B2B Marketing Is All About Customisation: Abhay Kulkarni, Merkle B2B

Abhay Kulkarni, MD, Merkle B2B, speaks about the evolution of B2B marketing, innovations in the space, as well as its future.

B2B Marketing Is All About Customisation: Abhay Kulkarni, Merkle B2B

Welcome to BQ Prime Brandsmiths, conversations at the intersection of brands, marketing and technology. In this episode, we feature Abhay Kulkarni, Managing Director of Merkle B2B India, in conversation with Ivor Soans, Editor-Special Features, BQ Prime on the latest trends in B2B marketing, the value of content and story-telling, how to measures marketing effectiveness in a better way and how AI is helping marketers by enhancing customer experience.

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B2B marketing is not about being generic, said Kulkarni. Every B2B brand is different, and customisation and understanding the customer are far more important than just being creative. Brands become successful when they put the customer at the centre, and understand the buyer's journey, segment their customers and identify marketers like influencers, all of which require a lot of creativity.

Being true is also very critical in B2B marketing, since B2B engagements are not mere one-time transactions as can be the case in B2C marketing. In B2B, sales cycles are longer, cost of acquisitions is high, relationships are long-term and involve a lot of stakeholders. The brand is the organisation, and the organisation must remain true to what it says. B2B marketing cannot afford to be casual and a lot of conviction is required. This must come not just from marketing, but the entire organisation and its leadership.

On the subject of account-based marketing in the B2B space, Kulkarni said it will be very important for brands that are focusing on the finite, large-enterprise universe because the ticket size, opportunities and the engagements are very significant, and the universe is also fairly limited and competitive. In the markets that matter and the addressable audience that brands identify, account-based marketing will evolve and continue to grow.