B2B v. B2C Marketing: Does it Even Matter if There’s a Difference?

By Leo Strupczewski

August 19, 2014

There is no more B2B or B2C. It's H2H: Human to Human.

Earlier this year, Bryan Kramer struck a bit of social media gold when one of his presentation slides started showing up in just about every marketers’ social feeds. (Fitting, I suppose, since Kramer is the CEO of social agency Pure Matter.)

“There is no B2B or B2C,” the slide pronounced. “It’s Human to Human: #H2H.”

On the surface, Kramer’s slide (which is also the title of his ebook and blog post) artfully sidesteps the popular argument over the differences between B2C and B2B marketers—something that’s always good fodder in the marketing echo chamber for a discussion. Instead, Kramer’s slide suggests that, you know, maybe we should be more focused on being a little more human in our marketing. And that seemed to resonate pretty darn well with people.

Though it might have served as inspirational content, Kramer’s idea of #H2H has some concrete tie-ins with real-time marketing … or, at least, the promise marketers see in it.

When we worked with Econsultancy earlier this year to produce our Real-Time Marketing Report, respondents (of which more than half were B2C marketers) said the biggest perceived benefit was an improved customer experience and improved conversion rates.

We were wondering, though, what that answer—and others—would look like when seen only through the lens of the B2B marketer.

The answer? Not all that different.

Our latest research with Econsultancy again covers real-time marketing, but, this time, it takes a snapshot of where marketers are in their quest to become real-time marketers, what advantage early adopters are seeing, and what’s holding back those who are gearing up now.

True to Kramer’s slide, our B2B version of this report has some similarities to our earlier version. And they focus on the customer. Of note:

  • B2B marketers see real-time marketing’s biggest benefit as improving customer experiences.
  • When asked whether real-time marketing is becoming essential, nearly the same percentage of B2B marketers (87%) agreed as B2C marketers (91%).
  • B2B and B2C marketers see identical lifts in conversion rates (26%) when using real-time marketing tactics.

It doesn’t seem to matter, then, whether real-time marketing tactics are being used in short, consumer-driven sales cycles or in more deliberate, prolonged B2B deals. They just work.

And that gets us back to Kramer’s point: A more human approach to marketing makes for a better customer experience. The end result is improved customer retention and improved conversion rates. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, who can argue with that?

Leo Strupczewski is a former Content Marketing Manager for Monetate. A former journalist, Leo has helped media companies, professional services firms, and business-to-consumer brands identify stories that resonate with their target audiences and to integrate those stories into an organization’s business objectives. He is passionate about technology, but owns a typewriter.

Experience the future of ecommerce personalization

Book your personalized demo today.