“B2B stands for Business-to-business. In a B2B setup, the products and services are sold to other businesses… A B2B transaction occurs when a business needs to source raw materials for its production process or when it needs operational assistance.”
And here’s how they define B2C:
“A B2C, or Business-to-consumer company, is one that sells products and services directly to the consumers. Restaurants, retail chains, housekeeping services are all examples of B2C businesses.”
So, the difference between B2B and B2C is who you’re selling to – businesses, or consumers.
What buyers want
Different buyers – whether business or consumers – want different things. This means their buying decisions are motivated by different sets of thoughts and feelings.
Speaking in general terms, consumers buying for themselves are motivated to buy products that will improve their lives in some way. We’re simple creatures, really. We want to be happy, healthy, and perceived as ‘cool’ and successful. Oh, and we like stuff that tastes good.
Even fairly un-sexy products like insurance use this principle to market themselves. You’re not just buying ‘insurance’ – you’re buying peace of mind and a worry-free lifestyle.
The motivation for B2B buyers is different. These consumers are only concerned about making the right purchases to ensure the best for their business. Even products or services that might be seen as a ‘perk’ by employees make good business sense for a company. Happy employees are productive employees, after all!
Not only do B2B and B2C customers typically want different things, but business and consumer brands typically have different goals, too.
Usually, the main comms target for a B2C brand is simply to increase sales of their product or service.
However, the goals for a B2B brand may be a number of different things, including recruitment, thought leadership, and seeking investment or partnership opportunities. What a brand is trying to achieve will also shape their PR campaign and comms messaging.
Different strokes for different folks
Once you’ve established who your target audience is, what they want, and what you want from them, it’s time to expose them to your messaging. How you target your audience with your messaging depends specifically on who you’re trying to reach.
For PR to be successful, you need to get your brand placed in a media outlet relevant to, and trusted by, your target audience. Otherwise, there’s simply no point.
For example, consider a B2C brand targeting young professional women. Their target audience tends to favour media such as women’s lifestyle magazines, online news, free newspapers like the Metro, and online blogs and vlogs. If you were trying to target mums that worked from home, on the other hand, it’d be more beneficial to get your brand featured on daytime news features, and parenting blogs or vlogs.
B2B brands may still be keen to target national publications (who isn’t?) but are usually better placed in the business and finance section, business titles, and sector-specific professional publications.
While social media is a must-have for both B2B and B2C brands, consumer offerings can afford to be more light-hearted and fun, and can play off human experiences. B2B doesn’t need to mean stuff, but there is definitely a level of professionalism that must be maintained.
It’s also worth remembering that B2B brands may be targeting several individuals, as there is often more than one person involved in business buying decisions.
Know your niche
As you can see, the distinct target audiences in B2B and B2C PR necessitates distinct approaches. As such, you’ll find that many PR agencies specialise in either B2B or B2C PR.
If you’re considering teaming up with an agency that purports to do both, our best advice would be to check out their case studies first. That way, you can see what exactly they’ve done for brands like yours in the past.
A festival of events punctuating the city’s uber-trendy hotspots, LTW is a must for techies of all types – from corporates, startups and media pros to tech PRs, nerd-herds and wannabes. It proved to be an international melting pot bubbling with innovators, leaders and inventors who are dedicated to making life better through technology. The pace of discussion, depth of insight and open exchange of ideas made for an effervescent atmosphere.
I’m no novice to trade shows, but I wasn’t sure what to expect at ExCeL London: how could a conventional conference space allow for an engaging tech experience and compete with (or complement) the eclectic mix of events happening in cool hubs across the city? But ‘engaging’ it was.
Snaking through the halls, I worked my way through a comprehensive mix of sub-sectors: 5G, IoT, AI, VR, AR, MR, Connected Cars, Robotics, and Startups – to have major players from each field gathered under one roof made perfect sense. Whatever your industry specialism – oil and gas, healthcare, gaming, finance, transportation and everything in between – TechXLR8 at LTW seemed to have it covered.
Vibrant debates, animated pitch-offs and insightful seminars made for an educational experience that truly represented the sheer energy of our tech world. The determination to innovate and push momentum to the max came to the fore. And the excitement was tangible.
