As you saw in another post I wrote, B2Comm stands for Business to Community. B2Comm businesses leverage and utilize both B2B and B2C businesses, but they target an entire community instead of only individuals or other businesses.
Also, in that post I mentioned that commercial contractors are an example of B2Comm companies, which surprised many readers. Let’s take a look at why and cover how your marketing will change because of it at the same time.
Generally speaking, commercial contractors have four target markets: the community in which the work is being done, subcontractors, the government (local/national depending on the project), and the local business community. Now within each of these markets, there is any number of specifics that the company can focus on. The chart gives you a visual with some examples.
For example, a common specific niche that I am being called in to meet with companies about is implementing diversity programs and outreach to the diversity community. The diversity aspect can fall under subcontractors, the local community, and the local business community. Outreach and marketing for each of those markets is completely different—what is of interest to a minority subcontractor is not necessary going to be of interest to local businesses or the local community.
So continuing with this example, here are some ideas on how to outreach to those specific markets and how it is different as a B2Comm business.
— Subcontractors Diversity —
Subs want to know three things 1-what work do you have 2- how do I get the work, and 3-(which is really all they want to know) when do I get paid? As a prime, how do you let them know about upcoming jobs and what you are looking for? Do you keep your own database of subs and what their skills and qualifications are? Do you make it easy for them to do business with you? How do you help them?
As a B2Comm business, just putting ads in all of the newspapers and online resources is not going to generate the results that you need. I know because that is why companies are calling me in. Anyway, with this community they respond better when you give them something first instead of playing the big brother picking on the little brother. So give them a reason to remember you and to want to work with you. If you expect loyalty from them, show them the same loyalties.
— Local Community Diversity —
The MWBE community is a tight community. Within that community are sub-communities which are even tighter and they are looking for proof on how you helped them. So you need to share this information in the news sources that they find reliable in a communal way.
As a B2Comm business, again ads do not work, but stories, case studies and making it personal does. This may sound like traditional marketing and for this market it is, but the overall approach is different and does produce different results.
— Local Diversity Businesses —
This category can be broken out into local businesses that will be affected by the jobsite and local business leaders that are movers and shakers in the community. With the businesses along the jobsite, obviously their business is going to be effected. What preventative measures have you taken to minimize this and how have you communicated them to the business owners? Along these lines, a very common concern is consumers having to deal with the “stereotypical construction worker.” Under no circumstances is that type of behavior acceptable, but again what measures have you taken to prevent that; how has it been communicated to the owners; and what do you have in place that should something happen the owner can get a hold of you.
This market is where a B2Comm business is drastically different from B2B or B2C businesses. In those arenas a business’s primary focus is their customer. We have all heard the saying “make your customer happy,” but with a B2Comm business, yes you still have to make your customer happy, but it is just as important or more important that you make the average Joe on the street who has absolutely nothing to do with the project.
What other ways do you see a B2Comm business different from a B2B or B2C business?