The blogsite socialmediatoday recently posted an extremely thought-provoking contribution by Bryan Kramer. The piece, titled “There Is No More B2B or B2C: There Is Only Human to Human (H2H),” immediately grabbed my attention.
Kramer makes some compelling arguments for his reasoning that PR and marketing are really people-to-people interactions rather than precise, specific, category-driven endeavors. He uses the abbreviation H2H rather than P2P as I used in my headline, but you'll see why I used the latter at the conclusion of this posting.
Kramer wrote, “It used to be that marketing was segmented into two categories; business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). This was done (I assume), to separate specialties, audiences and segments in an effort to more highly target the groups of people who ultimately would consume a brand’s message. ...Consumers are confused. Why can’t we make it simple for them to understand what we’re selling, to share their experiences and the value they felt with others? More importantly, why is it that what we’re marketing most often does not align to actual consumer experiences?
"The fact is that the lines are so far blurred now between the two marketing segments that it’s hard to differentiate between the two anymore. We all need to think like the consumers we are, putting ourselves in the mindset of the buyer instead of trying to speak such an intensely sophisticated language full of acronyms and big words, in order to sound smarter.”
Ouch, indeed. Have we, as flacks and as marketers, been creating a more complex situation than it really is? After saying social media “has become a more public and vast medium, where the things we share skyrocket quickly to a “one-to-many” experience. The dichotomy between marketing and social has actually flipped… and it’s out of balance. Social and marketing need to work together to personalize individual conversations, as well as deliver shared global experiences that crowds of common values can benefit,” Kramer also notes how he sees things:
So, this is how I see it:
Businesses do not have emotion. People do.
People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
People want to feel something.
People want to be included.
People want to understand.
This flack agrees. Why?? Because as Kramer says, communication “shouldn’t be complicated. It should just be genuine and simple, with the humility and understanding that we’re all multi-dimensional humans, everyone of which has spent time in both the dark and delightful parts of life,” this is why he used the term H2H (Human to Human). However, I agree more with a book by Mark Schaefer’s titled “The Tao of Twitter” where he describes P2P (People to People). Interestingly enough, SAP's CMO Jonathan Becher also believes B2B marketing (public relations also?) is not relevant today.