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How To Shift To A Business-To-Professional Market Strategy

As a result of the pandemic, many aspects of work have changed, permanently. The result is working from home and living at work — a blend that blurs the line between work and personal life.

Technology companies like ours have had to shift their go-to-market focus, which is why B2P (business to people or professionals) was born. It’s a go-to-market strategy that’s been hinted at for many years, but in the last 18 months, has become vital to the success of many companies.

What is B2P? Simply put, it’s targeting individual professionals or end users in the business, instead of the entire company, and using your understanding of their unique needs, wants, tastes, expectations and status to engage with and sell to them.

For example, my company, interviewIA, followed a traditional go-to-market strategy, targeting decision-makers within the enterprise. However, they weren’t the end users who were impacted daily by using our technology.

We made the critical decision to pivot our business model to include B2P strategies. The fact is that target audiences are shifting and becoming more individualized and personalized, and we can’t ignore this. The pandemic put a fine point on the opportunity that lay ahead, and it’s one that can’t be missed. So, how can you make the shift to B2P?

Build And Maintain A Great Team

Without the input and buy-in of every member of your team and a shared passion and total agreement to move in this B2P direction, you’ll never fully accomplish the transition. Start with a strategy session. Remove the daily obstacles of work to truly connect and ideate on what B2P can mean for your organization, and get together for a half or full day to define or establish the following:

1. The “Why”: Why would your team and/or company choose to move in this direction?

2. Core Truths: What’s absolutely true today about your team and company that both supports and hinders the success of this strategy?

3. Target Audience: Is your target audience truly the end user?

4. Go-To-Market Strategy: How does your GTM strategy change with this new focus?

5. Team Alignment: Is everyone on the team or at the company aligned on this new B2P strategy? Does it veer off course from your mission? Will everyone support this strategy with the same passion?

6. Mental Health And Wellness Check-ins: Strategic shifts like this can take their toll on your team. Do daily mental health check-ins with your team. Recognizing that not everyone brings their 100% full self to work every day and giving everyone a chance to share without details and ask for help is one of the best ways to build a great team. We use the “traffic light” check-in method. Give everyone an opportunity to share what color they are each day:

• Green means I’m good to go.

• Yellow means I’m not my full self today but I can still perform with some help.

• Red means I’m struggling and may need help from the team to complete my daily tasks.

Develop A Clear Product Strategy

Have your product team develop a solid strategy for outlining and prioritizing product features by following these steps:

1. Rate features impossible, possible or easy. Product teams can use this scale to analyze the effort it will take to move the needle for every product feature on the road map. This will also help determine your prioritization during development.

2. Explore the end-user mindset. What will make the end user’s life easier and less stressful if they use your product? Explore the mindset of the end user because it will be different from the target audience you’re used to building for.

3. Gather end-user feedback. Put a plan in place to gather regular feedback from the end users. Depending on your product, you may also want to gather user reviews. These can become integral to your product strategy.

Maintain A Singular Focus

Everyone on your team must agree to a singular focus of work. That singular focus on one responsibility or task that will get you to your goal is fundamental to success.

1. Define team responsibilities. Making the shift to B2P requires everyone on your team to know and understand their roles. Clearly defining tasks and responsibilities, particularly in a small company in which everyone tends to wear multiple hats, will ensure that all the right steps are being taken to achieve success.

2. Conduct a weekly priority review. Start every week with a team check-in. Everyone should share their priorities for the week and ask for any help they might need.

Discover Your Audience

Take steps to find out who your audience is and where they can be found. And don’t be afraid to frequently test and retest your messaging and strategy.

1. Get to know your audience. This is a different type of go-to-market strategy because of its “consumer-like” target audience. Start by building a persona profile to understand the wants, needs and mindset of this new audience.

2. Establish or maintain an online presence. You have to know where the end user goes for information related to your solution. Should you establish a social presence? Do you lean on LinkedIn? Do you get on TikTok? These are all valid questions and require collaboration with your sales and marketing teams.

3. Target your ad campaigns. They say you have to spend money to make money. The B2P strategy is focused on a larger audience than you may be used to. The most effective way to get in front of that many people is to launch ad campaigns where you discover your audience.

If you’re considering the shift to B2P, consider these steps as the starting point. For larger companies, this strategy can work at the team level as you work to roll it out companywide. For smaller companies, it starts with leadership’s belief and passion to make this a reality because it’s the right thing to do, followed by giving voice to everyone else to ensure buy-in. B2P may very well be the future of market strategies for many technology companies.

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