Business 2 Everybody is the current hot trend in the technology world, though no company will tell you that or use that term.
There are still plenty of companies trying to sell products and services to both consumers and businesses, but the hot properties realize that the web is largely about connections and information. Most money is still spent in the real-world, not online, yet almost everybody spends at least some of their time online. Businesses like Foursquare, Gowalla, Ubercab, HotPotato, Facebook, Yelp, and hundreds of others are building business models on the premise that if you can connect consumers to brick-and-mortar businesses, you can make a lot of money, while benefiting everybody. I’m not talking about throwing up some banner ads and calling it connecting. I’m talking about rich engagement that makes the web property an important channel in acquiring and keeping real consumers with real money.
B2E is exciting because there is literally not a single person in the world that these companies do not want as a customer (at least in the long run). The market is astronomical, and the game is afoot. Who can provide the richest tools, the most engaging product and the most useful information to consumers? Although eyeballs is an over-rated metric, sheer volume commands the power to truly monetize the other side of the coin, business clients. Having the power to trigger, lure, and influence desired demographics is like a superpower to a well-run business. “So, you have a really great bar. What would you pay to tell a huge chunk of your target market know how much they would love going there?” Everybody wins, so nobody even thinks twice about sending back some of that profit to the referrers, the men in the middle.
It is essentially the next evolution in affiliate marketing. Gone is the individual, beating down doors with a sketchy link, trying to make a quick buck. The latest version is a large, faceless connector that gets to know you, provides you with useful information that you want, and helps you to make better decisions that enrich your life. That information just so happens to greatly help the business that you are introduced to. My favorite thing about information is that it is rarely a zero-sum game. The connection platform has just made itself invaluable, by creating true value out of nothing.
P.S. I think defining B2E as “Business 2 Employee” is narrow, short-sighted and wasteful of a potentially great acronym. Thanks Wikipedia.