Business marketing has arguably advanced faster than its consumer counterpart. Many of the traditional conferences, trade shows and business lunches have given way to new innovations and creative solutions supported by technology. In this series, Alison Biggan, President of Corporate Marketing at SAP, talks to The Drum about the consumerization of corporate marketing, what inspires and excites her about the latest B2B trends, and what she will look for in a winning entry as Chair of The Drum Awards for B2B.
In trying to create the best work possible, Biggan believes that authenticity is essential. “To tell a story that is authentic to you and your company and to show why it is important to your customer – and perhaps the world – is incredibly important.”
This is becoming more and more important as B2B marketing becomes more B2C-focused. “When you think about consumerization [of business marketing], and the expectations that come with it, you will see the importance of reaching customers with a relevant message at the precise moment they are looking for that message. It couldn’t be more critical. “
This year’s winners will confirm that, she says – with a twist. “I think you will see this authentic storytelling continue, but you will see it in ways that we haven’t had in the past. We were challenged to do things differently because we were challenged to do them digitally. It will fuel a lot of creativity and I can’t wait to see it. “
Problems arise when companies try to tell a story that is not authentic. “During the Covid-19 pandemic, it felt like there was a time when every television commercial was an affair of the heart, talking about the world we live in.” That has gotten old for the audience. “While you don’t want to be deaf, trying to be too general can dilute your meaning.”
The same problem arises when dealing with issues like sustainability or good in the world. “These are incredibly important stories and everyone should be proud to tell them, but you ultimately have to connect with who you are.” Otherwise, customers will see through it and it can do more harm than good.
How do business marketers find the balance? “Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers is crucial in order to develop something usable and to really use the data you have to make your decisions.” The move to digitization made this easier. “We have deeper and deeper insights, and as marketers, it’s our responsibility to do something with that information.
“We have to act quickly and be comfortable with mistakes in order to question the status quo. That will manifest itself in a change in what we do, how we invest our dollars. “
Watch the full interview on our YouTube channel.
The Drum Awards for B2B are still open – email them to request an extension today. To learn more about the awards and see some of last year’s winners, visit their website.
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