B2B and B2C marketing communications: is there much difference?

In a recent seminar on Social Media, I remember a line from a speaker that said: “the lines between B2C and B2B are blurring.” Interesting that, and I want to add some thoughts to this statement.

Let me put forward some thoughts. First of all, I started in marketing communications in an era where the lines between consumer (B2C) and industrial (B2B) marcomms and advertising were really separate. After all B2C was more mass media using national television, radio and mass circulation newspapers and magazines.

B2B tended to stick to specialized trade magazines to put out their messages. And, of course, direct marketing (mainly direct mail) used different avenues. And, the main thrust is that mass media to niche/industry specific media delineated the difference.

Now, let’s fast forward to today. Ok, we are now in an internet age. Electronic is pretty much how things are going. Print, wow, what’s that, right? After all the government is thinking of selling off Australia Post.

B2B_B2C But, are we jumping the gun. Let’s face it, if you were to visit the WC, would you really be bringing your laptop. Mind you, I note that for the younger set, bringing their smartphones is something they pretty much do everywhere.

I know my kids use these as alarm clocks and as soon as they sound in the morning, it’s checking Facebook, text messages and so on.

But, I digress.

In the midst of all this is social media. Let’s take a B2B marketing executive as a case in point. He or she has one or two social media accounts. This might be Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and so on. He or she might use one, two, even three or more such accounts.

He/she might push a product in the social media and come across messages from B2C organization pushing their products. He comments, acts on, likes sends a message to the originator of the article or message. He takes this home to his/her spouse or partner and they comment on this or discuss it and so on.

Now, you can see how lines are blurring. Why? The current state of the web and especially the growth in social media.

Just some thoughts to let you think about how social media has grown and how it has become an integral part of any marketing communications mix.

You can’t ignore it, as chances are your competitor is already using this.

More in a future post.

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