My name is Jim Habig, and I’m proud to be a B2B marketer.
You don’t often hear people self-identify as B2B marketers, and I think that’s a shame. Because when you think about it, our jobs are among the toughest in the game: Our products are the most expensive, our leads are the most valuable. Our offerings are incredibly complex, affect entire teams and require peerless storytelling. When things go awry, we’re often the ones holding the bag. We are the distillers, the simplifiers, the clarifiers. We understand our customers inside and out. B2B marketers don’t get the love they deserve.
And really, it’s because the marketing world was built for B2C. An entire industry evolved to move diapers, laundry detergent, toothpaste… the CPG hegemony has seeped into all our ways of working, standards, currencies and more.
The B2C favoritism extends to the very platforms we use, the tools at our disposal. Because the marketing world was built for B2C, B2B marketers lack a set of marketing tools calibrated for our needs. In a sense, we’re lefties in a righty’s world.
But our jobs are different. Many say it’s harder: According to recent research that we conducted in partnership with YouGov, 56% of marketing leaders believe that B2B marketing is more challenging than B2C.
How is it different? Our purchase journey is not a straight line — rather it’s long, complex and involves a matrix of decision makers. Systems of marketing measurement don’t register these challenges, they rely on individual perception and action.
These challenges might sound a bit dire, but I see them as massive opportunities — for creativity, for problem solving and for customer empathy. Opportunities that only the best marketers in the world could tackle. And I’m not alone — according to our research, 69% believe that purchasing decisions are just as emotionally charged as B2C and 81% believe B2B companies are increasingly producing creative campaigns that could rival B2C.
And the economy depends on the success of B2B. B2B marketing should be a field that accelerates careers, teams that people are excited to join. It’s part of the reason we were excited to support Cannes Lions in the development of this year’s first-ever Creative B2B Lion, which will be announced next week.
The world needs a platform built expressly for B2B marketers — that understands their unique needs and challenges. They need to build long-term relationships in a short-term world. They need to drive and measure results in an evolving privacy landscape. And fundamentally, they need a place to reach customers that respects your needs and theirs.
So I hope you’ll join me in making B2B a badge of honor, and show some love to your B2B brethren.