Targeted meetings no doubt meant that deals were taking place on the show floor, and for those, like me, who embraced the opportunity to soak up the knowledge, the opportunities were endless.
A learning experience
One of the most notable take-aways for me included CEO of EE, Marc Allera’s encouraging speech on how the UK needs to get the right policies, regulations and support in place if we are to be pioneers in 5G. Most of us have read the slurry of 5G articles hypothesising its potential, but his words breathed life and substance into the debate.
Jonny Voon of Innovate UK moderated a session on Investing in IoT and posed the question, is IoT still sexy? Not something I’d ever considered before, admittedly. The panel of speakers – Ilya Pavlov of Bright Capital, Chris Kocher of Grey Heron and Martin Serrano of IEEE – all pointed towards the fact that while IoT itself may not be as sexy as innovations in VR/AR or AI, the opportunities it can generate is where its ‘sexiness’ lies. They also flagged up how some investors might be put off by public funding, but with the right team of experts in place, strategic partnerships and a new approach to communications – yes, you can even bring in drama experts to help with this – it’s a hurdle that can be overcome.
Meanwhile, Hara Mihailidou of Just Giving took us through the transformation that is happening in the charity sector in terms of contactless donations. Armed with research on consumer behaviour – as well as honing in on ergonomics – Just Giving are proving instrumental in changing the way we give and receive.Over in the Apps World corner, we learned how WiFi and Battery life.
Over in the Apps World corner, we learned how WiFi and Battery life have wheedled their way into our hierarchy of needs – right up there with self-actualisation, achievement and love! But the need to print (yes, I said ‘print’) is creeping up on the list. As people still want to print (with paper being the always-on interface) the ability to print could increase an app’s retention rate by double, according to Brent Richtsmeier of Samsung. So, app developers – it’s time to ‘think print’.
Martin Wrigley, meanwhile, of Aqua Quality Alliance, asked ‘how hackable is your app?’ A particularly dominant topic at LTW, he took the crowds through some top tips to find out how secure you are, and urged for independent testing to get real, defined results.
Across the halls, the VR/AR zone was buzzing with live demos and speaker sessions. What did I learn here? Well:
– Two-thirds of global VR and MR spend over the next four years will come from North America and Asia (come on, UK!)
– By 2021 there’ll be much stronger consumer adoption so, because you can’t deploy MR, VR or AR overnight, developers must act now.
– The evolution of interaction has become a hands-free experience and VR, AR and MR are the next gen of interfaces
– And in the battle of ‘who will win: VR, AR or MR’ – there’s no losers. They will all win.
In fact, Francisco Jeronimo of IDC provided a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of interfaces over the years. Check this out…
To reach 50 million users, it took:
– the good old telephone, 75 years
– our beloved TV, 13 years
– Facebook, 3.5 years
– mobile, 3 months
And wait for it…It took Pokemon Go just 19 DAYS to hit 50 million users.
It took Pokemon Go just 19 DAYS to hit 50 million users.Mind. Blown.
VR, AR and MR are undoubtedly changing the shape of digital, physical and human interfaces (and quickly, too) and Francisco urged that it’s not a question of ‘if’ they will impact business, it’s a case of ‘when’. He left us pondering the question, are our companies ready to embrace them?
Game changers and life changers
The potential impact of new tech on our businesses and lives was something that reverberated throughout the exhibition centre – and was nowhere more prevalent than within the AI and Robotics area. For me, the imminent revolution in healthcare was the real eye opener: from surgeons performing intricate procedures remotely to the vast improvement of human lives through AI.
Some pretty sleek displays from Williams and Thales, Tesla, and Bright Box on the Connected Cars stands drew plenty of crowds too and gave us a sneaky peek at the automotive future. While tech is an important piece of this particular jigsaw, it was clear that innovation needs to not only occur within R&D, but also across strategy, business models and the end-to-end customer experiences to keep pace with this fast-evolving market.
With the pace of evolution speeding up, the industry is crying out for startups and their inspired, lightbulb moments. The Project Kairos zone was, therefore, a fabulous hive of activity with pitch-offs and panel sessions galore. The energy and ideas that bounced across the floor was both invigorating and infectious.
But the buzz of LTW is, of course, not just confined to ExCeL, and I was fortunate enough to attend some vibrant events in the city.
