For APAC B2B Brands Luring Creative Talent from Consumer Marketing Remains a Challenge

According to the LinkedIn survey, APAC is the most competitive region to hire creative talent, with 67% of marketing leaders noting the challenge, vs the global average of 57%.

A recent global study by LinkedIn into the perceptions of creativity and brand building in B2B marketing shows that marketers are shifting away from traditional tactics and focusing on creativity-driven brand campaigns to stand out from the competition.

The study sought the opinions of more than 1,600 senior-level marketers across 13 markets globally including in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, UAE, KSA, Brazil, Australia, India, and Singapore.

In key Asia Pacific markets surveyed – Singapore, Australia, and India – the survey found that nine out of 10 senior B2B marketing leaders said they are increasingly embracing “creative confidence,” moving away from performance marketing and lead generation as priorities.

 
 

Instead, they are placing greater focus on brand campaigns “that harness storytelling and emotion to increase brand stickiness, as well as reach relevant audiences,” LinkedIn said.

According to the survey, 34% of APAC marketers agree that B2B companies have become more confident in producing creative campaigns and recognize that creativity is essential to long-term brand building, while 28% said that it helps drive memorability amongst customers.

However, attracting top creative talent remains a challenge, with close to nine in 10 (87%) of marketers surveyed saying that the best talent in the industry is in consumer marketing.

 
 

APAC purchasing decisions are emotionally-driven

While B2B brands have traditionally prioritized performance marketing to boost short-term sales, an industry-wide shift is underway, says the report, with almost all (95%) B2B marketing leaders in APAC recognizing that brand building is just as important to driving long-term revenue growth as it is in consumer marketing.

Notably, says LinkedIn, B2B purchasing decisions in APAC are perceived to be more emotionally driven than in the rest of the world, thus placing much greater emphasis on the need for brand-led marketing.

82% of APAC marketers agreed that B2B purchases are as emotionally driven as B2C purchases – significantly higher than the global average of 69%.

Attracting top creative talent remains a challenge, with 87% of marketers surveyed saying that the best talent in the industry is in consumer marketing.

Stronger brand building

In addition, the dynamics of today’s B2B market necessitate the need for creativity and brand building. According to a report from LinkedIn’s B2B Institute and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia, 95% of B2B buyers are not in the market to buy today.

“It’s therefore crucial that B2B brands create a memory link in buyers’ minds so that they are top of mind when the buyer is ready to make a purchase,” said LinkedIn.

Battle for creative talent in APAC

The survey additionally looked at the competitive landscape for talent acquisition finding that close to 8 in 10 (75%) of B2B marketing leaders in APAC believe that B2B marketing is more challenging than B2C – significantly higher than the global average (56%).

Despite the professional opportunity, 87% are concerned that the best talent in the industry is drawn to working in consumer marketing over B2B marketing.

82% of APAC marketers agreed that B2B purchases are as emotionally driven as B2C purchases – significantly higher than the global average of 69%.

APAC is also the most competitive region globally to hire creative talent, with close to 7 in 10 (67%) of marketing leaders finding it challenging to hire creative talent, vs the global average of 57%.

Meanwhile, B2B marketing leaders in APAC identified innovation, problem-solving, and data analytics as the top skills that will underpin the push toward B2B creativity today.

More than half (54%) say fostering a strong creative output is largely reliant on the diversity of experience within a team. When focusing on agency partners specifically, diversity of industry experience (53%) is regarded as the most important factor to produce a strong creative output, followed by diversity of experience within a team; diversity of skills; and diversity of personal and professional networks (all at 48%), according to the survey.

Nine out of 10 senior B2B marketing leaders said they are increasingly embracing “creative confidence,” moving away from performance marketing and lead generation as priorities.

“APAC is one of the most unique markets for B2B marketing, with our research showing that purchasing decisions are more emotionally-driven here than elsewhere in the world,” said Sarah Tucker, Head of APAC Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

“In this landscape, brand building underpinned by creative storytelling is critical to capture the attention of B2B audiences.”

“It comes to no surprise that marketers are moving away from traditional tactics, and embracing brand-led marketing that shows the real, human side to their businesses,” added Tucker.


Image: Jakob Owens via Unsplash

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