Highlights of B2B World Fest day 2 from Accenture, PwC, Korn Ferry and more


Drum’s B2B World Fest, in partnership with Stein IAS, continued at full speed yesterday. Top B2B marketing executives told us about attracting talent, creativity, and the tough break between sales and marketing, and everyone’s favorite topic – growth.

It is the most dynamic moment in history for B2B marketers. The second day of our two-day live festival explored the many challenges and opportunities currently at hand. Growth, talent, inspiration and acceptance with open arms of all things digital were the big topics of the day.

Our hosts – The Drum’s General Manager of Events, Lynn Lester, and Stein ICD’s President and Chief Customer Officer, Tom Stein – kicked off the ball by welcoming speaker Jill Kramer. Accenture’s Director of Marketing and Communications pointed out that too often external marketing gets all the resources and the budget when in fact internal communications require so much attention. She described internal marketing needs as “a tap that never turns off”.

Kramer says with “what the world has been through in the past two years, everyone and everything we do should be reassessed and re-prioritized through the lens of the silver lining to determine what’s important and what doesn’t. ‘is not. [We need to examine] what energizes us and what tires us out then make sure you never forget how tired most people are right now, especially in the marketing arena. [We’ve got to] we promise not to leave [fatigue] become the norm.

Speaking of internal relationships, a funny thing happened during the pandemic: Sales and marketing were forced to align much more closely. The “Haters no more” session explores what changes in this relationship are permanent. Martin Mackay, who was most recently senior vice president at Proofpoint, said that during the darker days of the lockdown, “it was easier to sell to existing customers and build relationships than to try and build relationships. with new customers. [This was] simply because new customers themselves were trying to determine whether they would still be in business or not. Natural circumstances pushed us together.

Mackay says the change is permanent. “As we moved away from ‘can we survive this’ thinking to ‘how can we thrive in this’, this collaboration naturally continued. So while there has historically been a schism in B2B sales and marketing, the pandemic has actually served to bring the two functions closer together. “

To have talent?

The war for talent is real and B2B companies are fighting for the top spots, just like other industries. Korn Ferry is not only placing these talents, but is also looking for innovative ways to staff its own business. Marketing Manager Jill Wiltfong described the company’s “Leadership for Humanity” program. “It’s about eliminating people who have these non-traditional backgrounds but who are great leaders. [We bring] in a leadership development program, almost like a little prep school [that explains] what are the acronyms? What are the ways to turn the corporate world into a business job? There are 11 million unfilled jobs in the United States alone. We need to find new pools of people to engage them, bring them in and get them excited about what they can do for companies like ours.

Wiltfong also expressed the greater need to be authentic when raising talent awareness, especially when using new popular platforms. “Nothing could be more embarrassing than a B2B dance on TikTok,” she says.

Word of the day: growth

The shift from B2B marketing to online channels has been a common thread throughout the festival. The B2B Digitization Takes the Turn panel session deeply explores the impact of all of this on everything from demand generation to long-term branding.

It all dovetailed with one of the other big macro themes: growth. In “Understanding Today’s CMO Growth Agenda,” Antonia Wade, PwC Global Marketing Manager, says, “Now we’re in an environment where our clients want to choose how they want to engage with us, when they want to engage with us throughout the buying cycle. , and which channels they want to turn on and off at different times. This means that we have to be able to listen to customers very well and be responsive to their needs in every channel that we offer. [Each] must be as good as the last experience they had with us.

“For B2B organizations that have relied heavily on the human channel, [it’s] How do we make sure all other channels are up to our best partner, account rep or salesperson? ”, Explains Wade. “[The goal is] be able to facilitate and enable this choice, be relevant to the client’s context and truly understand what information they are looking for to help them make decisions. [This is] if they’re really in the nebulous, embryonic stage of thinking until they’re pretty clear on what they want and how quickly they want it. It is a huge challenge. “

Whatever the channel or the company, creativity remains the key. On day two of “B2B Creativity in the Eye of the Beholder”, we announced the winners of our One Minute Briefs competition. We asked creatives around the world to explain, through an advertisement, why the world needs B2B. Hundreds of concepts poured in and four winners were selected. Below are some of the executions. Log in to see who won.

You can catch up on anything you’ve missed on the B2B World Fest website.


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