I have been having a discussion about whether B2C or B2B is the bigger user of Web2.0. B2C businesses like Amazon, MySpace and YouTube have millions of users and are rarely far from the news. But B2B businesses have been using Web2.0 for much longer and have been generating value from it for much longer too.
B2C and B2B business is very different. At the customer management level, it comes down to the difference between the mostly transactional relationships which is all that most B2C companies can hope for from their customers, versus the trust and commitment based relationships which is what most B2B companies expect. It is the difference between CRM and Key Account Management.
If you want to take a look at Web2.0 in action in B2B, look at parts supplier integration in Toyota’s supply chain, or at Eli Lilly’s Innocentive virtual formulation portal, or at P&G’s Connect & Develop programme, or at knowledge management in most large consultancies. These have been around far longer than Amazon, MySpace or YouTube. And they are all big users of Web2.0 technology.
Take a look at Harvard Professor Andrew McAfee’s blog about Enterprise 2.0 for many more examples of B2B’s usage of Web2.0.
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Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager