Most people who work in advertising will tell you that they fell into it by accident. Some were led here via unusual circumstances (I once worked with a Creative Director who used to be in a traveling circus. Seriously!). Others just wanted to do something creative with their business degree. But there is a minority few, myself included, who actually went to school for it.
My advertising program was all about B2C. B2B was never even part of the equation. We visited some of the coolest B2C agencies in New York, San Francisco, and Portland. We had guest speakers, all of whom worked for or owned B2C shops, and completed assignments all aimed at consumers. But what that fancy ad school failed to show me, was the complex and dynamic world of B2B marketing.
So as a person who’s spent time studying B2C, working in B2C agencies, and is now maneuvering her way through her first B2B gig, I’d like to share with you a few observations I’ve made of the differences between B2B and B2C marketing:
Your audience is different, and yet the same!
- You’re still talking to people, but you’re speaking to the work version of themselves. Everyone’s got a work side and a home side, and we as B2B marketers have to tap into the way people think… at work!
- But on the flipside, people are still people. The work needs to have heart. Going full corporate just doesn’t cut it these days, and so it’s important to remember the person behind the job title.
In B2B, your results are everything
- Clients are looking at bottom lines, not how many YouTube views something received.
- There are so many more metrics to consider in B2B vs. B2C. The sales cycle is so much longer and results are much more diverse, so the ability to measure and produce results is key.
B2C is, admittedly, flashier, more exciting work (depending on what excites you!)
- B2C = big productions, exciting locations
- B2B = business settings, if you shoot at all
- The upside is that B2B dives deeper, and is often smarter content because it has to be. Less flash and more substance! It all comes back to the fact that ROI and your results are uncompromisable.
Have you been on both sides of the marketing world? Let us know by dropping us a tweet to @ledgerbennett
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