Two business colleagues share their consumer experiences

Forget B2B Marketing. Today, It’s All About P2P.

16 Jan 2019 by Amy Protexter

What we experience in our consumer lives is becoming the expectation in our business lives. We want the same experiences in both environments: the same ability to get information and to do research, and the same ability to transact quickly and safely, on our own terms.

If you’re doing Business to Business (B2B) marketing, you can’t ignore what the best consumer brands are doing. The new holy grail has become Person to Person (P2P) marketing.

As the landscape of consumer marketing changes, so does that of B2B marketing. We’re no longer pushing information out and hoping for a bite. Today’s business buyer is busier than ever and is looking to make a purchase on his or her conditions and timeline, much like today’s consumer.

To compete in today’s marketplace, businesses are shifting to person-to-person marketing. Three key factors are influencing this shift:

  1. People don’t behave differently at their work desk than at their home desk.
    By that, I mean the process they go through to make a business purchase isn’t different from their process to make a personal purchase. With that in mind, every business has to sell to people, not businesses, so it’s important to understand how people want to research, learn and transact.
  2. The shopping experience has moved from brick and mortar to online.
    Today, you can order groceries through an app. You can have your favorite restaurant meal delivered to your door through an online order. You can even use an app to have someone fill your car with gas.

    As a business buyer, you need to realize there’s a huge market for the convenience of online purchases. People want to do their own research, chat when they have questions and place their orders on their terms and timetable.
  3. The information and transparency available today is deeper than ever before.
    Think about the process of buying a car 20 years ago. You’d have to go to a dealership, pick up a paper brochure, talk to a salesperson and trust word of mouth.

    Today, you can visit the manufacturer’s website for vehicle specs and read unbiased reviews from real users. This rapid evolution of how people obtain information and make decisions has opened more avenues than ever for people to explore different purchasing options and validate opinions.

What are you waiting for?

Many B2B brands are late to the party. They’re just starting to recognize that the buyer’s journey is extremely different today than it was 10, five or even two years ago. Companies that want to survive are going to have to adopt a P2P strategy ― and quickly.

If you’re ready to outline your new person-to-person marketing plan, start thinking about an omnichannel experience. Spread your company content across different channels to reach people where they are, and open every conceivable line of communication.

Whether a buyer engages through chat, a phone call with an account executive, a conversation on social media, your website or a landing page, he or she expects a seamless experience. And don’t discount the importance of a website optimized for mobile devices.

Creating a seamless content experience means creating a personalized experience. Amazon has clearly set the bar for personal shopping with recommended products and reviews, as well as the intense use of data about who you are, what you purchased and your buying patterns.

Every time you shop with Amazon, whether in the app on your phone or on the website on your laptop, the retail giant knows exactly what you want to see and delivers it to you. You’ll also notice all of your account information, and customer service, is available no matter how you shop.

Once you’ve considered these two cornerstones of your person-to-person marketing strategy — an omnichannel experience and personalization — you can build upon it by developing solid content and deciding which channels best suit your business.

Keep in mind that although the task may seem overwhelming at first, leveraging today’s technology can help you quickly reach your target buyers where they want to purchase, when they’re ready.

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About Amy Protexter
Senior Vice President, North America Marketing

Amy is fascinated by ideas and has a talent for connecting ideas into compelling messages. She applies the latest marketing ideas to Insight’s global efforts to support and strengthen the company’s identity as a problem-solving provider that puts clients first.

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