What Can B2B Marketeers Learn from B2C Marketing?

As anyone working in the marketing sphere knows, the channels we use and the means by which we communicate can change pretty quickly. As marketeers, we need to be adaptable and resilient to stay one step ahead of the game in reaching the biggest and best quality audiences for our brands.

B2C marketing has traditionally always been thought of as more dynamic and flexible, using a wider variety of tactics than B2B, often with a more ‘in-your-face’ approach. But increasingly, platforms that were once the preserve of B2C are becoming game-changers for B2B marketing. We only need to look at the rise of the B2B presence in social media over the last decade to see that.

B2B marketeers need to keep apace with social expectations

Whoever said that B2B marketing has to be serious? Our world is changing, and the next generation of business leaders and sales managers coming to the fore has expectations that are markedly different to previous generations. As the first generation to have grown up without experience of a world before social media and smartphones, Gen Z is ditching the business suit and 9-5 working week, and is ready to embrace the quickfire messaging and visuals they’ve grown accustomed to.


Added to this, the latest messaging being consumed by upcoming generations is often laced with an element of fun, a dose of reality and a genuine acknowledgement of social responsibility. Just take a look at some of the retail advertising out there at the moment if you need to get a feel for what this looks like. It’s now de rigeur for the big retailers to include some mention of their charitable causes and community actions in their TV Christmas adverts for example. This demonstrates how the B2C world has captured their target audience to a tee. The B2B world needs to catch up and meet these expectations also if its product offerings are going to be viewed in a favourable light. Authenticity has been branded as the key word for Gen Z, so let’s not skimp on this in our B2B marketing endeavours!

Raw candour

Bearing the exhortations above in mind, don’t assume that this means traditional methods like direct mailers and even postal marketing are out – there are specific situations where these can still be the best means to reach a certain audience with a particular message. But put simply, whatever platform you choose to use, those on the receiving end are generally looking for trustworthy raw candour, as opposed to salesy spin. Solutions, rather than a promotion of one’s actual product are the way forward. For example, a savvy B2C mattress company will sell the good night’s sleep, not the mattress! So, sell to solve, don’t sell for the sake of selling.


Engage the senses

Whilst B2B marketing has long since followed B2C into the world of social media and YouTube, there are some platforms such as TikTok where it just might not fit. At least not for now. However, there are still important learnings that B2B can take away from some of these newer channels.

A major difference between modern-day B2C marketing and traditional marketing methods is the way in which it engages the senses. Like never before, audiences are being inspired by entertaining and emotive visuals, engaging music, sound effects and evocative voiceovers. Even touch, taste and smell can potentially be integrated depending on your product. A number of B2B food processing companies for example offer the opportunity for audiences to handle and taste the products their equipment is capable of producing. It’s the age old ‘try before you buy’ technique. If this isn’t possible, product videos and webinars could include a segment where people react to the taste, scent or feel of products.

Bringing together several approaches that interact with each other and capture as many of the five senses as possible provides a tangibly rich experience for the viewer. It’s also likely to have a more profound impact on a larger percentage of your target audience. After all, we all process information in one of four key ways. The more of these you can include in your marketing, the greater your chance of success.

At Allott and Associates we’ve been providing winning bespoke marketing solutions to the B2B sector for over 30 years. Get in touch with us today and discover how your business can benefit from the wealth of marketing expertise our full-service team has to offer.