Don't Take Another PM Job Until You Know Which Of These You Prefer
If you’re considering changing jobs, whether to go B2B versus B2C may not be much of a thought as you weed through hundreds of job listings. You just need to get something. Anything.
However, which type of role you actually land up with is going to impact how you work.
Both B2B and B2C will have similar tasks and responsibilities. However, there are definitely some different worldviews between the two that you should be aware of.
Picking the right one for your own personality and worldview can definitely influence how happy you are at your next role.
How do you want to build new features?
In a B2C product management role, your focus is going to be more on experimenting, checking the data, and iterating.
Meanwhile, if you’re in a B2B role, you’re going to be more focused on talking to a lot of customers, getting their feedback, and adding the best feedback to the roadmap.
How do you prefer to get the word out about your product?
You might not think that this matters to you because you’re not on the sales or marketing teams, but whether you’re at a sales-driven or marketing-driven organization is going to have an effect on the product team.
As a B2B product manager, you’re probably going to get a bunch of feature requests from the sales team. They’re going to be talking to prospective customers who haven’t decided that they want to use your product yet and when someone asks for a feature you don’t have yet, you’re going to know about it.
If you’re at a B2C company, it’s likely your marketing team is trying out new campaigns with different value props. They’re going to let you know which ones are resonating and which ones aren’t. That information can impact the direction you go with your product.
What kind of customer do you want to deal with?
Typically, B2C customers have a much lower willingness to pay. Take the app store for example. Getting someone to buy a $2 app can be quite a challenge.
Meanwhile, getting a business to pay $1,200 a month for a software product may not be that much of a big deal.
So, would you rather have lots of customers who don’t have a lot of money? Or would you rather have a few customers with a lot of money?
Your decision will also influence our next piece of the puzzle.
How do you prefer to be there for the customer when they need you?
Do you want to be customer success focused or customer support focused?
If you are in B2B, it’s more likely that you have a higher price point and be able to afford proactive support. That means you’ll be able to get really thorough feedback from your customers through every part of the process.
Meanwhile, if you’re in B2C, it’s unlikely that you’re going to have the budget to do one-on-one hand-holding. You’ll be more likely to hear about issues from customer support or online review sites first.
A matter of preference
Neither B2B or B2C product management is better. It’s really just a matter of preference and which fits your personality.
And knowing the difference between the two types is half the battle!