Accenture: B2B brands don’t give enough attention to the craft

A jury member for the new Creative B2B Lions, Accenture marketing boss Jill Kramer says B2B brands risk becoming wrapped up in complexity and not giving “enough time, love and attention” to their craft.

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While the B2B world is “very good at data” and “understanding the impact” of marketing on organisations, there is a risk the current approach could lead to an “obsession” with mid and lower funnel activity, says Accenture’s Jill Kramer.

Speaking today (22 June) with the LinkedIn B2B Institute at Cannes Lions, the Accenture chief marketing and communications officer urged her B2B peers not to “forget to lift” their heads up and start asking questions: “Why are we here? Who should care? Who should know us and who should know the impact we have on their lives?”

She reflected on the fact this is the first time since it launched in the 1950s that Cannes Lions has a B2B award category: the Creative B2B Lions. As Kramer pointed out, B2B marketers want the best creatives assigned to their work and “those great creatives want to be recognised.” 

As a jury member for the Creative B2B Lions, she said the team noticed “businesses are not giving enough time, love and attention to that end of the spectrum” when creating their work.

She added that while it’s “definitely B2, the second B isn’t necessarily a business” in B2B marketing. “There’s B to C to B models that’s attracting talent and retaining talent to your organisation,” Kramer noted.

Because business is complex, it doesn’t mean the work has to have a one-to-one relationship with that complexity.

Jill Kramer, Accenture

It is therefore important, she explained, that “you always start with a business”, acknowledging that sometimes that brings with it “complexity and a different level of depth.”

“But the audience is very varied, so I think our craft needs to really respect that, and lift itself up,” Kramer added.

Furthermore, she called on B2B marketers to avoid complexity: “Because business is complex, it doesn’t mean the work has to have a one-to-one relationship with that complexity.”

Kramer explained one of the things Accenture is “most passionate about” is craft excellence, from “storytelling to art direction to production”. For marketers, she recognised it is a case of “remembering that whole reason for why you exist overall” and making sure “time and craft and energy” is devoted to it.

Accenture has made a “long-term commitment” to precision marketing, said Kramer, an approach she described as requiring a constant “rebalancing” of the scales. However, whent it comes to strategy, creative or media, she insisted you should never operate on autopilot.

“Any of them getting put on Autopilot is like the kiss of death,” Kramer argued.



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