Why it's Time to Break the Rules of B2B Marketing


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Acquia CMO Lynne Capozzi explains why the idea of differences between B2B and B2C marketing no longer applies. We're all marketing to humans.

There’s no such thing as “doing business as usual.” Technology, marketing trends and customer expectations are all constantly evolving, so businesses must be open to change. Radical innovation is a fitting theme for Acquia Engage 2021 because if this year taught us anything, it’s how to do things differently. Radical innovators are on the edge of new ideas and movements. They’re not following trends; they’re setting them. As we look to the future of digital experience, here are some marketing rules and ideas that innovative marketers aren’t afraid to break.   


At Acquia, our customers are leaders in digital experience and aren’t afraid to take on the big challenges that consumers are facing. Innovation doesn’t mean just starting over; it’s about leveraging the technology and capabilities you already have in new ways to bring about more value and opportunities in the future.

Breaking barriers and creating new categories or trends means that marketing cannot work alone. The stronger the partnership between marketing, IT and sales, the greater the impact of your efforts. In the past, marketing was relegated to amplifying the brand and the company vision. But today’s most ambitious companies are having marketers shape the customer experience from end to end. Having a say in selecting and using the technology to build experiences day to day and working to get feedback from the field to iterate and make those experiences better will make all the difference. 


The types of marketing stories that I find the most inspiring are ones that solve real customer problems and prioritise long-term impact. More and more businesses need to treat their marketing strategy as addressing the immediate questions and needs of an individual, no matter the industry. One of the biggest misconceptions in marketing continues to be that there's a huge difference if you're marketing and selling B2B versus B2C. 

We hear again and again that everyone from employees to students to CEOs are all consumers. More technology and B2B companies are aiming to be the new Netflix or Amazon with their efforts to incorporate personalisation, machine learning and customer insights. Rather than staying in the traditional B2B lane, we see brands all moving to be digital publishers and make content that is both useful and entertaining. While the product is different, I don’t think a great difference between B2C marketing and B2B marketing exists anymore. I think we're all consumers. Whether people are shopping for business or for pleasure, every company is up against higher customer expectations. Only the brands who take risks and try new ways of reaching people will be able to meet these expectations.