Forget B2B and B2C — it’s B2E

To judge by their messages, many firms make much of the dichotomy of business to business (B2B) vs. business to consumer (B2C) – be this in marketing, hiring, or packaging. Indeed B2B vs B2C can appear quite dissimilar. For example, in their choice of

  • Channels
  • Pricing
  • Media
  • Business Models

None of these differences is absolute. For marketers B2B vs. B2C is frequently not a useful perspective. Traditional hallmarks of B2B such as a high priced dedicated sales force, long selling cycles, or “rational” vs emotional appeals in branding, could apply to B2C.

Increasingly B2B vs B2C is a distinction without a difference. From the importance of social media to advertising, the two camps seem to be converging. Smart marketers seem to get that ultimately marketing is marketing. This is clearly illustrated by B2B campaigns executed in a distinctly B2C manner.

Consider the campaign from corporate IT services firm CDW. It features the redoubtable Charles Barkley. The commercial has a consumer look and feel but its message of outsourcing IT services to CDW is all business.


If CDW isn’t business enough, consider marketing by SAP, the “grey standard” of business to business.


In your next campaign, don’t fixate on B2B or B2C. Think about marketing B2E. E as in everybody.