Jessica Barker

What’s the quickest way to mess up your B2B2C marketing content? 

Writing to the wrong audience. 

In business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) marketing, it’s all too easy to write copy with end customers in mind. However, your goal is to win over the business leaders who serve those people.

Let’s look at the who’s-who of B2B2C marketing, how it can go wrong and how to keep your marketing megaphone aimed in the right direction.

Writing for the Wrong Audience: How Does It Happen?

B2B2C operating models involve businesses (B) that serve other businesses (2B) that cater directly to consumers (2C). They’re complex ecosystems of product and service provision, with several layers of audiences in the mix. 

These audiences’ marketing needs can easily trip you up if you’re not careful. As a general rule, you should keep your B2B2C marketing message targeted at a business audience, even when the consumer angle tugs at your sleeve. In other words, you should stick with a B2B marketing approach instead of a B2C style.

But it’s easy to accidentally market directly to the end user, tailoring your writing style and narrative arc to their needs and interests. What you’re doing without realizing it, though, is alienating the business in the middle that you actually need to reach.

Why does this audience mix-up happen? Often, it’s because you see yourself in the subject matter. You identify with the C (the end customer) more than the B (the business that serves that customer). 

You may not have enough information to visualize the experience and pain points of your actual target audience of business leaders. So, you go with what you know. You might even picture yourself as that customer and focus on your own needs in that role.

Oof. That’s not knowing your audience, is it?

Relatable B2B2C Industries To Be Careful With

This classic marketer’s mistake most often occurs when you’re creating content for relatable B2B2C topics and industries that you have a connection to as the end consumer. These include:

  • Consumer goods, services and technology.
  • HR and the workplace. 
  • Home services. 
  • Education. 
  • Marketing. 
  • Events.
  • Travel. 
  • Hospitality.
  • Food.
  • Apparel. 

These subjects feel familiar, and maybe even aspirational, so it’s tempting to shift your tone to one that’s more B2C than B2B.

Let’s say you’re doing marketing for a B2B2C commercial kitchen equipment company. This business sells its gear to resort management companies and catering service providers which ultimately create the dining experiences of resort guests. 

Hmm. Whose shoes would you slip into more easily — the non-slip clogs of a food service manager or the fluffy slippers of a resort guest?

As you start brainstorming marketing content ideas, you might think, “Ooh, I know a thing or two about the ideal resort guest experience. Dining out while on vacation is something I could write a whole eBook about, no problem!”

And suddenly, you’re picturing yourself in a tropical paradise — worlds away from the food service side of the industry you’re supposed to build a strategy around. As fun as this escape might sound, straying into a consumer-focused tone when your primary audience is businesses blurs your message and weakens your impact.

Examples of Good and Bad B2B2C Copywriting 

What do these copywriting issues look like in the wild? Let’s take a detailed look at some B2B2C copy samples that sound right but get the audience all wrong.

First, let’s consider the perspective of that commercial kitchen equipment company again. Its marketing team needs to reach out to resort and restaurant businesses effectively. Here’s a bit of promotional copy that misses the mark:

❌ H1: Make New Memories at Every Meal

“Imagine sitting down to a romantic resort dinner where every dish served is a masterpiece, thanks to our cutting-edge kitchen equipment. Experience the difference in taste and presentation that our state-of-the-art ovens and mixers can make, turning each meal you order into an unforgettable culinary journey.”

This copy sounds okay at first glance, but it mistakenly assumes the reader is a resort guest interested in creating a positive dining experience. It completely ignores the actual decision-makers: the resort owners and food service managers who are responsible for purchasing kitchen equipment.

Let’s try again:

✅ H1: Achieve Culinary Excellence

“Remarkable resort experiences start in the kitchen. Equip your restaurants with professional-grade kitchen tools designed to enhance operational efficiency. Discover how our state-of-the-art ovens and blenders can streamline your kitchen workflows and elevate the dining experience for your guests.”

This version rightly targets the business decision-makers, emphasizing operational benefits and the potential to improve the guest dining experience — both key concerns for a resort business. It doesn’t speak directly to the resort guest audience, but it acknowledges that audience’s role in the B2B2C structure.

Let’s look at another bad vs. good comparison — this time, a piece of intro copy for a blog about restaurant marketing. The audience should be restaurant owners, but look at what happens when ideas about this relatable topic start to free flow:

❌ H1: 10 Restaurant Marketing Tips

“When it’s time to find a perfect dinner spot for a night out with friends, you instinctively turn to Google Maps to look up details about the restaurants in your area, from their menus and ambiances to their online order processes.”

What’s wrong here? This copy uses “you” to directly address the reader as if they’re a consumer looking for a restaurant. This narrative won’t resonate with the target audience of restaurant owners and marketers. It positions the reader as someone external to the restaurant business, making it less relevant to those looking to improve their restaurant’s marketing strategies.

Let’s revise this with the right B2B2C reader in mind:

✅ H1: 10 Restaurant Marketing Tips

“When someone wants to find the perfect dinner spot for a night out with friends, they’ll instinctively turn to Google Maps. Once they come across your restaurant, they’ll discover everything from your menu and ambiance to your online order process.” 

This version correctly identifies the audience as restaurant owners and marketers by shifting the perspective. It speaks about “someone” looking for a restaurant, positioning the reader as the provider of the dining experience, not the consumer. This shift aligns the content with the interests and responsibilities of the business audience, making it clear that the tips will help them attract and satisfy dining guests.

These wording changes may seem subtle, but they represent significant shifts in direction. Revising B2B2C copy to reach the right audience is possible, but it may require completely overhauling an entire piece of copy. So, it’s best to avoid audience misalignment in the first place.

4 Tips for B2B2C Copywriting Success

With any type of copywriting — and especially for B2B2C content — always aim your messaging with a laser focus on the intended audience. For B2B2C copy, that means speaking to a professional reader, even if the consumer connection feels stronger. 

By keeping your sights set on the business audience, your content will not only resonate more effectively but also drive the results you’re aiming for. 

Here are a few ways to make sure you keep the correct reader in mind as you craft B2B2C marketing collateral:

1. Know Your Personas

Create detailed audience personas for the business leaders and decision-makers you need to reach. Then, use these as inspiration to tailor your message more effectively. 

Consider each persona’s daily challenges, goals and metrics for success. Are they focused on reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction or maybe streamlining operations? By answering these questions, your content can speak directly to their needs and illustrate how your solution fits into their bigger picture.

2. Watch Your Wording

The language you use in B2B2C marketing should exhibit professional clarity with a hint of consumer benefit. Opt for terminology that reflects business priorities while ensuring it’s accessible and not jumbled with jargon. 

Avoid phrases that are too consumer-centric and casual. These may dilute the professional focus of your message. Instead, choose words that resonate on a business level while subtly nodding to the ultimate consumer experience they enable.

Also, be careful about who you’re referring to when using “you” and “they.” If you’re writing to a business audience, don’t say “you” when describing a consumer’s experience.

3. Don’t Let Good Writing Fool You

Even the most eloquent piece of writing can miss the mark if it’s not aligned with the right marketing goals. In B2B2C copywriting, it’s not just about crafting sentences that flow well; it’s about ensuring every word supports a business-first perspective. 

Your copy might be grammatically and persuasively spot-on, but if it veers too close to B2C territory, it’s not serving its purpose. Always self-edit your copy through the lens of your business audience’s objectives and concerns. If it doesn’t address them directly, it’s time for a rewrite.

4. Reference the End User

Acknowledging the final consumer in your B2B2C copy demonstrates your understanding of the entire business ecosystem. When you reference the end user, do so in a way that highlights the benefits your offering brings to businesses that serve those customers. 

This approach shows you’re not just selling something; you’re offering your clients a pathway to greater consumer satisfaction and business success. It’s about illustrating the ripple effect — how choosing the right solutions can positively impact every layer of the B2B2C model, from operation to end consumer. Use your copy to paint a picture where the business sees its success intertwined with happy end consumers.

Striking the Right Balance With B2B2C Marketing 

In B2B2C copywriting, you’ll achieve the most success when you find ways to address core business needs while acknowledging end consumers. By knowing your audience, choosing your words carefully, focusing on business benefits and subtly incorporating the consumer angle, your words will resonate more deeply with the business leaders you need to persuade. 

Remember, the goal is to engage these decision-makers on a level that speaks to their goals and the outcomes they desire for their customers. Craft your copy with precision, and your B2B2C marketing efforts will pay off in the end.