Five lessons in five weeks: Observations of a B2B newcomer

Don’t judge me too harshly for this one – in six months I’ll wince as I look back on this rudimentary list and rue the day I ever clicked ‘publish’. But someone in the team thought it might be a good idea and I decided to oblige...

Here are my five overarching observations from five weeks working in the wonderful world of B2B:

1. The proliferation of buzzwords does indeed get less annoying over time. In fact, after a relatively short stint here at B2B Marketing, such words have somehow muscled their way into my own lexicon and I now think nothing of squeezing ‘c-suite’, ‘funnel’ and ‘growth hacking’ into one unsuspecting sentence.

2. B2B case studies are really hard to come by – almost as difficult as finding a solid bit of non-sensationalist news on the Daily Mail homepage. And by the by, if you happen to have one (a case study not an immigration-related news piece) please do get in touch – we’re always after insightful accounts of your campaigns, complete with challenges (pain points, one could say), successes and lessons learnt.

3. The best recipe for great B2B marketing seems to be one part creative and one part analysis. Mix the two together and you’ll have a delicious version of a Mary Berry trifle, sweet enough for the palates of even the most discerning B2B customer. Oh, and people don’t like it when you focus too much on the tech without emphasising the importance of great creative. A cardinal of B2B sins, if you will, and one that I shall pledge from this day forward to avoid.

4. B2B agency guys are pretty nice – and super keen to undo the relatively unsexy image of B2B that existed in days gone by. Progress is definitely being made; as one agency contact mentioned over a lunchtime G&T, the talent that would once have been dipping its toes into B2C waters is now eyeing up the B2B space and beginning to realise its potential.

5. B2B-ers aren’t always the best at selling themselves, which might link back to the case study point above. Having met an eclectic bunch of agency and client-side marketers I’ve learnt a lot about the sector in general, but less about specific approaches and successes. I’m guessing this is down to the hugely complex task that marketers face: putting together creative campaigns via numerous channels for difficult-to-engage customers. All while impressing the board and being able to demonstrate that much-talked-about ROI. Eesh.