Monday, April 11th, 2011

No such thing as business decisions

In the lead up to the 8th IDM B2B Marketing Conference the premise for my blog series is this: the staunch divide between B2C and B2B no longer exists.

Over the coming weeks, I will attempt to look into how this has happened and more importantly, what it means. How can we use some of the latest business theories, anecdotes and musings to effectively tackle a new brief and critically, add real value to our clients’ brands?

As a sweeping generalisation, it used to be that marketers and agencies made the communications decisions. Ultimately, we would rely on people being ‘switched on’ at varying times. So we’d patiently wait for people to respond to the direct response ad, direct mail and so on.

Now, we’re always ‘on’ – whether we are an avid social networker, smartphone user, proud owner of a tablet device – or whether we are not. That means that our professional and private lives have blurred, merged and in many ways become one. The psychology of having our personal life interrupted by our work is intriguing. Is it an invasion of our privacy and leisure time, or do we secretly relish in what it does to enforce our status – highlighting our success and demonstrating that we are always in demand. More on that later.

Add into the mix that business is now cool – Robert Peston, Martha Lane-Fox and Richard Reed, not to mention the Bransons and Gates, are our equivalent of stadium filling popstars (who also appreciate being  associated with ‘serious’ fiscal  success). A key proof point is that the business publishing sector is actually one of the fastest growing in the world.

So there are 3 big things to think about:

1. Tech has allowed us to be always on, we’re no longer 9 to fivers
2. The ‘always on’ idea removes the ‘I’m at work thinking’. Work is no longer a place, it is a state of mind
3. Business is cool, in fact, business is uber cool and people want to be a part of it, more than ever.

So as business decision makers, over the last decade we’ve evolved and that means that the way we’re talked to must evolve. And this should probably be happening faster than it currently is.

The 2011 IDM B2B Marketing Conference takes place on 18 May

By Richard Perry, COO at London marketing agency, gyro

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