The Difference Between B2B Marketing and b2B Marketing

by Andrew Schulkind

No, that’s not a typo; it’s a change in emphasis.

There’s no way not to put your business first in the B2B equation – your business is selling to the prospect’s business. So, while we can’t switch order of the Bs –who’d notice anyway – we can draw attention to the fact that b2B marketing should focus on the prospect and not the marketer.

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You probably know that I’m fond of pointing out that your prospects don’t care about you or what you do until they care about what you can do for them:

Your prospects don’t care about you.

Your prospects don’t even care about what you do.

Your prospects care about what you can do for them.

Thinking about your marketing in “Big B / Little b” terms puts the emphasis of your marketing not just on the prospect, but on communicating that you’ve gained an understanding of their industry and the challenges they face.

It’s kind of like parenting: putting yourself second is the surest path to success. Though just as with parenting, you can take this too far. Your focus on the prospect’s pain points has to be presented in a way that also makes clear that you have the expertise to address those pain points. (Which makes me wonder whether there’s such a thing as “helicopter marketing” that isn’t about, well, helicopters.)

The way your website is organized and the content you choose to publish all must communicate that understanding to the prospect, and the content must demonstrate that your goal is to help them solve the business problem that has brought them to your website in the first place. Put the Big B emphasis on your prospect and little b emphasis on yourself and your marketing is much more likely to connect.