A reluctant marketer’s 5-year love letter to B2B


Dear B2B,

Has it been five years already? How time flies.

I’m going to start with a bit of a confession…

Five years ago I fancied your cousin.

(Stay with me, I promise I’ll bring it around).

In truth, B2C has been eyeing me my whole life. I still can’t turn a corner without seeing them. On every building, down every supermarket aisle, in-between reruns of Friends, after every swipe of my phone…

They were flashy, exciting, vibrant, hopeful, beautiful, clever, funny, happy and burst into my life (even when I didn’t want them to). It was all I knew.

But then I met you.

And I’ll admit, it wasn’t the smoothest of starts:

We didn’t lock gazes longingly across a smoky dive in Paris; I didn’t climb a sparklingly-lit ferris wheel and force you to say yes to a first date (The Notebook is a stupid, stupid film).

No, it started by mistake. And I sort of hated you. Plus, I still fancied your cousin.

Looking back, I wasn’t so attractive myself. A not-so-fresh-faced, hungover know-it-all straight out of an English Literature degree with unfathomable debt unknowingly accumulated.

I had very quickly realized that an in-depth knowledge of Wildeian set design and Spanish cinema weren’t exactly gold dust when it came to getting a real job.

Being turned down from every B2C marketing role I applied for, I stumbled into a B2B agency without really knowing what happened, or what I was doing.

And then, BAM.

TECH. COMPLEXITY. STRESS. AHHHH.

My young mind felt like it only had short gasps of time to wonder what the hell it had gotten itself into.

But then…

Something happened.

You started to grow on me.

Not like a horrible growth. A nice one. A lovely one, in fact.

Because you’re actually really fucking interesting. In a way your cousin just isn’t.

With you, I got challenged every day to learn something outside my comfort zone. Really interesting stuff about some mad technology that makes the world go round.

Our conversations were intricate and nuanced – and I’ll admit that I felt out of my depth at first. But then I got good at explaining the complex things I wanted to say simply, and with a bit of mojo too.

You showed me that to feel truly rewarded, I needed the invitation to explore, grow and understand – only then would my writing truly make me smile.

No shade on your cousin, but they never offered me that.

Being creative with you isn’t about big and broad flamboyant gestures, it‘s about solving puzzles, about telling layered and intricate stories from multiple perspectives that build into industry-sized change.

Speaking not just to the mind, but to the very heart of people’s challenges and aspirations.

If liking that makes me a nerd, shoot me (please don’t).

And then I got to know about the stuff that makes you tick: Performance, SEO, lead generation.

Welp.

At first, the accountability scared me. But you taught me that great creative work is only as good as its results.

Suddenly, I was delving into keywords, user journeys, conversion rate optimization and A/B testing to help experts find and choose your solution for their problem — it was invigorating.

You always wore the trousers in the relationship but I didn’t mind. You demanded not just intelligence but a kind of smart that was adaptive and resourceful.

Your allure isn’t the hot-shit, one-and-done transactions of your cousin, but the meaningful relationships you forge. You’re more than just quick wins or flashy ideas. You’re grounded in the real world, intent on addressing real needs.

No manipulating; just helping smart people solve complex problems and do better work.

WOW.

Sorry, that all came gushing out a little.

Basically, you’re alright. And if I could go back five years and tell past me that it was the OTHER cousin I should be idolizing, I would.

So here’s to ten years, and maybe even twenty (if my series of Spanish-inspired films never takes off).

With love always,

Me x



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