Businesses have different marketing and advertising approaches based on their target clients. While B2B and B2C are the most common marketing approaches.
Almost all businesses fall into at least one of the categories of B2B or B2C marketing based on their target client. B2B or Business-to-Business is a business strategy in which businesses have other businesses as clients. For example, Salesforce offers cloud-based sales, marketing, analytics, and IoT products, and has medium to large enterprises as its clients.
In the case of B2C business models, businesses have end customers as their target clients. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart are examples of B2C business models where Amazon is the business and has end buyers or consumers as its client.
Recent advancements in marketing techniques have given rise to a new marketing technique known as B2C2B marketing which is a fusion of both B2C and B2B marketing.
What is B2C2B Marketing?
As mentioned earlier, a B2C2B marketing strategy is a fusion of B2B and B2C marketing. Business with B2C2B marketing has both end customers and businesses as clients. According to venture capitalist Tomasz Tunguz, B2C2B means
“Winning hearts and minds of the intermediate consumer, the employees of a company.”
In B2C2B marketing, a business does not target other businesses directly. Instead, it focuses on getting a strong customer base on its platform. The large customer base eventually brings in other businesses to the platform as paid customers. This marketing method saves a lot of time and effort for the business in finding its target client and holds the potential of growing its market base quickly and at a much-reduced acquisition cost.
How B2C2B marketing strategy works?
In B2C2B marketing strategy, a business does not target another business directly. Instead, it targets the employees, customers, or eams of another business. They do so by offering freemium or unpaid services to end customers. Once a significant number of employees or teams start using the service, the employee’s company has no choice but to purchase a corporate version of the service. This way one business indirectly targets other businesses without explicitly doing it.
For example, Facebook is one of the most popular networking platforms in the world and has more than 2.7 billion active users worldwide. It is well known that Facebook offers its platform for individuals for free which is one of the many reasons for it being one of the most widely used social networking platforms. Seeing the large audience that Facebook holds, businesses are tempted to come to the platform to reach out to these audiences and market their own business. But to do so, they have to avail for paid advertisements and marketing services.
That’s how Facebook plays the role of a B2C2B platform. Other examples of B2C2B platforms are Paytm, Linkedin, Yammerly, Evernote, Expensify, and Tact.
WhatsApp And Its Role As A B2C2B Marketing Platform
Another name that adds to the lists of B2C2B businesses is WhatsApp. Just like Facebook, WhatsApp too, offers its platform as a free messaging platform.
WhatsApp as a B2C model:
A platform that is widely used as a personal communication channel connecting people with each other. The messaging platform allows you to connect with anyone irrespective of their geographic location for free. All you need is the person’s contact number, the WhatsApp app, and an internet connection.
WhatsApp has given billions of its users a platform through which they can stay in touch with their friends. A platform that allows them to share their experience with their close connections in the form of images, videos, text messages, or even calls freely. They can even have group conversations and add fun to conversations with interesting emojis, stickers, and gifs.
Its ease of use and free availability has managed to get more than 2 billion users worldwide. Thus completing the B2C cycle.
WhatsApp as a C2B model:
Considering the large audience base that WhatsApp has, businesses all over the world are seeing it as a customer cluster that they can easily access through WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp Business API like SocialEpoch.
The platform allows personal one-to-one communication between businesses and customers giving them the opportunity to build a strong personal bond and ensure long-term retention and brand loyalty.
With APIs like SocialEpoch, businesses can easily use the platform as a CRM tool. The CRM tool helps in identifying leads, nurturing and converting them into customers, as well as become a channel for sales and marketing campaigns.
These reasons make it the ultimate marketing platform and have attracted several top brands and businesses such as Netflix, Oyo, BookmyShow and more making it a C2B model where customers have attracted Businesses to the platform.
Combining both the aspects together makes WhatsApp a B2C2B model where WhatsApp does not target other businesses directly. Instead, they target user bases that get WhatsApp paying customers in the form of business.
WhatsApp’s Advantage as a B2C2B platform
WhatsApp offers various advantages of being a B2C2B platform. It includes:
1. Reduced acquisition cost
As in the case of WhatsApp, the business has a minimal acquisition cost. Most of its users join the platform without any explicit marketing. Be it the individuals or businesses who are the paying customers for the platform.
2. Large User Data
As a B2C2B platform, WhatsApp has a large user database with lots of user data that it can use to enhance the product further and improve customer experience.
3. Greater leverage with the customer base
WhatsApp can have more paying customers by securing greater leverage with end customers. If a large number of potential customers are using WhatsApp, it will be hard for businesses to not join the platform and get access to such a large customer base.
B2C2B marketing may be a relatively new term but it has been prevalent since long time now. B2C2B marketing has opened up huge opportunities for businesses to work in collaboration for a common shared interest and mutual growth. WhatsApp as B2C2B platform has created a plethora of opportunities for businesses around the world.