Events – Where B2B becomes P2P

February 1, 2016 - Posted by Aesthetic

Business to business. Good ol’ Wikipedia says it is ‘where one business makes a commercial transaction with another.’ While that’s not entirely incorrect, it’s a dated, broad definition that minimalises the importance of individuals in said transaction.

While, unlike B2C, the end-user may not be the purchaser, the transaction is still a person selling to a person. Hence, P2P.

The acknowledgement of this personal engagement has seen a shift in B2B marketing that was recently highlighted in the 2015 Australian B2B Marketing Outlook.

According to the research 35% of B2B companies plan on spending more on in-person events over the next year. 45% will continue spending the same. The reason? The value of creating an authentic connection with the people who make business purchase decisions has been realised. B2B purchases are often long-term investments in expensive products or services. It can be a lengthy purchase decision and trust plays a huge part in the outcome. Not only is it important to trust the brand, but to trust the client-facing person or people who will ensure delivery and maintenance of the investment. How much more trust do you have in a person you’ve met face-to-face?

The only bright spot in the offline mix appears to be events”

As an experiential agency, our face lights up when we read something like that. Not just as an opportunity for our business, but for the implication that B2B companies are getting ‘it’. They’re understanding that their clients and stakeholders want to build meaningful relationships with brand ambassadors and with each other. The kind of relationships that can only come from a handshake and a shared experience.

What I take from these stats is that B2B companies are no longer getting optimum results from marketing behind a desk. While picking up the phone and ‘pinging’ an email can often satisfy a short-term objective, it’s the visibility of your people and the opportunity for in-person engagement that will see long-term business development results. As the classic quote goes:

People do business with people, not businesses.”



Read the full 2015 B2B Marketing Outlook report from Green Hat and ADMA.

by Meg Woolley – former Brownie Guide Sixer