Marketing Automation doesn’t have to be B2B !!

As marketers we’re conditioned to think of B2B vs B2C. That segmentation often works, but not always. Consider how a marketing would focus on the following business cases:

  • a lawn care company focused on new homeowner signups
  • a cancer treatment facility focused on setting appointments with doctors

Think B2B, but don’t forget B2C Lead Generation

The two scenarios above are B2C. They are also lead generation focused. Lead generation is traditionally seen as a B2B competency. Perhaps it should be. The vast majority of marketing departments focused on lead generation are B2B and B2B marketers have been pioneers of marketing automation.

Many of use are thought to view marketing in terms of B2B or B2C. That’s too simplistic. A better way to view website is either primarily focused on 1) Lead Generation, or 2) E-commerce.

  • B2C + E-Commerce = amazon.com, target.com,
  • B2C + Lead Generation = a local carpet cleaning company
  • B2B + E-Commerce = a distributor of wholesale paint supplies
  • B2B + Lead Generation = a contractor that designs custom private airplanes

Other Examples: Loyalty, Brands that are B2C + B2B

Two caveats might be flowing through your mind. The first, home improvement supply companies such as Home Depot, Lowes or Lumber Liquidators. These companies serve both B2C, in addition to having a large customer base with contractors that are B2B.

An other example of this is office supply companies such as Staples. The other caveat is B2C, but not really e-comm — think coffee — think of a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks app. Yes, you can setup a credit card to reload, and some will use it to order ahead, but is it full-blown e-comm in the traditional sense? Yes and no. We can write endless on the “yes,” but it’s the “no” that’s more fascinating, and the tie to B2B roots. Loyalty rewards programs, including mobile pay apps, owe a lot to B2B marketers of the past. These apps use data: profile data, purchase history and geo-location to create customer experiences that can include wide reaching segments, or 1:1 marketing.

It’s this type of 1:1 marketing: personalized, and big-data centered that will power the future. B2B marketers might have laid the foundations, but the bulk of the money in the coming years will be made by B2C marketers, one push notification, and a few dollars at a time.