B2B is Dead

I just got back from TM360.  It was in beautiful Dana Point, CA – and a much needed escape from the unrelenting cold and snow in Chicago.

dana point, ca

I’ve only been to a few conferences like this. And to tell you the truth, I never seem to get to much out of the sessions.  But meeting new people and seeing how other businesses are trying to stake their claim in the wild west of personalized marketing is very inspiring.

But there was one overarching theme of the conference that I wanted to share.  It’s so deep, that it requires you to rethink everything you know, and have been taught about marketing.  It made a big impact on me, and how to position Purlem for the future.  It’s the fact that B2B is dead.

Brad Brooks‘ keynote set the tone for the rest of the conference, and was – in my opinion – the best session of the conference.  Brooks encouraged marketers to rethink their strategy as “B2ME” as opposed to B2B. It’s no longer about targeting a company, it’s about targeting individuals within that company. People – even in business – want a personalized experience.

So what does this all mean? Quite simply that new business is dependent on building relationships with individuals. You should start to target your marketing efforts towards individuals in businesses, or begin to loose out to your competition.

You can start to build your B2ME strategy through the following steps…

  1. Identifying your market personas.
  2. Create content specific for each persona.
  3. Filter inbound prospects into their proper persona.
  4. Show each prospect content specific to them.

For example.  With Purlem I have identified the following personas: Print Provider, Agency, Educator, Auto Dealer, etc…

With those personas identified, I can create content specific to each persona.  Then, when a new prospect enters the sales funnel, I can identify them with the proper persona, and show them content that is relevant to them in future correspondence (email, direct mail, purls, website…).

Now, there is no doubt out this that it takes work.  Lots of work.  Just creating the content can and should be a full time job. But keep in mind that this is replacing your “traditional” advertising.  You know, the type of advertising where you would throw thousands at the magazine or TV and crossed your fingers that somebody would pick.  The ‘ol spray-and-pray method is long gone. B2B is dead.