Business marketing has arguably been evolving faster than its consumer counterpart. Many of the traditional conferences, trade shows and business dinners have given way to new innovations and creative solutions, supported by technology. In this series, Alison Biggan, president of corporate marketing at SAP, speaks to The Drum about the consumerization of business marketing, what inspires and excites her about recent B2B trends, and what she will look for in a winning entry as the chair of The Drum Awards for B2B.
What constitutes great work? From a B2B perspective, Biggan believes it’s telling a story – one that is relevant to the audience and to the moment. “Recent times have shown us that there are things happening in B2B that are at the core of [how] the world works. The things we rely on, like supply chains and scientific innovation – vaccines, for example.”
She adds that B2B shouldn’t be thought of without its wider context. “To tell a story you have to connect the dots, not only in the B-to-B, the B-to-B-to-C, because consumers and customers are ultimately on the receiving end.”
So while the changing world presented new challenges, it was an opportunity for good ongoing work to shine. “You can be specific and targeted and customized in what you’re talking about. That’s not to say that the big stories aren’t important, but for B2B to succeed it needs to be very audience-specific – segmented and relevant.”
In the context of judging the awards, Biggan wants a winning entry to reflect a combination of those things. “Everyone is going to have their own point of view on what has the most impact, but creative campaigns and programs always cut through.” Connecting the message of B2B work with a wider message, one that is empathetic or altruistic, makes it extra relevant to the audience.
As consumers ask themselves, ‘Where did the goods I buy come from?’ or ‘How are other world events affecting that scientific breakthrough?’, they connect advertising to the issues affecting them in the world. “Supporting that are incredible design and creative ways of engaging. But fundamentally, the things that cut through and really make an impact on the audience are going to be the most memorable.”
Watch the full interview on our YouTube channel.