By Joy King, VP of GTM Strategy,
Optiva • October 14, 2023
Joy leads Optiva’s GTM strategy. She has three decades of software industry experience. Previously, she led Product & GTM Strategy, including Product Management & Marketing, for Vertica, a high-performance unified analytics platform leveraged by the telecom industry. Before Vertica, Joy led telecom industry marketing for HP and HPE for over a decade. Her experience has created a passion for what’s possible, and she’s determined to make it happen.
I was recently involved in an interview process for my growing marketing team. Our preferred candidate had such a strong desire to learn, develop her skills, and become part of a global business in the telecom industry. However, her previous experience was primarily consumer-focused marketing, known to all of us as B2C, and this raised some concerns. For me, it unleashed a new way of thinking.
The telecom industry is being forced to evolve from focusing on consumers for its mobile services to enterprise solutions, primarily driven by the huge gap in expected revenue after the massive investment in 5G. So “B2B” or “B2B2X” is now top of mind for everyone. How can we pivot our services, messaging, and marketing strategy to target businesses, not individuals?
Due to the life-changing impact of the smartphone (thanks, Steve Jobs!), we all expect a contemporary, intuitive, digital customer experience for everything. But when you read that sentence, did you assume I meant only in our personal lives, whether we are sitting on the couch purchasing from Amazon, deciding what to order for dinner via Uber Eats, checking the weather forecast, or making a quick dinner reservation for the weekend? If you did, your thinking is too narrow.
I have the same expectation when I log into my work life every morning (and stay logged in throughout the day and night!). I expect the systems I engage with to be intuitive, to know who I am and what I need. I only respond to email and LinkedIn outreach if it’s personalized enough to capture my interest, not some mass mailing. I don’t need to see digital advertising that doesn’t match what I need when I need it … not the next day.
B2ME Is Born
Simply put, B2C and B2B must evolve to become B2ME. An effective and successful go-to-market (GTM) strategy focuses on the most personalized, targeted, and real-time messages for both my personal and professional life. Every enterprise must build its GTM strategy using the most robust and real-time data to deliver a digital customer experience that delights me as a business executive and consumer. But it’s more than just the marketing strategy or the sales outreach.
B2ME is also a new way of thinking about software design. Every application must be built to be simplified, intuitive, and personalized. Drag and drop, no code/low code design, automation of high volume tasks with just a few clicks, and predictive recommendations based on end-user behavior are the B2ME expectations.
The telecom industry has an opportunity to lead the way, given the vast amount of BSS data that it can leverage to meet and exceed my B2ME expectations. New market entrants, including MVNOs, intuitive device manufacturers, industry-specific application providers, and many more, know the value of this data. They also know that BSS platforms must be designed from the first line of code to create the digital experience we expect for our personal and professional lives.
They know BSS platforms must be fully integrated with machine learning-powered analytics to enable AI insights. They will not rely on legacy BSS platforms that still separate consumers and enterprises, especially from large MNOs with entirely different departments and software for these now converged groups. They are investing in software that was born in the digital age and meets personal and professional expectations.
It’s time to leave old-school acronyms like B2C and B2B in the past where they belong. The world is B2ME now.
Oh, and yes, we hired that highly motivated and talented new employee!
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VP of GTM Strategy, Optiva
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