B-to-B Marketing: It’s Not About YOU Anymore!

Social media allows us to engage each other and start a conversation which hopefully turns into a relationship.

I’ve been in the ad business for over 3 decades, and over the years have used the tools available to develop targeted programs to reach our intended audiences. We were so busy telling people how good our product was that we seldom took the time to ask any questions or listen to what the customers had to say. In other words, most of our communications were one way.

Today with the advent of social media, we have so many options to reach our target as does our target to get info on a particular product or service. Web 2.0, for example, allows customers to participate in dialogs, forums and surveys that let their opinions be known. We as marketers should be happy about this as it affords us valuable insight into the minds of customers (you ask questions, listen and respond).

Back in the day before the Internet was invented by Al Gore, a lot of us used to practice another form of B-to-B marketing (belly button to belly button) where we actually sat down with a customer or prospect and had a conversation with them.

Unfortunately in today’s world, people for the most part don’t have time for these kinds of encounters. Social media allows us to begin the engagement process, so hopefully as we build a relationship, we can ultimately have that face-to-face just like the good old days.

Marketers need to rethink the way they communicate to customers and prospects. Quit selling and start listening.


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5 Comments. Leave a comment

  1. Skip DeVilling

    John, you are right on target! All of our networks are still based on relationships…….real relationships….those “belly button to belly button” relationships you talked about. We still have to get together….we still have to answer the phone and talk to one another! Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, are a great way to “keep in touch”, but we still have to talk. We remember how to talk don’t we?

  2. Christine Szafraniec

    Our business is built on the relationship and interactions that we have with our customers. If we only relied on electronic communication, we would never be able to get the know the customer and his needs better. We would be faceless and voiceless. In order to stand out from the clutter, we grow our business one customer at a time, one interaction at a time and one order at a time.

    • tradesmeninsights

      we use personal relationships as the main way to et new business too. Social helps us stay in touch with potentials and hopefully get them comfortable with our thinking so when the time is right they’ll call us. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Anne Marsden

    Absolutely, John.

    In fact I wrote a blog post with a similar title and and a complementary concept – I remind companies that when you engage with your community to do something that isn’t focused on sales, but is focused on the good of that community – it will indeed come back to you with monetary benefit. Perhaps hard to measure the ROI but without a doubt one of keys to creating the dialogue and connection with clients that you’re talking about. You can read it here.

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