ITPro’s 01/10/100 event at the Ace Hotel – a stunning venue with a terrace overlooking the rooftop gardens of the capital – provided a great platform for 3 startups to pitch in front of a live audience, including industry leviathan, Samsung. They each had just two, heart-stopping minutes, to lay their products bare, for all to see.
And the winner of the pitch-off was… the automated insurance tech proposition from Spixii. Well played!
The flow of ideas was followed by an equally bubbly flow of drinks and nibbles as the networking continued late into the evening. Building new connections, sharing industry insight (and plenty of laughs) was the perfect end to my LTW week.
Reflecting on my LTW experience, I realised that it was probably the first time I had felt so deeply connected to tech – and a gathering together of both established and new minds in this field is essential to the continued growth and progression of our industry.
I grasped, first-hand, the concept of how tech will colour our human future with hope: lives will be made better because of this very special community of innovators, and to be a part of it is priceless.
If your perfect holiday is a city break, then this is for you!
If you love to work out and want to make sure you keep fit while away, your Fitbit Alta will help you keep track of your gains. Fitbit Alta will record all your steps, calories, miles and other metrics.
I love being in a new city, walking around until I get lost. Walking is one of the best ways to find authentic and real attractions. So why not keep track while you wander?
The LED screen gives you at-a-glance progress updates. With On-screen notifications from your smartphone, you can make sure you’re on target.
Alta is also splash-proof too, so don’t worry about the waves – count calories as you paddle!
Here at Luminous, we’re not just tech lovers but book lovers too.
If you’re on a relaxing beach holiday then it’s easy to whiz through plenty of books during your stay. We’ve all had the struggle of wanting to have enough books but not having enough weight in our case.
Worries are gone because the Kindle is here to save the day.
This is why we LOVE our Kindles! We can take as many books as we like away with us and never run out of pages.
With its thin and light design, it’s super handy and compact for that all important journey.
The no glare, high contrast touchscreen display eliminates glare in any setting. (Even direct sunlight) So relax and get a tan without squinty eye tan lines.
The Kindle battery lasts weeks, not hours. So you won’t need to worry if you’re on the move.
The Kindle doesn’t need the power to maintain a page of text, allowing you to read for weeks on a single charge.
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Here’s a snap of the UK Fast bus on its tour of London.
Hailing from Manchester (like Yasmin, one of our social media managers), UK Fast is B2B cloud-based hosting service. We’re not sure why they have a bus, but they’ll be based at London’s ExCel this week for Cloud and DevOps World Conference. Pop by and say hello!
We love this shot of Instagram user, @scarybagofeyes, checking out some cutting edge tech at VR AR World Conference.
If you’re still not sure where to spend your time this London Tech Week, London’s ExCel is a good option. It’s hosting a range of conferences this week, including Cloud and DevOps World, VR AR World, 5G World, and IOT World. The Luminous PR team will be popping in later this week.
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FinDEVr, London Tech Week’s premier event for FinTech developers, is taking place at Tobacco Dock for the early part of the week. We love this cool architectural shot of Tobacco Dock from Instagram user, @gabsredvelvet. If you’re a developer in the FinTech space, this highly-targeted event is a must-see!
The new edition of Tech City News is hot off the presses, and this edition features something a little something close to our hearts. The magazine comes with a pull-out supplement, all about the fine tech city of Norwich.
The guide namedrops loads of the amazing tech brands based in Norwich, and we were thrilled to contribute our own little piece of content about tech PR.
Check out this snippet from the article:
“Whether you’re launching the next tech unicorn, seeking investment, promoting yourself as a thought leader, think about how storytelling can support your goals. PR is all about telling stories.”
If you have a print copy, turn to page 12 to read the piece in full! Or, you can download your copy here.
It has been a long time since our smartphones were used just to make a phone call or send a text. They are now more like a wallet than our actual wallets! We are paying for more with our mobiles than ever before.
Around $75 billion of mobile payments occur every year, with this figure expected to swell to $503 billion by 2020, as mobile payment technology becomes an increasingly important part of our lives.
Not only are mobile payments on the up, where they come from is changing. In China, 70% of mobile payments come from popular payment apps WeChat and Alipay, rather than traditional banks.
So just where are we making all these mobile payments?
