From the broadly 2 types of companies, those that focus on consumers (B2C) and those that focus on businesses / enterprises (B2B) there is an explosion of new types. While most of the new types are still a subset of B2B or B2C, the increasing sub segmentation of B2B is creating multiple niches among those trying to sell to the “enterprise”.
The problems with B2B are fairly well documented – Long & slow sales cycles, multiple decision makers with largely different agendas (procurement wants it cheap, CIO wants it to fit into their technology stack and end users want it to be usable).
There are a 2 very interesting articles over the weekend from Dave McClure and Christina Cordova which document the changed landscape in B2C. What I am seeing among our startups in the Accelerator is consistent with what Christina mentions in addition to the initial problem with most mobile consumer startups – which is getting users.
Essentially the marketing mechanisms (ads, PR, email) create a lot more friction to getting users to try / download the mobile app versus the web app.
So you have to primarily use a combination of reviews, recommendations or in-app ads to get users.
What’s happening on the B2B front is even more interesting.
B2B is morphing into B2D (developers), B2A (Architects, as an example) or B2M (Marketers).
Thanks to SaaS and Cloud pay-as-you-go services, the products are inexpensive enough to get enterprise segments without the hassles of going through the entire Purchase order process for many products.
So most B2B companies are targeting a specific user who is also the person to approve, buy and select the product / service that works for them.
The implications are obviously dramatic and ones that change the landscape completely.
In a follow on post I’ll document the ways this changes the marketing and sales techniques.