Communities – B2B vs. B2C, What’s The Difference?
Having finished my stint at Disney and taking a much needed break away in the sunshine today I’ve started a new role. The company I’m now working for operates in the B2B space and focuses on digital media and already a few questions have sprung up with regards to what I’m about to dive in to.
The biggest of these is the one I’ve included in the title. My experience over the past few years has largely focused on B2C online communities where you are building relationships with end-consumers, enabling and supporting them in building relationships with each other and acting as the face of the brand in a public space. So what’s different with B2B?
Whilst I don’t know the answer yet to me it seems like a lot of it should be the same; you’ve still got people to build relationships with, some of the metrics will remain the same, you can look for influencers and power users etc etc. There are however I believe some inherent differences (and challenges). The biggest one I can see straight off – how to foster relationships between “clients” if they are competing in the same field. More to the point, does this even matter in a B2B environment? Should the focus purely be on the “Client <> You” Relationship rather than aiming to build engagement through lasting relationships between users / clients?
On top of that, does content automatically become King by default if relationships only exist between clients and you, the brand? Is there some alternative in making a B2B community offer compelling outside of content?
Lots of questions floating around in my head right now but I’m looking forward to the challenge and it will certainly extend and change my perception of community management for the better!