, like the rest of the country, are surely using social networks to connect with others and gather information.

The only question that remains, then, is where they are doing this. Our B2B company has generated the most leads from Slideshare, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. We’ve also generated a lot of leads from our blog. Sure, we’re on every social network from Pinterest to Facebook to Foursquare, but we have to be, because we’re a social media company. You don’t. So where are your prospects and customers hanging out on the web? Where are your decision makers congregating? Go there, create value for them, be likeable, and above all else, be human.

Remember, in social media, it’s not B2B, it’s B2P.

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  • http://twitter.com/Amoravick Andrew Moravick

    Great perspective Dave,
    For the most part, I’m right with you on the importance of selling to people verses selling to businesses. I do think, though, there are still some key differences that make B2B people different as buyers than B2C people.

    One big difference is consequence — a B2B buyer can be influenced by likeablity and relationships like a B2C buyer, but given the weight of what may result from a poor buying decision as a company, a B2B buyer actually needs to have a stronger more trusting relationship with the brand he or she is buying from.

    Along with social media, though, I think content marketing is also starting to blur the lines between B2B and B2C by allowing brands to become more likeable, human and trustworthy to their target audiences. Recently, I pulled together some B2B and B2C marketing data in a blog post to explore the relationship a bit more ( http://blog.snapapp.com/how-content-marketing-blurs-the-line-between-b2b-and-b2c-marketing ), but in the end, I really think it still comes down to the human element. The only difference, in my opinion, is the way in which we appeal to that universal element.