Matt Simpson and Luis Suarez, both at IBM, Emanuele Quintarelli and Rosario Sica, both of Open Knowledge srl, Mark Masterson of CSC, and I had lunch at the Westin in Boston a few hours ago and they've helped me frame my argument for tomorrow's panel at Marketing Profs , arguing about which is easier to create: business-to-business or business-to-consumer community. Naturally, I'm defending BtoB and have a few thoughts to share, based in large part of what we've been building here at TCC, but these guys had more great ideas.
I'm sharing these new insights, previewed for all who are attending and for those who are not. And if you'd like to add to my presentation, please pile on (before 2 pm tomorrow).
· BtoB community is easier to create because the participants are pre-defined. This means that the conversational needs are more predictable, thus the expectations of behavior are clearer.
· Many btob communities pre-exist, which leads to greater trust and acceptance of further networking. The Deloitte/SNCR/Beeline labs research of 100 companies which was recently presented at SNCR's event in California shows that for older community members it helps that there are existing off-line networks that can be invited to join the new, online community.
· Because the communities are pre-defined and sometimes pre-existing, there is greater disclosure, which naturally, leads to more and richer conversation, which leads to more community, and so on.
· My thought, still being proved, is that BtoB also leads more naturally to transaction, whereas in BtoC, there is automatic suspicion when the platform host sends out a cookie or when the members see ads. In BtoB there is a presumption that a member wants to do business, but the data is still being measured as to what those BtoB lead triggers should be. Thoughts?