Payments, payments everywhere
Wherever you go, the way you pay is changing. Even down to how you pick up and pay for your morning coffee is not the same anymore.
Think coffee, you think of Starbucks. Think of payment apps, you think of… Starbucks. Starting in the U.S. around five years ago, the Starbucks preordering and payment app has boomed very quickly. By 2014, it accounted for 15% of transactions made in stores – that was an average of 6 million weekly transactions.
And from then, it has just kept growing. It has been out on a pedestal for all to see and follow. However, it’s popularity has not been without problems.
An overnight tech update recently brought the stores to its knees, with many being unable to take payments. Despite having to give away some free coffee, the Starbucks payment app has managed to weather the storm, and once again, it’s competitors are learning from the mistakes.
Paying for the shirt off your back
Ever loved an item of clothing someone was wearing and wanted to buy it right there and then? Well your visa card could be getting a workout if Visa itself has anything to do with it.
Augmented reality is coming to payments as Visa Europe’s innovation arm, Visa Europe Collab, and visual discovery and augmented reality app Blippar come together to create a new payment solution.
Unveiled at a London fashion show, shoppers were able to instantly purchase the clothes off the backs of models. The pilot brand House of Holland is now testing the concept for its menswear launch.
Get ready to chase your ideal outfit down the street!
It is not just paying for our coffee, or getting your hands on some new threads, that has us reaching for the smartphone. Paying back that fiver your borrowed the other night can now be returned swiftly with Apple Pay. Despite a crowded Peer-to-Peer (P2P) market, tech giant Apple has unveiled Pay Cash as it looks to take on Paypal, Square and Venmo.
Whether through Messages, or just by telling Siri to pay someone, Apple Pay users will be able to make or receive payments using the credit and debit cards they already have in Wallet. The money will be received in the new Apple Pay Cash accounts.
Another step towards leaving your wallet at home for good
Global reports suggest that 70% of people believe that mobile payments will overtake the use of cash and credit cards by 2030, and the payment tech we have now is definitely spurring us on in the right direction.
If we’re ever in a pickle, or pondering a big marketing query, one of the first places we turn to is the HubSpot Marketing blog.
HubSpot provides inbound marketing and sales software. Regardless of whether or not you’re a HubSpot customer, though, their blog is a goldmine for marketing and comms advice.
The blog proclaims itself to be “where marketers go to grow” – and we’re inclined to agree. The blog features regular articles, new data, tips, and best practices on a range of marketing topics. Categories include A/B testing, blogging, journalism, event marketing, podcasts, social media, and SEO to name just a few.
If that wasn’t amazing enough, HubSpot also has an extensive library of downloadable whitepapers and eBooks on every marketing topic under the sun. They even include free templates for presentations, eBooks, and content schedules.
If in doubt – check with HubSpot!
You need design work on a budget
Design work is harder than it looks. For big jobs, it’s always worth consulting a professional to be sure of a job well done.
However, for small jobs, or when budget is tight, it can be tempting to try your hand at a bit of graphic design. Luckily, we’ve found just the tool to make it possible.
Canva is a free, online graphic design tool. It comes with loads of pre-sized templates for creating things like presentations, business cards, social media posts, and more. All you need to do is pick the one you want, and start designing. You can even use custom dimensions if you’re creating something more unique, like a sign.
If you’re really hopeless at design, there are loads of layouts and themes that are fully customisable. You can add your company logo and set brand colours and fonts – whatever you need. The more adventurous can create their own designs from scratch. If you need to add crop and bleed marks for print materials, Canva can do it automatically. We swear by it!
You need stock imagery
If you’re creating graphics for a blog post or social media, you often need stock imagery to include in your designs.
We have a number of go-to resources for free-to-use, royalty free stock images. We like:
Be careful when using images from Flickr: not all images hosted there have a creative commons license, and some require you to credit the photographer. Get it wrong, and you could face a warning letter from an unhappy photographer – or worse, their solicitor!
You want insight into trending topics
When you’re writing a blog post or article on a trending topic, it can be helpful to know how popular that term has been in recent weeks, months, or years.
Google trends allow you to see the relative popularity of a search term. You can go back as far as 2004, and look at any period you like.
