Same Same, But Different: How B2B And B2C Marketing Skills Stack Up

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Want to get your hands on Australia’s most comprehensive marketing skills survey? Click here to download your copy of ADMA’s professional skills census.

While many of the principles are similar, there is no questioning business-to-business (B2B) marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing are two very different beasts.

B2B customers are often trying to impress their workplace with good purchasing decisions, while B2C customers are on the lookout for brands and ideas that are relatable to them.

So it’s little surprise to find out the skillsets required for B2B marketers compared to B2C marketers are very different.

B&T recently teamed up with the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) for the ADMA Professional Skills Census 2020.

The research surveyed 727 marketers from across the wider industry to find out what skills really matter in the current Australian marketing landscape.

When it came to B2B and B2C marketing skills, the study revealed the two are chalk and cheese.

For B2C marketers, Analysing Customer Data/Insights was considered of greater importance, as was Programmatic advertising and Social Media.

While programmatic was a lower priority for B2B marketers, Search Marketing, Digital Marketing and Communication, Planning & Strategy were deemed more important.

“When we’re looking at B2B and B2C,  I see them as completely different,” said My Careers CEO Fergus Creese, who recently won a B&T 30 Under 30 award.

“What we’re finding now is there are people that are specialising in these areas [B2B and B2C], which means they can really focus on getting the outcomes they want from each of those streams.

“I think work is just becoming more and more specialized, especially in marketing, because the market is so huge.”

My Careers works with schools and students from around the country to match students with career paths that suit their skillset.

This analysis has given Creese and his team crucial insight into the skills required in certain sectors, including marketing.

Similarities aplenty

While it is clear there are plenty of differences when it comes to B2B and B2C marketing skills, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some similarities.

One business that straddles B2B and B2C worlds more than anyone is Google.

According to Google Australia director of marketing Aisling Finch, many of the same principles can be applied across both fields.

“Actually I think the skillsets of B2C and B2B marketers have a lot in common,” she told B&T.

“From insights to understanding their customers, through to strategy, product development, brand positioning and creative process and judgement.

“The key difference I see is more in the go to market tactics; B2C marketers tend to lean on media channels that provide scale, whereas B2B marketers are often targeting more focused or harder to reach audiences through events and experiences for example.”

Finch also suggested B2C marketers may lean on data/insights more so than their B2B contemporaries.

“Consumers are easier to research, thanks to scale, so this data is unsurprising to me. Business audiences (especially larger businesses and more senior roles) are time poor and simply harder to reach so you’re unlikely to recruit them to standard surveys,” she said.

“B2B marketers have to be more creative or draw on syndicated studies to get access to insights, or accept less formal direct methodologies.”

But this doesn’t mean B2B marketers should neglect the power of data-driven insights.

“For B2B marketers, deeply understanding how decisions are made and why they are made is just as important as it is in B2C,” Finch said.

To ensure your marketing skills keep pace with a rapidly changing industry, check out ADMA’s range of courses. Their comprehensive range of courses are taught by practicing industry professionals and include:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Data-Driven Marketing
  • Customer Experience
  • Copywriting & Creative
  • Digital Campaigns
  • Analytics
  • Regulatory

You can download the ADMA Professional Skills Census 2020 here.


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