What’s All This B2B2C Business About?

October 20, 2014

Admittedly, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but B2B2C is a different way of looking at B2B businesses, and it’s a term that has been used a lot recently. But, apart from being a rather long acronym, what is it exactly?

Techopedia defines B2B2C as being a business model where “online, or e-commerce, businesses and portals reach new markets and customers by partnering with consumer-oriented product and service businesses”.

While lots of definitions of B2B2C put the emphasis on the e-commerce relationships where the ‘C’ is the buyer, it also needs to be thought of in terms of B2B sales for products with a consumer angle. In order for B2B2C to work, surely the product must create value for both the business and the consumer?

Typically, B2B2C marketing has been used by B2B businesses with individual customers as the end buyers of their services and products. In particular, pharma, retail and financial sectors have used B2B2C marketing methods. So shouldn’t we all be thinking about B2B2C marketing?

An article on Fierce CMO asks, in light of the increasing power of tech-savvy consumers, shouldn’t all B2B marketers consider adopting a B2B2C approach? We often forget that there is actually a real human being behind that buying decision – not just a faceless entity. They are individuals with their own needs and preferences. It’s therefore important to use all of the “hot buttons” and benefits for the end user when creating brand messages. Using B2B2C methods can help us have one-on-one conversations with prospects which, in turn, will strengthen customer loyalty.

But is there really any need to distinguish between B2B and B2B2C in that case? Shouldn’t the approach always be to keep the individual at the forefront of your mind? Surely this is always going to drive more effective and influential marketing efforts. Let us know what you think.