Is the chasm between B2B and B2C really that big?

The age-old debate between consumer marketing and business marketing continues.

Is one really better suited to certain personality types or is it simply a case of the grass always looking greener on the other side?

We often get asked these types of questions, so we decided to interview some senior creative and marketing professionals who have worked on both sides of the marketing fence. Here’s what they told us.

A lot of the same thing

Everyone we interviewed felt that the foundations of the job are the same, no matter where you work as a marketer. You need to know your target audience inside-out and be able to empathise with them. You need to be able to work with all sorts of people. You need to be creative enough to develop a campaign idea, and you need to be practical enough to bring it to life and deliver it seamlessly.

If you are a ‘creative’ (ie a writer or designer) you need to be a great storyteller (verbally or visually). If you are a marketer, planner or strategist, you need to be able to uncover customer pain points, needs and desires.

In all cases you need to be able to talk to your customers in a way that resonates with them. And in all cases, you need to be able to prove that what you are doing is working.

A few different things

You might not think that B2B marketing is as creative as B2C marketing, and in some ways this is true. B2C marketing allows you to have a bit more fun and jump on current trends. You can be be light-hearted and silly. But B2B can be all of these things too – in fact, some of the best B2B marketing is.

Most of the people we interviewed believed that B2B marketing requires just as much creativity as B2C does, because you’re working within tighter boundaries.  Unfortunately though, B2B companies are often too risk-averse to give wildly creative ideas the go-ahead. It’s up to the leaders of the team or agency to decide how much they want to push things.

B2B marketing is much more content driven, as you have to convince a number of decision makers, budget holders, influencers and end users who are often all involved in a single purchasing decision.

Should you make the move?

If you’re considering moving from B2B to B2C marketing or vice versa, our advice would be to find out as much about the new role as possible and talk to someone who has worked on both sides (we can put you in touch with people who have), and then, if you’re still keen, jump in and go for it!

At the end of the day, if you are good at what you do and passionate about marketing, you should be fine anywhere. That said, moving from B2C to B2B often requires an aptitude for understanding and ‘translating’ technical product information. It’s up to you find the right company and then to connect and interact with your new team.

You might find that the chasm isn’t as wide or as deep as it’s made out to be.

What do you think? Have you made the move? Do you believe that it’s better to stick to one thing and specialise? Or do you see more value in learning lots of different skills by gaining a wide range of experience?

If you’re thinking about moving and would like to find out more, please do get in touch, we’d be happy to answer your questions and help you make the right decision.

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