The lines have blurred throughout the historically “distinct” macro-target markets. Traditionally, marketing is broken down into three key areas, B2C, B2B and B2G. Each one has essentially marketed to different groups: the first, clearly, to another business, wholesaler or retailer; the second to consumers directly; and the last to government entities.
However, this approach is problematic, especially when targeting the B2B and B2G audiences. Yes, there is certain language that resonates within each group. For example, a manufacturer needs to use language that is directly applicable to a wholesaler. And a defense contractor ought to know the correct language to approach the Pentagon. But, as marketing professionals, we must go beyond the basics. It appears that a fundamental component is lost.
We have forgotten that regardless of the target market, the key decision-maker, whether he or she is a financial adviser, a hospital administrator, a CEO, a mom buying a toy for her child, or the head of a large contractor for the military, is first and foremost a human. Such decision-makers have fears and joys; trials and tribulations; and moments that bring them happiness. This is true both professionally and personally. Ultimately, that means our approach to communications needs to evolve.
We should no longer look at communications purely from a B2B, B2C or B2G angle. It is now B2People.
So, what is B2People? B2People ensures that messaging, regardless of the audience, is humanly relevant. Therefore, as we approach each key challenge, we need to ask ourselves key questions and try to stand in our target audience’s shoes: What is important to our key target audience? What is keeping them up at night? What is important for them to feel successful? What are they feeling about their industry, about our product, about the cultural climate? How can we shift these perceptions in a meaningful way? Once we determine the answers to these questions, it’s our job to connect the dots.
B2People is about recognizing we are speaking to real people who do real things and then communicating with them in a language that is relevant to their real lives. Marketing that achieves this goal is the most impactful, most engaging and by far the most effective.
For the New Year remember who your true target is: human beings.
Judy Abel is a Senior Strategist at gyro New York.
Follow her @tuffyabel