The marketing jargons B2B marketing (business to business) and B2C marketing (business to consumer) are well known in the marketing industry and are often banded about to describe the business one is in.
As a company or individual it has always been that you are categorised as one of these, and has (to date) been widely accepted.
Of course this classification makes perfect sense when describing what your business does; these meanings are often easily understood by potential customers. But, what is your business really in? Because these marketing terms are dead.
Harsh you may feel, however if you are still classifying your marketing activities like this, the chances are your business will stagnate or even die.
What is the correct term, I hear you cry!
It is no longer enough to market your products using the original 4 marketing Ps (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) it is now imperative you must add two more Ps – P2P. This is either people-to-people, or person-to-person marketing.
A fantastic example of this is in the hospitality trade. Think of your favourite restaurant. Do you eat there because of the outstanding food? Or the outstanding décor? I expect the main reason you return time after time is because the staff and service are excellent…
The sign of a great pub is when the staff know which ale you would like to drink as you walk through the door, and better still have it waiting for you at the bar. Your favourite restaurant will have staff who know which specials to recommend you, and will always greet you with a beaming smile. A successful pub or restaurant will go that extra mile to make you feel loved and welcome. This is why you return, even when the food may be only mediocre.
Food can be replicated, décor can be imitated, but your staff can never be copied. Your staff are unique. Have great staff and your business will thrive.
I am in the business of marketing…Well actually this is not true… I am in the business of helping customers build relationships with their customers and potential clients. Yes, fundamentally I help businesses with their marketing, but actually I help them build relationships.
How you are perceived as a business depends on how well you treat your customer. It is not enough that you have outstanding ale or the right widgets. (Although this is also important!)
If you are an online company, and rely on eCommerce this term still applies. By educating potential customers about industry relevant information, or blogging about your staff and your ethics, you will install confidence in your customers and they will want to buy from you, and recommend you.
By having great staff to organise the buying and selling of necessary products for your business you will get the best products at the best price available to you. It is still all about people!
When social media marketing it is important to have your Facebook and Twitter accounts run by people not ‘bots’. It is all about being social is it not? Create engagement and conversation; build relationships and people will buy.
So the point I am trying to make is that your business will succeed because of your people. I love my favourite restaurant because the owner is great fun, always friendly and welcomes us with open arms. He knows our names too! I recommend other companies because of the staff, and I will not recommend others if staff are not customer focused. I can’t stand my car mechanic because he is a miserable man, and dread taking my car in to be fixed. I am sure you are getting the picture.
So, next time you are thinking about where to invest your marketing money, look a little closer and ensure your staff are representing your business as you need them to. They are the centre of your business. Invest in staff training and ensure that your business thrives. No longer will your value for money widgets sell themselves! It is all about P2P!