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What qualities in a B2B marketer do you think are applicable to Consumer Product marketing? What are skill gaps that a B2B marketer could improve on to become more consumer-focused?

Brandon McGraw
Brandon McGraw
DoorDash Senior Director, Head of Product MarketingMarch 31

Business customers are all consumers at the core, but there are really important distinctions. 

For one, businesses have totally different buying patterns and a myriad of channels to reach them through. When you're working for a traditional consumer technology company you're most often relying on scaled channels to reach people. Scaled is usually a part of the mix on B2B, so I'd look for opportunities to show command of those channels.

For another, consumers are fickle. A business is usually looking to solve a problem and the core customer may be buried beneath a stakeholder that won't be your day-to-day user. This means that the core sell-through process may be longer, but there's an emphasis on hard work at the very beginning. Consumers by contrast have a variety of options and, in the case of free services, have a really low switching cost. Your role in building a relationship doesn't stop with first-use, so I'd look for opportunities to flex your re-engagement skills on the B2B side to show that you're used to operating in this environment.

You have advantages as a B2B PMM in that you typically carry clear KPIs and are directly accountable to the business in a way that may not always be the case in a consumer role. Talk up your experience here and show evidence for how you've learned a new audience quickly.

1923 Views
Jasmine Anderson Taylor
Jasmine Anderson Taylor
Instacart Senior Director, Product MarketingJune 2

B2B and B2C Product Marketers have much in common in the way of skills, both must assume the role of Voice of Customer and Voice of Product. Both must be strategic thinkers with an exceptional ability to execute. Insights gathering, GTM strategy and execution, and cross-functional collaboration are core needed skills for PMMs in both industries. In fact, many Consumer PMMs I’ve hired over the years were once B2B PMMs.  


That said, B2B product marketers who wish to transition to B2C should spend some time considering the following:

  1. Learn the consumer marketing channel mix: Consumer marketing channels are meaningfully different from Enterprise (e.g. think push notifications vs. sales teams). Spend time learning how to effectively leverage these channels to reach your new customers where they are.  
  2. Find ways to practice interpreting customer data at a different scale: often the difference in audience size is millions. This change in audience size gives you an opportunity to do more testing, but also represents new challenges in interpreting results.   
  3. Prepare for engagement at a new speed: while not universally true, B2C marketing can mean more immediate responses to your campaigns and messages, often in the form of 280 characters. As a result, it’s important to understand go-to-market best practices for levers like Customer Support and how that differs from how launch reactions are managed for Enterprise businesses.
713 Views
Alex Wagner Lavian
Alex Wagner Lavian
Origin VP of MarketingDecember 20

As I mentioned above there are so many applicable skills across B2B and B2C — just learning the PMM craft is key regardless of the company/audience. There are several applicable qualities that a B2B marketer can bring to consumer PMM including the following: messaging & positioning, relationship building & XFN influence, data-driven decision making, and market/competitive research. 

While B2B PMMs often have direct access to customers via sales PMMs in consumer roles are required to play more of an active role in gathering customer insights. Consumer PMMs will be responsible for developing a research roadmap and synthesizing insights to shape product and go-to-market strategies. Additionally, In a consumer role the audience size increases significantly putting more importance the creative brief. Its critical to build a pointed brief that is insights led and speaks to a user tension to inspire compelling creative that will break through. Your channel plan will also look quite different, skewing more digital and social media heavy. A best practice is to map out a customer journey to ensure you are engaging the customer at key touchpoints and building a creative and effective channel plan.

1115 Views
Katie Levinson
Katie Levinson
MyFitnessPal Vice President Product MarketingMay 7

As someone who started in consumer brand, then went to B2B2C product marketing, then back to B2C product marketing, these are the areas of overlap I’ve seen between the two:

  • Competitive landscape and audience insights: Deep understanding of both the competitive landscape and your target audience (in B2B that tends to be buyers/decision makers in certain verticals/industries, whereas in B2C it’s a broader psychographic/behavioral target)

  • Cross-functional collaboration: Working cross-functionally, especially in a role of influencer versus direct decision-maker is similar across both

  • Analytical skills: ability to interpret data—be it business metrics, customer feedback, or product performance—is crucial for driving informed decisions in both B2B and B2C marketing

  • A/B testing: to optimize strategies, campaigns and messaging effectively

  • Strategic thinking and written communication skills: help bring teams along to a plan/vision and aligning key stakeholders

Some of the gaps that you might encounter when going from B2B to B2C:

  • Emotional benefits and insights: in the consumer world, you have to hone in on the emotional element and genuine insights in order to stand out. This is really hard to do and a skill that takes time, effort and a lot of feedback to develop.

  • Brand and creative partnership: PMM plays a larger role here than in B2B. This entails crafting briefs and providing feedback on creative assets.

  • Channel strategy: because you aren’t working with a sales team, you need to have broader knowledge of different marketing channels, how they work, when to use them, etc, and help tailor messages to different channels.

432 Views
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