If you’ve spent many long years working with consumer brands – in fact, done nothing else – you’re getting soft. You may not think so. You may think you’ve got plenty of resistance coming at you – shaky supply chains, Byzantine media channels, perfidious and mercurial consumers. That’s hard enough.
Well, it could be harder. You could be a business-to-business marketer. In fact, you could make the crossover to that side and see what you’re made of. It will be like the mid-lifer who’s been giving the weekly Pilates all they’ve got and thinks that counts as resistance, until they try deadlifting with respectable weights for the first time and it send shockwaves deep into the skeleton that say: “gravity exists – deal with it”.
The first shock for the crossover marketer is the new reality of that interesting phenomenon known as ‘the customer’. You know how in B2C marketing you give the consumer a real name and a little pen portrait? And how sometimes in a meeting someone will say, “Well, I wonder what Julie would make of it?” and everyone is stumped for a second trying to mentally locate which function Julie works in before remembering she is the consumer avatar? And how it sort of works because, although every customer is a bit different, there’s enough common ground to root it all in a single pretend person?
Here’s how that would play in B2B marketing: “Well, I wonder what Agnes, Seth, Giorgio, Big Jed, Sammy, Carlos, Dr Sunita, Frances, Prof Germaine, Hunter, Zak, Chantal and Eloise would make of it.”