I've been lucky enough to have worked in several companies containing both consumer-facing and B2B businesses. And having always been on the B2B side I had always hoped that some of that "consumer marketing magic" would rub off on its poor relation. Interestingly it never did. In fact, twice, at two different companies, I was looked on with something close to derision when I suggested that I could move over to the consumer marketing team. It was clear that the borders were closed.
Today, I'm quite convinced i would receive a different response. The hard line between B2B and B2C marketing is rapidly dissolving. Easy access to technology, the digitisation of most audiences and a realisation that purchase decisions are universally emotional means it's hard to make the division.
Both disciplines need to mix art with science. And the war for attention, and ultimately loyalty, is fought just as keenly, and intelligently, on either side. Even the most B2B of B2B industries has a digitally-engaged, social media active customer base. I should know. I once marketed tech into the commercial maritime industry. And even those guys were interacting online.
Good B2B marketing is about creating compelling value propositions, providing ROI and building lasting relationships. But great B2B marketing is about understanding the customer, standing out amongst the crowd, delivering an outstanding customer experience across the entire customer lifecycle and creating a lasting, emotional connection. Doesn't sound much different to B2C to me.