What B2B can learn from B2C (and P2P)
Inevitably, the differences and similarities between B2B and B2C worlds were a consistent talking point across panels and roundtables. We even had an ambitious ‘B2G’ acronym at one point – ‘business to government’, anyone?
But Rockwool’s Alessandro Bracco did a good job of cutting through the noise with his simple observation: “Isn’t a B2B customer just a B2C person who goes to work?”
Dow’s Carlos Silva Lopes took the sentiment even further: “In essence, B2B is P2P; person to person”. It’s a drum we’ve been banging at Freestyle for some time. Our most successful campaigns are always those that wrap a B2B product in a human story.
The lines they are a blurrin'
The conference consensus was that the lines between B2B and B2C are blurring. The expectations of B2B customers when it comes to e-commerce have increased profoundly, driven by the ‘frictionless’ apps of B2C disruptors.
As Grainger’s Shailesh Sood put it: “As consumers we’ve experienced what good looks like in the B2C world. We’ve experienced how Amazon anticipates our needs, how AirBnB give us a seamless experience, how Uber puts us in control.”
The result: people increasingly expect the same experiences from their B2B transactions. And therein lies the opportunity for digitally-savvy B2B brands. By focusing on the online experience as a means of differentiation, manufacturers and distributors can stand apart from competitors.
Shailesh summed it up nicely: