Marketing Careers : B2C vs B2B

Which type of marketer are you ?

Many enterprises and industries engage in marketing efforts in different ways. For example, a cosmetic company might want to launch a new advertising campaign, a consulting company might need to research what motivates consumers to buy a particular product, or a media agency might need someone to orchestrate publicity to raise awareness for a particular media content. All of these marketing needs can be fulfilled by those in various marketing careers. With increasing supply of freshers it has become important to have skills and specializations that fits a specific job role. 

Marketing careers can be categorized in various ways depending on the requirement  of the content.

In marketing, there are so many variables. The who, what, when, where and even the why behind your campaign will impact how you proceed. Though “B2B” and “B2C” might sound a little like ‘90s boy-band names, these acronyms represent two major types of marketing—and both come with major differences in tactics and strategy.

 In this article we ask the experts and explain the differences between B2B and B2C marketing—particularly from the career perspective of a marketing student.


The Basics

B2C refers to businesses who sell solutions, services or products directly to consumers. Their target customers who are individual consumers who intend to buy what they offer for personal purposes.

In order to encourage sales, B2C marketers focus all of their marketing efforts on the desires, needs, and issues facing an average product user.

B2B (business-to-business) marketing is what it sounds like. It involves a business whose primary customer is another business, rather than everyday consumers.

And because they market their products, services or solutions exclusively to other businesses, B2B marketers direct all of their marketing efforts towards persons or teams who make purchase decisions on behalf of their companies.

A B2C business can be a beauty/cosmetic company, real estate agency that sells homes to families, a car dealership, retail store, healthcare practice, music-streaming service, and a lot more in between.

Examples of B2B :

  • A Medtech company that sells software as a medical device (SaMD).
  • A digital agency that sells SEO, CMS etc.
  • SaaS companies
  • Consultancy Companies
  • Edtech
  • Media Tech companies
  • Logistics and Warehousing companies


Important Differences

Difference of Scale
In B2C marketing, the total number of people buying usually has to be higher in order for B2C businesses to be profitable. In B2B marketing, a few sales can make a quarter. 

Workforce Supply
Number candidates applying for B2C jobs are very high as Digital marketing courses are  easily available online. The market has shown a shift  towards Creative Arts Graduates for Digital Marketing, Content Marketing etc.
Candidates applying for B2B jobs are relatively lower than B2C. MBA Graduates preferred for such kind of jobs as it requires good presentation and business research skills. 

B2B is your type of marketing if

To excel in a B2B marketing position, a person must be able to make sense of various types of data on a regular basis. Businesses make buying choices based on saving and making money, so they expect to see a factual and logical presentation of the data. If you enjoy making sense of data, and using researched facts to support your ideas, you may excel in a B2B role.

You will excel in B2B marketing if you like learning new things. B2B roles are less intuitive than a B2C roles, so you get the chance to learn about various industries.

B2B marketers learn the intricacies of industries they may have never given a second thought to before. Elaine Kuckertz, Marketing specialist at Topspot says her work has led to her getting well-versed in the details of industries like metal machining, magnetic sensor distribution and rubber manufacturing—to name a few—in order to be a more effective marketer.

“I enjoy meeting with my clients and understanding what is most important for their business to be successful,” Kuckertz says.

The sales cycle tends to be longer in B2B, which means you get to really research your target audience and try to consider all of their concerns. “Something that I really enjoy is that I can really get into tools and information that isn't broadcast to the standard consumer,” says RaShea Drake, B2B marketing specialist with Verizon.

“I feel like I can get really deep into an industry and get to know it. With B2B, I have to go beyond standard marketing lingo and into what value my service provides.”

“I would say that B2B is for the slow planner who likes to be organized,” Drake says. The longer, more comprehensive nature of these sales often requires planning out your moves in advance. “Even though I'm not a super organized person myself, my efforts are definitely more thought out and planned in advance with B2B than they were in B2C.”

There’s a much smaller pool of customers in a B2B setting, which means thoughtful planning and organized messaging becomes even more important.

B2C is your type of marketing if

Since many consumers are drawn to flashy and appealing advertisements, B2C marketing naturally provides opportunity for creative freedom,” Slattery says. Jameson Slattery is VP of global marketing at Colorescience. “Creative people are more likely to take artistic chances, and a lot of B2C marketing relies on creative chances.” While Slattery explains that every marketer needs creativity, marketers in B2C environments will likely get some more room to show off their creative chops and try different approaches.

The quicker sales cycle of B2C marketing quickens the pace of your job. You want to be aware of what consumers are seeing and acting on in real time. “The B2C person is really up on the latest trends and knows how to capitalize on them quickly,” Drake says. “They're fast thinking and fast moving.”

“The wide variety of consumers allows for room to change up marketing tactics regularly and experiment,” Slattery says. In B2C, there is more room to try several different ideas and test them against each other for effectiveness.

“I'm constantly testing random and new ideas as well as trying new things to get people excited,” Liu says. “I have to be on top of the top trends in pop culture as they are happening. It’s extremely fun and really pushes me to think creatively.”

“Because B2C marketing focuses more heavily on social media, having an understanding of the big social platforms will help you,” Kuckertz says. Generating buzz on Twitter or launching a Facebook ad are common moves in the B2C marketing world that you don’t see as much of in B2B. If you not only use, but also enjoy the capacities of social media, you’ll be more prepared for that aspect of the job.


Still Unable to decide ?

If you are still on the fence with all the differences between B2B and B2C marketing, then don’t worry! You don’t have to decide between them yet.

Raj Shah, senior marketing manager of SEO at Takelessons, says the two markets are increasingly merging together because of big data and digital marketing. “I no longer think B2B or B2C—I have to think both,” Shah says. “In today’s business world, where companies have both providers and users that benefit from the product, we can’t afford to think B2B versus B2C.”

Even if you will wind up working for a company that deals pretty strictly with either businesses or consumers, Liu recommends trying to get some experience on both sides. “There are positives about both B2B and B2C, and most marketers find one more interesting than the other after they try them.”


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