B2B or not 2B?

Actor in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" holding and speaking to a skull

As property developers, landlords, or operators it can seem as if your main audience should always be focused on other businesses. Whether these are retailers, ancillary income options, or potential sponsors, business-to-business seems like the clear choice when it comes to whom you should be targeting with your marketing and communication efforts.

However, there is another audience to consider that is oftentimes overlooked or considered to be a lower priority for those in the CRE industry, and that’s the end consumer.

You might ask why a company might want to focus on a group that doesn’t directly pay rent or physically fill the vacant spaces on a piece of land. The answer lies in advocacy, and making sure that you are an advocate not only for your existing tenants, but future ones, as well.

Let’s pretend that you’re the owner of a thriving small business in a city and are looking to open up a new location. You utilize social media and make an active effort to develop and maintain a fanbase for your product. A leasing agent or broker, who wants to show you a series of possible sites to open up a new location, as your current one is overflowing with business, approaches you. As any good business owner should, you start to do your due diligence and research the companies that own the sites you’re considering to move to.

Now picture that one company shows an active online presence. They do a good job of showcasing their tenants and updating the local areas about regional happenings on the properties. The property managers are visible and open to discussion on these forums, and demonstrate genuine care for their site. Not only do they show a care for how things are maintained, but also they are demonstrating a care for the end consumer.

As the property owner, this is a great way to show that you share a similar goal with your tenants, and that’s by showing that you care about the same audience. It also creates goodwill with the areas that you operate in, so if there are issues or causes of concern that arise (and we all know they will) then you are less likely to have an overwhelmingly negative backlash from the consumers.

In some cases they might even advocate for you. This is a method of marketing and communications that follows a B2C2B model. By communicating with the consumer you are indirectly communicating with the businesses that you are trying to reach, while demonstrating a shared goal, and keeping your properties in the public interest. When your tenants win, you win.

There is a quote from former Ohio Congressman Les Brown that says “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” Although not specifically said about the CRE industry, I’m not sure there is a more practical application for it.

Have your own take on a B2B or B2C model? Share your thoughts below and continue the dialogue!