There is a new marketing strategy being used by B2B tech companies, and in particular B2B SaaS companies called B2C2B. Yes, that may be a record for the most marketing acronyms used in one sentence.
B2C2B means “Business to Consumer to Business.” This marketing strategy goes after consumers by offering them a free basic online tech service, such as web-based project management software. The hope is that the consumer will like the basic free service so much that they will go to their employer and recommend that their employer subscribes to a premium business subscription for the service.
As an example, let’s say an Internet SaaS company (SaaS = Software as a Service) creates online project management software. They offer 3 monthly subscription packages, such as basic (free for 1 person to use), small business (a paid subscription for up to 25 users) and enterprise (a paid subscription and for 26 or more users). The marketing strategy is to offer their free basic package to consumers to get them to signup for the free basic service in the hopes that those people will be so happy with the basic free service that they will go to their employer and recommend that the employer signs up for a paid subscription. This type of marketing is going from business to consumer to business – B2C2B. You attract a consumer with a free basic account and then “wow” them with your service so they recommend your service to their employer for a paid subscription, and they tell other people about your service on social media, which helps to spread viral marketing.
I believe B2C2B will become more popular as more business SaaS companies offer free basic subscriptions to consumers in the hope that those consumers will recommend the service to their friends, colleagues, and employers.