Conversation Marketing: The Conversation is the Thing

Christine Fife

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B2B via B2C

Your company has a business to business product or service so why would you market to consumers? In many cases there would be no reason to market a business product to consumers, but there are a few very important reasons why you should consider it.

The most classic example of brilliant consumer marketing for a business product was done by Intel in the 1990s. The Intel microprocessor was simply an ingredient in computer products sold under other brand names. Most people couldn’t have told you what a microprocessor was, but the clever commercials and ad campaigns had people entering electronics mega stores demanding computers with Intel Inside!

This strategy worked for Intel, but how can it work for your company. Here are 3 bits of food for thought when trying to decide if a consumer marketing campaign can help meet your company’s business goals for your B2B product or service.

3 Bits of Food For Thought on B2B via B2C

  1. End users: Does your company sell a product or service to other businesses that ultimately have a consumer end user? For example, if your company sells spa oils used for massages or products or services companies give to employees as benefits it can make a lot of sense to market directly to the individuals who choose where to make a massage appointment or which company to work for based on their benefits packages.
  2. Everyone’s a Consumer: Every person who orders and signs off on purchasing business products is a consumer themselves. Do the people who purchase from you at the businesses you sell to live typical individual consumer lives? Maybe hitting them at work and at home with your messages will help them to remember you.
  3. Bottom Up Approach: Enterprise software is a great example of this. Many companies have an IT executive or chief business officer of some kind  who chooses which software will be used by the company, even very technical software or hardware that will be used by the most technically knowledgeable employees. The individuals who will use the software are usually the people who know best what they actually need. Marketing to these individuals can encourage them to request your products from those with the purchase authority.

When thinking of using business to consumer marketing tactics to increase demand of your business to business products, consider the people who actually use your product or service after a business buys it as influencers. Get them to talk about you and demand that the company they work for, or purchase a service from, buys from you.

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As I drove off to college I never would have guessed I would end up here! But it’s been a fantastic journey. My career has been richly diverse giving me an advantage over marketers who are siloed into niche positions. I strive to be a true Renaissance person—I love to learn about everything and trying new things comes naturally. My career has been no different; I’ve successfully launched enterprise software and medical device development startups, improved communications processes for the regulatory department of a major financial exchange, increased client business and product development for several international exchange program companies and founded an international educational non-profit organization. My master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Golden Gate University gave me a broad understanding of traditional marketing best-practices, but my BA in theater gave me the skills to understand how people communicate with one another and the importance of promoting a brand in a voice that is right for the audience.