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Overheard at B2B World Fest: ‘B2B marketers need to connect with the whole person’


By The Drum Team, Editorial

November 10, 2022 | 5 min read

The Drum’s editorial team is covering B2B World Fest 2022 live. Here are the insightful, poignant and provocative things industry leaders are saying...

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‘Employees say improving their wellbeing is more important than advancing their career’

Yusuf Chuku, executive vice-president, client strategy and insights at NBCUniversal Media

We should stop saying B2B. Move from B2B to B2Me. It’s more holistic. There was a time if you talked about a businessperson, and often used to say a businessman, and a particular image popped into your head. The reality is they don’t look like that, they look like everyone. You have to start to connect in a way that is more personal. You have to respect the whole person.

Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing officer, Mastercard

When you pursue the purpose and the passion, profits will follow ... When you’re sincerely pursuing a social cause or trying to eliminate a pain point, not for political correctness or for the soundbites for your CEO at some annual conference, the results are fantastic.

Jill Wiltfong, chief marketing officer, Korn Ferry

Pretty universally, workers are exhausted ... workplace stress is at an all-time high. Burnout accounts for about 40% of staff turnover. The average cost of replacing staff is 120-200% of their original salary ... so the fallout from the great resignation is absolutely significant. It’s playing a huge role in businesses and people. The impact will last for a long time to come.

Martin Kihn, senior vice-president of strategy, marketing cloud at Salesforce

B2B is becoming more experiential. Each generation is more experiential than ever before. The old white paper model and appealing to the rational side is less relevant each year … It doesn’t have to be a Super Bowl spot or a TV spot, but there does need to be sight, sound and motion.

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Michelle Klein, vice-president of global business marketing, Meta

Meta isn’t going to build this next computing platform alone. We’ve made that clear publicly. The difference between that philosophy versus the birth of the internet, the birth of mobile – those were built for the government or different use cases that were not necessarily with consumers in mind. But consumers came to embrace those technologies and businesses adapted ... That’s why we’re focused on building [the metaverse] in partnership with so many different developers, government institutions, researchers and so much more so we really get it right ...

Siddharth Taparia, global chief marketing officer, JLL

No employee chooses an employer based on their benefits package. The concept of wellbeing is a much broader thing. Do you have a culture where people feel like they are empowered to talk about their mental health? Can you walk into a meeting and say I’m feeling depressed? A lot of companies don’t have that culture ... These concepts of wellbeing are very important. Employees say improving their wellbeing is more important than advancing their career. [You need to] look at it from a culture perspective as well as a support perspective, which gets into benefits and so forth.

Ana Villegas, chief marketing officer, NI

A company’s reputation [needs to have] an end-to-end view where we are looking at KPIs that are connected to the customer, but also connected to our employees, our communities and our investors. This is a very cross-functional effort [throughout the C-suite]. We have one set of goals so we are all going in the same direction. It’s going to get more and more integrated. Through my 28 years of marketing, brand and how you measure it used to be all about the customer ... now looking at it from this different angle really opens the conversation.

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