Purpose Marketing in the B2B Space Roundtable

Watch these marketing leaders discuss purpose marketing in the B2B space and consider the types of strategies that work for their organisations.

Creating the perfect marketing strategy isn't about following a certain set of rules. Each organisation applies a unique approach that works for them. Why is looking at your organisation’s strategy from an internal perspective important and what stumbling blocks have marketers faced when building purpose into their brand?

The marketing leaders of this roundtable outline some approaches that have worked for them and the common drawbacks they have faced over the years.

With Peter Stojanovic moderating, the speakers of this marketing roundtable debate include:

  • Indusekhar Chandrasekhar Vazhavelil, SVP & Head - Brand, Marketing and Strategy, Thryve Digital Health
  • Kathryn Thomas, Director, EMEA Marketing, Box
  • Simon Mouyal, CMO, Cyberark
  • Steven Goddard, Senior Director, Marketing Programs, Nutanix


Purpose marketing strategies - what works?

Looking at strategies from an internal perspective is key, according to Box’s Director of EMEA Marketing, Kathryn Thomas. 

“At Box we have a value-led approach across the organisation. We start with our core values”, she said. 

In addition to this, Kathryn highlighted how the company encourages a rewards culture that “praises” employees who showcase the right values. She argued that this, in turn, shaped the kind of customer marketing that Box carried out.

Senior Director of Marketing Programs at Nutanix Steven Goddard had a similar point of view. He believed that getting the right audience at the right time goes back to how an organisation orients itself. 

“For me, it’s all about being market-orientated or customer-centric”, he said. Honing in on the customer’s needs and finding out their priorities, according to Steven, is what marketing leaders should be focusing on. He later added that: “Authenticity is key… but you also want to be a trusted advisor”. 

CMO at Cyberark, Simon Mouyal, agrees with this authentic approach. 

“How do you position your story telling between vision and mission and value proposition?”, he said. To answer this, he linked back to company values, which he described as the “soul” of the company.  Next, he focused on the mission —which he viewed as the heart of the company. He highlighted that attracting the right people starts with the mission. “A strong mission can go a long way”, he said.


Drawbacks and building purpose

“The biggest stumbling block is not having the right people on your team”, said Thryve Digital Health’s SVP and Head of Brand, Marketing and Strategy, Indusekhar Chandrasekhar Vazhuvelil. He argued that organisations need teams with a “collective enthusiasm” to unearth the purpose. In addition to this, Indusekhar stated that having a team with the right intent, patience and intelligence to create the brand purpose is a rarity these days.

Simon also focuses on the people-aspect of building purpose into the company’s brand. 

More specifically, he centred his argument around: “How you do brand building and how you drive your transactional engine”. Simon gave the panelists an example of how this can help drive performance. 

“I came to my CEO one day and said ‘you know what, I got a good deal — I want to do a billboard in Times Square’”, he said. He explained that his CEO was concerned that the billboard would only reach tourists and consumer people. On the other hand, Simon pointed out that it was so big and would touch billions of different people. Consumers weren’t the only people this billboard would affect. “It’s so very important to create this sense of pride for employees”, he said. 

Steven stated that there are two doors available to marketing leaders. 

“On the first door it says long-term brand building with no impact on sales. On the other door it said something like short term performance marketing, which devalues the brand”. He believes that marketers are “stuck” in this dilemma. In the end, he stated that it all comes back to storytelling. “How do you build a story or a narrative that brings people and a movement around a big topic?”, he said.

Moderator Peter Stojanovic linked back to Steven’s earlier comment on the “two doors” and put forward the question: “Is there an opportunity to build a third door?”. 

“Is there a middle ground? I don’t think so”, said Kathryn. She argued that there’s a hard balance between value-driven play and driving the “MQL churn”. The biggest obstacle, in her view, is where the organisation sits and figuring out who holds and owns the value-driven message that is being sent out. 

Watch the roundtable using the video link above to discover more insights from these top marketing leaders.

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