There are many “facts” and assumptions that marketers and other specialists have about the B2B marketing industry. Some marketers and advertisers think it’s boring and refuse to take clients for positions that are offered in the field. Conversely, marketers that are open to working on the business to business side of marketing have assumptions that B2B has limitations, and there isn’t as much freedom or creativity in corporate-facing campaigns as there can be in consumer-facing campaigns. Here are some assumptions that many marketers and other professionals take as fact with in the B2B marketing industry that aren’t always true.
B2B Marketing is Boring
B2B marketing isn’t boring at all. In fact, because many B2B marketers are focusing on strategies within their relevant industry, it is often more interesting to its perspective audience than a broad client facing campaign for a household or office product could be.
Furthermore, if the marketers themselves have a real interest in their industry, this type of marketing can often be more intellectually stimulating for them than trying to come up with jingles for dish soap or another commercial about power drills.
B2B marketing can be fun and inventive. Ekaterina Walter wrote a great post for Forbes about three examples of B2B marketing campaigns that added humor to create a memorable piece of content. One example she gave was Cisco, which was promoting its ASR 9000 router as the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day:
B2B Marketing Isn’t as Active as B2C Marketing
Another misconception about B2B marketing is that professionals in the industry have more outdated methods or don’t have as big of a workload has B2C marketers do. While this could be the case for some industries or specific organizations (with the same that could be said on the B2C side), many B2B marketers work hard to stay relevant not only in the B2B marketing vertical, but also overall digital marketing as a whole. Any type of marketer can usually be found at the top industry conferences or reading blog posts from the latest experts. This type of ongoing education is beneficial for any marketer, no matter their target audience or vertical.
In addition, when comparing B2C and B2B content marketers, their strategies and methods are often similar. According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 90% of B2C marketers report that they are using content marketing. Conversely, 93% of B2B marketers said the same. In addition, 81% of B2B marketers have articles on their own websites, versus only 78% per B2C marketers.
B2B Marketers Can’t Do Everything B2C Marketers Can
While some organizations may have more strict guidelines than their counterparts in the B2C realm, for most marketers, their executive board wants them to create innovative campaigns that are going to attract interest and new leads.
From a strategy standpoint, most marketers have about the same frequency of freedom when it comes to campaigns, but B2B marketers do have to structure their campaigns differently at times. For instance, a B2B company that specializes in HVAC supplies can’t hand out free air-conditioners at a tradeshow, like a stationary company may be able to do with their product at a similar event.
However, creativity is definitely present in either vertical, as it should be when it comes to marketing online in our present day and age. (For inspiration, TopRankBlog has a good round up of innovative and useful B2B marketing campaigns).
B2B Marketing is About Reaching Companies, Not People
While this is true at some level (you are trying to have the company as a client, not necessarily a specific individual buyer or family like you would with a consumer product like headphones or instant soup), the bottom line is that there is a person or team behind the decision to sign a contract or not.
In order to create B2B marketing campaigns that actually work, attempt to connect with people at a human level by recognizing what their problems are and how your product or services can solve it. While consumer-based marketing usually does focus more on the emotional appeal to the target audience (according to ExactTarget), you can still appeal to your B2B marketing audience from an emotional standpoint but in a professional way.
B2B marketing does have its differences when compared to B2C marketing, however the overall strategies and tools that can be used are often the same no matter the industry. While many marketers choose to focus on one or the other, the fact remains that marketing as a whole is an effective strategy to grow your audience base to increase website traffic and incoming leads.