Tag Archives: media

Forget B2B and B2C — it’s B2E

To judge by their messages, many firms make much of the dichotomy of business to business (B2B) vs. business to consumer (B2C) – be this in marketing, hiring, or packaging. Indeed B2B vs B2C can appear quite dissimilar. For example, in their choice of

  • Channels
  • Pricing
  • Media
  • Business Models

None of these differences is absolute. For marketers B2B vs. B2C is frequently not a useful perspective. Traditional hallmarks of B2B such as a high priced dedicated sales force, long selling cycles, or “rational” vs emotional appeals in branding, could apply to B2C.

Increasingly B2B vs B2C is a distinction without a difference. From the importance of social media to advertising, the two camps seem to be converging. Smart marketers seem to get that ultimately marketing is marketing. This is clearly illustrated by B2B campaigns executed in a distinctly B2C manner.

Consider the campaign from corporate IT services firm CDW. It features the redoubtable Charles Barkley. The commercial has a consumer look and feel but its message of outsourcing IT services to CDW is all business.


If CDW isn’t business enough, consider marketing by SAP, the “grey standard” of business to business.


In your next campaign, don’t fixate on B2B or B2C. Think about marketing B2E. E as in everybody.

Off-Web Webcast

When is a webcast not a webcast? Webcasts – whether videos, interactive presentations, or some other form of multimedia – are usually available to anyone with an Internet connection. They are typically “free” as long as the viewer is willing to fill out a registration form. Even though “free”, the challenge is usually to attract an audience, not mention retaining them for the length of the webcast.

Novelist Philip Roth will discuss his latest book, Indignation, in a webcast this week (7 pm, EDT, Tuesday September 16th). In my opinion, Mr. Roth is a considerable talker as well as writer, so this should be worth viewing. Yet you won’t be able to watch from your home or office computer. The event is a virtual book tour, which will take place simultaneously on the books publication date. This web cast will be private and can only be seen in fifty book stores around the country. The online world and virtual book stores, most noticeably amazon.com are not on the tour.

As with, for example, in store parties for the latest release of Harry Potter, this is an attempt to make the real world more interesting than the virtual and substitute the community of a live audience (ironically for a virtual event) for the community of a social network.

TV or Not TV

One of our consistent themes has be lack of enthusiasm for television advertising. This is not just the curmudgeon in us. Although TV can be cost effective to reach large numbers of viewers and useful to introduce or support a brand. However, TV campaigns are usually structured so they are difficult to evaluate. The commercials can be expensive to produce and difficult to target to your market.

Traditional ad agencies have not helped and often sacrificed accountability in pursuit of creativity. Senn and Fallon’s interesting but unconvincing apology for ad creativity, Juicing the Orange, continues in the wrong direction. Fallon produced the memorable herding cats Superbowl ad a few years back. Though the production was memorable, viewers couldn’t remember the sponsor or that its business had to do with the ad.

What’s a marketer to do? An intriguing option is provided by online agency, Spot Runner. They deliver three benefits, which make TV at least worth a test – cheap yet professional production, easily targeted media buying, and convenient detailed reporting.

Spot Runner offers extremely low costs through web based automation. A full service ad agency can charge tens or hundreds of thousands for a custom produced TV commercial. With Spot Runner, you choose a generic commercial from a library of several thousand and then customize it for your product or business with your logo, graphics, offer, and a professional voice over. The result looks like the real thing rather than a homemade ready for YouTube spot. This costs all of $500 to $750 depending on the amount of customization. The ad can, and usually should, display trackable information such as a unique phone number, URL, or email address.

Once you have a commercial, where do you run it? Spot Runner has an automated media buying process, which allows targeting as precisely as individual zip codes as well as specific times. The process is roughly similar to creating ads through Google’s AdWords. Spot Runner’s appears easier for the novice TV advertiser. Unlike Google, you can call Spot Runner with questions and problems.

Does this mean that TV should be part of your marketing mix? It does mean that if you have $1500 to $2000 for production and a media buy, you can find out.