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The world of marketing is experiencing unprecedented levels of change, leaving no sector untouched. The B2B space especially has been transformed by rapid digital transformation and, crucially, the significant increase in millennial professionals now holding purchasing power within their organizations. The much-misunderstood millennial demographic is quickly becoming the most important audience for B2B marketers, driving the adoption of tactics more commonly associated with B2C campaigns. 

Data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company Merkle last year formed its own B2B group, a collective of five sector-leading companies. Merkle B2B, part of dentsu international, delivers B2B brand creation and activation across the globe, enabling end-to-end business marketing solutions. 

Now, Merkle B2B is teaming up with The Drum to launch  — a must-see event for B2B decision makers  — B2B4Breakfast. The two panel sessions will explore the recent evolution of the global B2B marketplace and offer expert insight and advice on how best to tackle the recent changes within the sector. 

Michael McLaren, global CEO at Merkle B2B, says: “There is, perhaps, no space more dynamic than B2B marketing right now. Whether it’s the once-in-a-generation digital transformation that has just occurred, the rapid adoption of digital engagement tactics that are migrating from the consumer world or the spike in enterprise spending as industry races to recover from the pandemic and drive growth — there’s a lot to digest. This two-part series is designed to help marketers gain actionable insights, get ahead of the trends and to geek out on all things B2B.” 

The first session, Millennials & B2B: The stats, facts & insights you need to know right now, takes place on Tuesday, May 25, at 9 a.m. (EST)/ 2 p.m. (BST).

Jillian Ryan, eMarketer’s principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, will act as moderator of a discussion including Matthew Powell, vice president and executive director, and Taylor Wray, research manager, both of B2B International, a Merkle company. This opening session will focus on the imperative that modern B2B brands meet the needs of digitally-savvy millennial expectations for personalized, seamless, and emotionally relevant experiences.

As well as offering B2B marketers key insights on how purchase decisions are made across the generations, the session will also explore the key preferences of the millennial group and offer actionable market insights around customer demand, changing customer dynamics, and digital transformation.

The second panel session, It's all about the customer: Why B2B is leapfrogging B2Ctakes place on Tuesday, May 25, at 9:30 a.m. (EST)/ 2:30 p.m. (BST), directly following session one. 

The Drum’s US editor Kenneth Hein will lead a discussion on targeting within B2B with a panel including John Travis, VP brand marketing at Adobe, and Merkle B2B’s Michael McLaren among others.

This session explores what B2B marketers need to adopt from their B2C brethren as well as revealing the most important factors that affect the customer experience at different stages of the decision-making process. The panel will dig into how B2B brands can calibrate around existing customer realities to deliver the very best buying experience.

Hein said: “The customer must be the sun at the center the B2B solar system. In today’s environment of heightened competition and uncertainty, the advantage lies in understanding what resonates with the humans who are influencing and making B2B decisions. B2B marketers have long been masters of targeting and now that the focus has shifted hard to the digital arena, they are arguable better equipped than many of our B2C counterparts to take advantage of this time of incredible change we’re living through.”

“It’s now up to B2B marketers to dig deep into B2C sensibilities to reach younger B2B marketers with growing spending power. These panel discussions will provide expert insights rooted in real-world experience on how to do just that. My advice to anyone working in B2B is not to miss out on these sessions and sign up today!”

To find more details of the B2B4Breakfast event, in partnership with Merkle, click here.

Be sure to check out The Drum calendar to learn about upcoming events.