Living In The Gray

Data advancements are revealing campaign possibilities are so much greater in the gray

As marketers, we like putting things in neat buckets. We segment, slice and split until we’ve gotten as granular as possible. Then we target like crazy. 

We market to businesses. We market to consumers. Sure, there’s plenty of segmentation you can do within each of these massive categories. But at the end of the day, B2B and B2C tend to be the starting point. 

Thing is, buyers aren’t so black and white anymore. They’re no longer 9-5 worker bees. At any point during the traditional workday, they could be fitting in a workout, picking up the kids or decompressing with their favorite mobile game. On nights and weekends, they may be checking emails, catching up on work or browsing LinkedIn. 

The pandemic has blurred the lines even more. 

Due to the recent #WFH trend, millions and millions of workers have finally been treated to some semblance of a proper work/life balance. They’ve been getting more business done from home than they or their employers ever thought possible. All while balancing actual home demands. They swipe corporate Amex cards one moment and sneak in some online shopping the next. 

We’re no longer any one thing at any one time. Alas, before anything, we are people first. This is quite obvious perhaps, but it’s a fact not always acknowledged. Now we’re seeing this thinking give rise to a trend toward B2P (Business to People) marketing. 

It’s a gray, gray, gray, gray world

Today, we very much live in the gray. 

Think about a typical business. We know that more than 80% of businesses have less than 10 people. Without a doubt, these business owners are wearing many hats. Nights and weekends are just another time of day. They’ve probably got one primary mobile device and it’s their business, personal and family lifeline, not always in that order. 

Yet, we’ve been treating these owners like split personalities when we plan marketing campaigns. We use traditional business channels for business messages and consumer-oriented channels for consumer messages. 

That’s changing. 

Approaches are evolving as campaign strategies begin to consider the full complexity of the people being targeted. That means seeing the total person and blurring B2B and B2C lines when it comes to reaching them. 

This thinking really starts to make sense when you consider that your average small biz owner may not have even half a second to view and act on marketing messages during the normal workday. BUT…catch them when they’re a bit less scattered on a weekend morning and it could be a completely different story. 

Suddenly, it makes sense for the landscaper with several commercial vehicles to be served an ad for the local Ford dealer via a consumer channel. Or for the events biz owner to see ads for local catering options. 

The possibilities are endless. 

B2P is finally real

B2P is not a new concept. It’s been a wishlist item for many for quite some time now. 

What’s exciting about this moment is we’re watching in real-time as market trends dovetail with advancements in data innovation that has finally brought us to the point where it’s possible to capitalize on B2P’s potential. 

For instance, at BRIDGE, we have data sources that allow us to understand the relationship between individual people and the businesses to which they’re connected. We can do this for upwards of 78 million people – a significant proportion of the buying population. 

Establishing these connections that can then be overlaid with everything else we already know about these users opens the door to new targeting methodologies. 

It’s now possible to actually correlate a business to a person at home and place of business and make offers resulting in multiple impressions. We can conduct A/B testing and challenger testing to understand what precise approaches are more successful.

This significant breakthrough is brought to you, in part, by personally identifiable information (PII). 

It’s yet another example of how people-based audiences can drive new innovation and advancements. 

Get Started with B2P Marketing Today

Steve Horne

Author Steve Horne

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