Marketers working in B2C are more likely to have experienced redundancy due to the coronavirus crisis than their B2B counterparts, according to new data.

The survey of 1,990 global marketers conducted exclusively by Marketing Week and its sister title Econsultancy found that 5% of B2B marketers have experienced a change in job status since the outbreak of Covid-19. Of them, 25% have been made redundant, 64% have had their jobs scaled back and 11% have seen their roles expanded.

In consumer-facing businesses, meanwhile, 7% of marketers say they have experienced a change in job status. Of those, 44% have been made redundant – almost twice as high a proportion as in B2B – while 57% have had their roles scaled back and none have seen an expansion of their job.

Consumer-facing marketers are also more likely to have delayed spending on marketing activities. While 89% of B2C marketers have delayed marketing campaigns or put them under review, 81% of their B2B counterparts have done the same. In fact, 19% of B2B marketers say marketing campaigns are continuing as planned, compared to 11% working in B2C.

Some 92% of B2C marketers are delaying or reviewing their budget commitments, compared to 86% in B2B. Furthermore, whereas 83% of B2C marketers have paused a product or service launch, 73% of B2B marketers have taken the same action.

Remote working: B2B brands feeling more resilient than B2C

However, when it comes to delaying new hires, both B2B marketers (86%) and B2C marketers (88%) agree that recruitment is simply not a priority for their businesses at the moment.

As consumer and business confidence continues to suffer B2B and B2C marketers are being hit equally hard, with 69% in both sectors reporting a slackening of demand for their brands’ products and services.

Making changes

When it comes to changing strategy and developing new structures to deal with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are some differences in the experiences of B2C and B2B marketers.

Two-thirds of marketers working in B2C have created a team specifically to deal with the impact of the outbreak on their business, compared to 46% of their B2B counterparts. Furthermore, half of B2C marketers have changed their customer policies as a result of the coronavirus crisis, including updating cancellation terms and waiving fees. Just a third of B2B marketers have taken the same action.

Likewise, 42% of B2C marketers have changed their vendor policies, such as extending timelines and payment terms, compared to 29% of their B2B counterparts.

Almost nine in 10 marketers now delaying campaigns in response to Covid-19

The gap narrows, however, when it comes to changing marketing strategies, including introducing new discounts, messaging and partnerships. While 64% of B2C marketers have made such changes, 56% of marketers working in B2B have taken similar measures.

The same is true with regards to employee policies. Some 89% of B2C marketers have updated their internal policies around remote working, travel and bonuses, as have 82% of B2B marketers.

Team structure

As the coronavirus crisis continues to take a toll on brand health, 38% of B2B marketers and 43% of those working in B2C report a decline in team morale. Likewise, 26% in B2B and 36% in B2C say team efficiency is lower than normal as a result of the crisis.

However, there are signs for optimism. Some 42% of B2B marketers and 40% working in B2C say team communication has improved post-outbreak, while 35% working in both B2B and B2C say team cohesion is better than normal.

More than half of B2C marketers (57%) say they have taken action to ensure their teams can work cross-functionally while they are working remotely, compared to 49% of B2B marketers. Furthermore, 46% of B2C marketers have created cross-functional teams to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak, compared to 36% of their B2B counterparts.

Consumer facing marketers also appear to have set themselves up to create teams more efficiently during the crisis. Almost half (45%) of B2C marketers say they are rapidly creating new teams, compared to 34% of marketers working in B2B.

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