This isn’t a perfect tool. Google won’t share any data about the number of people searching for each term, so it only allows you to see when a term was at its most popular, and how quickly it rose in the public interest. It’s helpful if you want to see if a term has already ‘peaked’ or not. As you can see, we’re well and truly over Pokémon GO…
However, the tool becomes much more insightful when you start comparing multiple search terms. For example, Stranger Things may have been the ‘must watch’ series of 2016, but only briefly did it overtake cult classic, Twin Peaks.
If nothing else, this thing is hours of fun!
You want to know more about your site traffic
When it comes to analysing your site traffic, there are loads of plugins and software programs available that can provide a wealth of insight. Unfortunately, many come with a hefty price tag attached.
A free option we often recommend is Jetpack. It plugs into WordPress and provides you with a more detailed look at your site traffic. It can also tell you which of your blog posts or site pages are most popular, as well as revealing how site visitors arrive at your site.
Jetpack is super-easy to use, so it’s perfect for beginners. It also has the functionality to help with loads of other web stuff, such as security and backup services, site themes, advertising, SEO, and more. However, some of these features do come under the paid-for service.
Bonus tip: we recommend Yoast for any SEO beginners looking for a free tool.
Tools of the trade
It doesn’t matter if you’re a marketing pro, or a startup founder having a go – having a selection of choice tools and resources up your sleeve can make the world of difference.
New apps, resources, and plugins are being created all the time, so keep your eyes peeled for more goodies that can make your life easier.
Do you have a favourite comms tool we’ve missed? Let us know over on Twitter!
Virtual Reality startups have received strong support over the past few years, having raised more than $1.46 billion in venture capital since 2012 (and growing). Considered to be a useful tool that enhances human interaction and engagement, the changing world is finding new ways to make the most of this technology.
In fact, there are more uses of VR than you probably realise. From the hospital to the classroom, via engineering and construction, the possibilities are endless.
Taking VR to class
Modern education is starting to take VR seriously. Students no longer want ‘traditional learning’. Instead, they want to immerse themselves in a subject. Being told about a topic is no longer enough. In this tech-heavy world, kids are struggling to be motivated within the confines of the classroom. They want to see, hear and feel it – and VR is the perfect tech tool to make it happen.
Dropping students into an immersive world can only enhance their learning experience, and tech companies are recognising the potential. Learning labs, teacher training, subject content… the educational uses are impressive.
According to classic research by Edgar Dale, the average person only remembers 20% of what they hear and 30% of what they see, but up to 90% of what they personally experience.
Take a look at Unimersiv – the largest platform for VR educational experiences. On a mission to make learning fun again, it downloads new experiences every month and can even help teachers create their own. Students can take a journey through the human body, explore the Titanic, or see the Acropolis of Athens as it was thousands of years ago.
It’s almost enough to make you want to go back to school!
Healthcare: the biggest adopters
Encompassing surgery simulation, phobia treatment, robotic surgery, and skills training, VR in healthcare enables skill development without causing any danger to patients.
When distance can be an issue, VR has provided the solution in bringing doctors, surgeons and health professionals from all around the world together.When
When Dr Shafi Ahmed performed a three-hour surgery of removing cancerous tissue from the bowel of a patient, it was broadcast live through virtual reality.
When time and space is limited for trainees to witness surgery, this provided the perfect cost-effective solution. Enabling doctors to see best practices almost first-hand through VR can assist the sector in making major advancements faster.
It could even be life-saving.
When VR means business
Virtual Reality has a number of business applications, and companies have been pushing forward in adopting the technology.Head of the queue are estate agents as VR tours of new and existing properties become increasingly common.
Head of the queue is estate agents, as VR tours of new and existing properties become increasingly common. The use of VR in property is already a $1bn industry globally, and according to Goldman Sachs, this is set to treble by 2020.
When distance is an issue, you can tour the house in VR. If you are buying off-plan, you can see what the home will look like in VR. Virtual open houses are increasing in popularity. The owner of a West Yorkshire farmhouse recently saw 6,000 views and two offers within 24 hours after holding a virtual Open House by using the live-streaming app Periscope.
It’s VR but not as we know it
VR has an exciting future in a range of sectors. Every year, virtual reality finds a new use in a new world.
We might think we know virtual reality, but its potential is virtually unknown. But one thing is for sure, it is more than a game!