After years of disregarding B2B as a serious creative playground, Cannes Lions has finally announced that a new Creative B2B Lions Award will be introduced the upcoming year, and thus, reimagining the way we think about B2B marketing.
Similarly to B2C, The B2B Effectiveness Code, developed by WARC in partnership with Cannes Lions and The B2B Institute, has outlined a gap between current B2B marketing approaches and optimal effectiveness. Of the 435 case studies they looked at, 76% focused on sales activation and short-term sales-funnel optimisation. Nevertheless, the sector has already proven that B2B marketing goes beyond dry white-paper campaigns. Take "Fearless Girl” by State Street Global Advisor for instance, which was awarded with 18 Lions and 4 Grand Prix.
Philip Thomas, chairman of Lions, stated to Campaign: “Having seen a rise in B2B work winning across the Lions, and with many in the industry believing that a specialist Lion in this area will raise the creative bar and elevate the discipline, we think that now is B2B’s moment to have its own spotlight on the global creative stage.”
This signifies a paradigm shift in B2B marketing. Instead of focusing on short-term sales and activations, brands are expected to showcase creativity in long-term brand building strategies and business growth. And most importantly, shatter the outdated belief that B2B is boring.
Moreover, to recognise both offline and online commerce, payment solutions and transactions, another category will be introduced in the from of a Creative eCommerce Lion, which reflects the different emerging areas of commerce.
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will take place from 20 to 24 of June, 2022.