Tag: SAP

B2B and B2C Customers

Image: source

B2B and B2C Customers

For the longest time, Retail, or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) ‘customers’ have been accustomed to, and driven by, fads, hype, distorted facts and price wars, to influence their buying choices.

Busines-to-Business (B2B) customers on the other hand, used to (and hopefully still do) represent the more rational side of decision-making. They use, what Nobel prize-winning Israeli-American psychologist, Dr. Kahneman refers to as System 2 of the mind; to critically assess requirements, study options based on price, compatibility and effectiveness, and then take a rational decision.

B2C is influenced considerably by hype, recommendations and price. And B2B, on research, facts, figures, and logic.
However, when it comes to anything seemingly non-core to generating revenues, be it personnel training, strategy consulting, social media marketing, and everything else in-between, B2B clients behave similar to B2C consumers. Easily influenced by hype, fads, and the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO). They often compromise effectiveness and/or quality for price, and sometimes, go all-out to buy an expensive service their business doesn’t need.

Many fly-by-night companies, including social media marketing firms, have made a killing, riding on this fear of clients. From creating shoddy social media pages, to fake profiles to like those pages. From winning awards by paying for them, or tweaking information that clients base their decisions on, they’ve done it all. Facebook discussion groups can be an amusing place to observe some of this. Over the years, I’ve seen young entrepreneurs ask for quotes for ‘x’ number of likes on their ‘vague’ business page. Someone else would be interested in knowing how one bad customer review could be diluted by ‘buying’ many more positive reviews.

There’s a buzzword doing the rounds in your industry circles. You don’t need it, but there’s a good chance you’d sign up and even pay for it. Especially if everyone you know has it, you probably don’t want to be the idiot who doesn’t. Even if it doesn’t make sense to your growth strategy. The number of large companies who’ve been sold a “customized” mess in the name of SAP’s world-class ERP, is probably growing by the hour.

You need to stop being naive and gullible. Think for yourself. And more importantly, always question your decisions and even the advice of others.

Look forward to your views. If you enjoyed reading this, do follow/ subscribe to my blog (top right) for topics that encourage reflection and discussion. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

An old cash register: image source



You know the whole “effect” thing. It is all about how things are put, less about what things really are. Its more about the gift wrap than about the gift. More to do with the fanfare, and less about the intention; all about quantity, not much about quality,  and all that.

For the past few months, one of my responsibilities at work includes contacting the Management folk at Colleges and B-Schools and introducing them to the SAP uAcademy courses, which are an innovative way of enabling students to gain working knowledge of SAP by way of a Learning Management System, an online Audio-Visual module, whereby students can take the course at their own pace, re-work topics, and they can have queries immediately answered by SAP’s support team by way of call, email, chat or video chat. And all this at a heavy discount to the SAP courses available at Training Centres.

Anyway, a part of this task involves me looking up college websites, identifying the right person to contact. A Vice Chancellor (VC) or Chairman, and in many cases, the Director or Dean.

I had a list of colleges that I started tackling one by one. The first few calls felt like I was speaking to the gatekeeper to heaven. Whose only job was to make it nearly impossible to reach the VC or President. I heard every reason from ‘he is traveling’, ‘not in town’, ‘not at his desk’ to more direct ‘no one can speak directly with him’ and so on. Schools, and I thought these folks were supposed to be a little more approachable. I have not had even half the trouble speaking and meeting General Managers and Directors at companies. And here I was, struggling to meet people at colleges.

Then, one Saturday, a few days and many calls later, I called a college on the number given on their ‘Contact Us’ page. And to my surprise, the Director answered! (‘Wha.!’, I’d say to myself, just praying it wasn’t a prank by a bored peon looking for a kick out of his otherwise mundane routine).

As I kept working on my list, I got to some colleges which had mobile numbers listed under ‘Contact Us’, which belonged to Directors or Dean’s. A refreshing change from the otherwise fortress some institutes had around their heads.

And today, when I was almost at the end of my list, I call a college and asked only for the Director’s email id (no, couldn’t find any direct lines, and I was way too bored to request a direct word with the Director), saying I will first email him and then call to speak with him, and the generous person at the other end says ‘Hold on, I’ll connect you to him, you could speak to him directly’.

The more you want something done, people seem to make it that much tougher. When you don’t care, they’ll give you that extra push up the hill. Humans, never cease to amaze.


Look forward to your views. And if you liked this one, consider following/subscribing to my blog (top right of the page). You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

%d bloggers like this: