The changing face of business-to-business models prompted iProspect to form an enterprise group that company executives say will pioneer the next generation of B2B advertising and marketing, from content and research to client services.
Today, about 26 employees support the global "think tank," primarily out of the U.S., says Collin Cornwell, SVP of product and services, operations. He leads the group in the United States. Growth within the group will depend on the number of clients supported across the globe.
Through iProspect Enterprise, the company will support brands such as Intel, Lenovo, NetApp, Sitecore, and Epicor, to name a few. "Today, we have about nine clients in the U.S. that technically fall under B2B, and about the same in EMEA," Cornwell told Search Marketing Daily. "The business isn't rolled out globally yet."
The iProspect Enterprise business model draws parallel challenges between B2C and B2B to build out services for the enterprise group. The biggest differences between the two: B2B focuses more on generating leads and there's a much longer time to complete the sale. Sometimes as long as three to six months, Cornwell says.
Cornwell says the new strategy takes its cue, in part, from a typical B2C marketing model and the business model used by his former employer, Covario, which iProspect's parent company Dentsu Aegis Network acquired in 2014.
Clients have been asking for change. As a part of the Dentsu network, iProspect will leverage CCS, a proprietary Consumer Connection Survey similar to the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey, which the search agency uses to help better understand consumers. It has been more B2C-focused. Now the company will use this data to support its enterprise clients. "We're in the process of revising the survey to have a more B2B approach," Cornwell says. "It's important because I don't really think the enterprise folks know their consumers -- and if they do, they have changed so dramatically in the past few years it's a convoluted vision."
Another reason for creating an enterprise focus involves the 98% of B2B of purchase decisions that begin with search. The average B2B customer goes 57% of the way toward a purchase without picking up the phone, according to iProspect data. The marketers search for and navigate online content that offers solutions to business needs, consuming more than 10 pieces of content before making a purchase decision. Some 80% of B2B decision makers read content on a mobile device.
When asked whether the business could operate under its own profit and loss statement, Cornwell acknowledges that "it has the potential, but we're not talking about that just yet. Who knows what's down the road."