Nothing, Nothing, Nothing!

December 5, 2014

What’s the difference between a B2B and B2C advertising creative? Nope – there’s no punch line. The answer is absolutely nothing.

You may have assumed that there would be an endless list of differences, but I think that the best creative – regardless of target market – is focused on an individual. So, the best B2B marketing is just like the best B2C marketing: both speak to an individual (whether that’s a busy mother or a hard-working tradesperson) and try to trigger an emotional response. A successful B2B marketer will understand that beneath their buyer is a human being with their own challenges, fears and hopes. There’s no reason why B2B marketing can’t be as creative as B2C advertising, but here’s why B2B marketers can end up feeling different from their B2C counterparts:

  • B2C advertising often revolves around simple products. Think toilet roll, coffee or cereal. There’s really not that much that needs to be explained. On the flip side, B2B products can be complex or technical, and ensuring your audience understands them is often crucial to driving engagement. Don’t be tempted to let the emotional needs of the audience lose its priority.
  • In the B2C world, the conversation usually takes place between brand and buyer – so marketing directly drives sales. Sometimes in B2C, the conversation may not involve the actual buyer at all. The purchase cycle can also be much, much longer and more complex, meaning focused communication can be a challenge.
  • There are various segments of customers in the B2C landscape, so B2C marketers have to constantly be learning about them in order to stay in tune. In B2B, you often have one product or service that is sold to just one particular audience. It’s then easy to become short-sighted; you start thinking that you know your audience so well that you are less perceptive and less interested in continual learning.

What are your thoughts and experiences on the differences between a B2B and B2C creative?