It used to be that “B2B” and “B2C” were helpful distinctions in marketing. Were you targeting a company or a consumer? Was your communication focused on convincing a real person to buy something, or on developing a long term, sales-focused relationship with a “buyer”?
B2B was serious and purposeful. B2C could be fun and creative. B2B companies bought facts, data, rational arguments, and price/value equations. People bought things they liked – and required humor, emotion, ideas.
But a couple things have changed. Firstly, the digital revolution of the past generation has changed the B2B buying process. B2B buyers are self-directed and largely become informed of the category and their choices following their own journeys prior to any sales outreach. So, there are many more opportunities for marketing to engage, contribute, add value.
And that self-directed journey is no longer unique to B2B brands – consumers, especially in categories with longer purchase cycles and more involved decision-making, also engage in purposeful buying journeys. This is blurring the differences between B2B and B2C.
But most importantly, there’s begun to be a realization about B2B buying. That these buyers are also people. They have needs, desires, challenges to overcome, and satisfaction to be achieved, just as consumers do.
So, the most important thing all marketers need realize is that they are all in a B2P world – business-to-people. No matter what you are marketing, you must empathize with people in order to break through to, engage with, understand and satisfy them.  

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