Reflections of a B2Ber in a B2C world

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I recently had the good fortune of going to the Cannes Lions Festival. If you are unfamiliar with this event, here’s part of the official description from the festival’s website: “… the world's biggest celebration of creativity in communications. …The Festival is also the only truly global meeting place for advertisers, advertising and communication professionals. Over 8,000 delegates from 90 countries attend seven days of workshops, exhibitions, screenings, master classes and high-profile seminars by industry leaders … .”

I expected the sessions to have a B2C focus, but I have long studied the practices of my B2C counterparts and borrowed shamelessly from some of their techniques that are applicable in my B2B world. Since I needed to be in the area anyway, I thought this would be a bigger and better opportunity to learn.

The sessions that I attended focused on:

  • Mobile advertising.
  • SMS as a communications tool.
  • The future of social media.
  • The evolving role of video in digital and in traditional formats.
  • The ROI of social media.
  • Corporate social responsibility.
  • Branding.

They were the exact same topics I would have expected to find, and generally do find, at a B2B marketing conference. As it turns out, B2C marketing professionals are grappling with the exact* same issues that we are grappling with in B2B. The only differences were that our B2C counterparts were generally less prompt starting their sessions, had more energy in the audience and consumed far more alcohol into much later hours of the morning than any B2B marketing conference I have been to.

While I expected to go to Cannes and learn from the differences between us, it was the similarities that were most instructional…and there were lots of them. So, if any of you B2Bers find yourself in the South of France during the festival, check it out.

While their issues may be the same, I fully recognize that there are a lot more “zeros” associated with their issues and budgets.

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