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Why B2B businesses should harness the power of marketing

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Historically, B2C businesses have been attractive and lucrative places of work for marketing professionals. Brands continue to polarise, pulling all into their orbit. Whether it’s Nike and Adidas or Fairy Liquid and Carex, the marketing industry has been completely obsessed with how these brands pivot, evolve and sell.

Squaring up against consumer marketing, it has been assumed that B2B isn’t an exciting place for marketers, nor is it as relatable as the brand giants of B2C. However, Marketing Week shares that by some estimates, B2B is half of the global economy with 50% of the UK FTSE 350 firms being purely B2B, as are nearly 40% of all businesses in Great Britain. In the United States, an astonishing 72% of businesses are primarily B2B, and B2B sales add up to over $9tn a year.

Digital transformation is changing the way brands operate, and the differences between B2B and B2C marketing are slowly starting to dissipate. Brands that were once considered strictly for individual consumers have expanded into corporate partnerships and sponsorships. Meanwhile, traditional B2B brands are recognizing the importance of marketing directly to the person making buying decisions.

Since statistics have long built a convincing case for jumping over to B2B, why is it still difficult for businesses to see how marketers can transform their long-term success?

As mostly product-centric businesses, marketing efforts are relatively simple and product-focused. With no requirements for 360 marketing campaigns, historically, marketing was not a deeply valued in-house function. However, evidence suggests that advertising in particular might create even more value in B2B than it does in B2C. Research shows that general advertising elasticity is 0.1%. Marketing Week research with Les Binet and Peter Field reached a similar conclusion: 10 points of excess share of voice gets you 0.6% market share growth in B2C and 0.7% growth in B2B.

With the end of the year looming, businesses should be looking to go into the new year with a renewed sense of optimism for the success of in-house marketing professionals and the value they can bring to their business. Once known as a ‘niche’ working world, B2B businesses are the future for marketers looking to grow and build with a scaling business.

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