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'It's key to stay focused on emotion in B2B marketing': A conversation with Christoph Becker

Gyro chief executive and chief creative officer Christoph Becker recently offered The Drum a few insights going into the coming year for B2B marketers, including his belief that emotion is still important within the business-led sector. 

Since 2010, Becker has been driving Gyro’s creative agenda and has worked on brands like Coca-Cola, Motorola and HP. Becker states that with a rapidly changing landscape in advertising, there is the risk that something is lost between the brand and its consumer and hopes, in 2016, to capture this “intimacy” again. 

The Drum: Is the fine line between B2B and B2C advertising styles coming closer and closer together in recent years and where is that most evident?

CB: In B2B today, more and more of the big decisions are emotional with a proven 60 per cent of business interactions and decisions coming from the gut.   From the upper level, B2B is changing goals but the gains are similar. For us, there should be no distinction in quality and excellence between B2B and B2C.

The Drum: Do you anticipate continuing to pursue the idea of the emotional connection when it comes to marketing in the B2B sector?

CB: Yes. We created the entire “human relevance mission” and that was for a time a secret sauce in advertising but the recipe is out now. The fact that we became iconic in the B2B space over these six years attest to our mission.

I can say that today in B2B marketing no one really wants that distinction between B2C and B2B to be easily recognizable. The newer generations are impacting that enormously as they are more tuned in to this completely new space. I think that if your company sells drywall and your agency keeps it cold or boring or complex that attests more to the arrogance of the agency you work with.  You can have a lot more fun with it and still have an impact.

The Drum: How can you describe the changing demands in B2B marketing as it moves farther and farther away from now traditional interactions to its current and rapidly changing state?

CB: Traditional interaction media is not dead. The mindset and approach to the customer is just much more layered. It is more about the power of the expansion of the idea. Our motto is to ignite and expand, but the touch points will always be the same. A lot of traditional marketing won’t go away. Much of what we do is led by the new generation however.  

The Drum: What can you say about this new generation and its impact on marketing?

CB: Focusing on technology means we have spent an enormous amount of time trying to fine tune and express an emotional experience.  But, we have neglected an emotional connectivity. We have to continue to look at the question of how to elevate emotional connectivity in B2B marketing and consider the growing obsession of why a company exists.  Currently, the DNA of a company has never been more important. A company today cannot hide behind products anymore because there is now a glass door between the product and the company and the individual.  The human relevance day in and day out of your company matters more today in marketing.

The Drum: Can you briefly explain a campaign you might be working on that will reflect this trend?

CB: Our client, the global company Hewlett Packard will show the most striking example of “reinvention.” And, it won’t look like B2B marketing from the outside but essentially it remains hugely important and relevant.  In this coming year, the HP campaign is something that we are really looking forward to showcasing.

The Drum: What is something that has piqued your interest or curiosity as a B2B marketer for the year ahead? 

CB: I would like to explore more how we can create a sustainable and strong communication model that does not tap into artificial tools. I would like to have a seamless way to communicate without relying so much on the latest tools. Not as much about impacting the market, but something more subtle or sacred. With tools, there is something lost between brand and consumer … I find myself asking how can I capture the intimacy again?

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