In 1958 McGraw-Hill published the famous “man in the chair ad.” This iconic image served as the rallying cry for decades of business-to-business marketing.
Remember studying “Mass Communications” in college? Mass communications was born out of the industrial revolution when manufacturers learned to make lots of the same thing via the assembly line. Henry Ford’s Rouge Factory was the model of efficiency, producing at times more than 1000 cars a day for a growing country. The assembly line concept also caught on with marketers.
This was due to the fact that the few media networks — broadcast and print — were large and expensive to staff and maintain. Networks could deliver the demographics that marketers were after and make it relatively efficient. All marketers had to do was to place advertisements with the assurance that their intended target audience would eventually be exposed to their brand messaging.
Under this model, the company controlled the time and place for customer communications. In addition, there were limited channels in which customers could express their opinion of the company’s products and services.
Enter People-to-People Marketing
Technology has ushered in the era of People-to-People Marketing. Mass communications has transformed into one-to-one communications. This is due to smaller, lighter and more powerful computing technology. With thousands of channels available and low entry cost, anyone can post their opinion about what they like and dislike. The same is true for brands. No longer are they confined to “mass communication” channels. The shift in technology has ushered in a cultural change, disrupting big media networks and requiring marketers to re-evaluate their strategies and tactics.
Now, connecting to customers calls for integrating both push and pull communications strategies to create brand preference.
People-to-People Marketing is a strategic execution that combines relevant content with selected media channels to create a personalized experience for the customer. When orchestrated correctly, the content becomes the fiber of the brand story, reaching the customer on different emotional levels. Astute brands recognize this and are implementing People-to-People marketing to gain the customer’s trust and increase the likelihood of an emotional connection with the brand.
To learn more about the transformation of Business-to-Business marketing to People-to-People Marketing, click here to view and download our free guide.