Social Media has become an integral part of our lives – both as consumers and businesses. In many ways it's making way for a new type of marketing strategy; A pure customer centric C2C Marketing Strategy. But many businesses still think in terms of B2B or B2C. What difference does it make?
The B2B or a B2C World
All B2B and B2C marketing strategies have one thing in common; they all focus on a relationship where 'business' is the center of attention. Be it outbound or inbound marketing, it's all about how to make the customer engage with the business in some way or the other. This approach assumes that there's little to no interaction between the customers themselves. This was fairly true when it was harder for people to share and communicate. All the content and media technology was mainly focused towards delivering messages from business to customer or the other way round.
The Pure C2C World
But then something fundamentally changed with Social Media becoming more prominent. It made possible for customers to publish media that can have an equal and in fact many times a much larger impact on the rest of the customer community. As a result, media is no longer in control of the business. This is a pure C2C World, where customers control everything.
The Difference It Makes...
In a B2B or a B2C World, businesses have control over media content and the technologies that enable communication between business and customers. In a C2C World however, customers control not only the media but the technology too. For instance customers may choose to use Instagram or Facebook or Yelp. And they choose the content they want to publish there.
In a B2B or a B2C World, things are like a 'waterfall'. Business defines a marketing budget and a strategy, and as part of that creates a content media strategy and uses some technology deliver the message. And after that is done, analyzes the results and optimizes. However a C2C World is seemingly chaotic and is not in control of the business. The business has no say around when the media will be published, using what technology and often deep analysis is not available to the business.
In a B2B or a B2C World, customer reactions are closely guarded; often one business has less clue about how exactly customers reacted to another business's marketing strategy. In a C2C World however, interactions are open to all. So all businesses have access to this very important information – what's working and what's not working in my competitor's product and what really differentiates me from others.
Being consumer of the customer
So for businesses to be successful in this new Pure C2C World, they need to act as 'The consumer of the customer' in some sense. They need to carefully listen in to the customer just like other customers would to other customers. That's a fundamental shift.