The Almighty “C” and its growing Influence on B2B

By John Mansour

Blackberry is probably the most visible example of an organization whose strength in corporate IT departments was about as ironclad as you could get until the past few years. It has been well documented how the preferences of consumers, also employees of these corporations, forced corporate IT departments to adapt to their preferences instead of corporate IT dictating thestandard for mobile devices.

Consumerism is a growing trend that’s impacting many B2B organizations these days. We’re seeing it more and more with our own customers. The typical scenario – you’re a B2B organization but your customers’ customers are consumers. Their influence on your customers is growing by the day.

So if you’re a B2B organization and your customers’ customers are consumers, what are some of the new wrinkles to consider in your product management/marketing discipline?

There are a few that come to mind right off the bat.

1. Market Needs – there’s an additional layer that starts with consumer trends and their impact on your customers before evaluating business trends. You’ll surely see a stronger connection between the two.

2. Business Cases – they might actually get easier because consumer trends are generally tracked and quantified at a greater level of granularity than business trends.

3. Positioning – it adds another layer but it’s one that can make your value proposition much more compelling by tying the benefits of your solutions to your customers’ customer.

The B2B companies where I’m seeing the growing influence of consumerism most are companies that serve all areas of healthcare as well as organizations that provide products/services/technology to financial services organizations, utilities and local government entities.

Has this impacted your business? How? What are you doing differently?


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