Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Christoph Becker reflects on what it’s taken to build gyro into a B2B agency success story

As CEO and CCO, Christoph Becker has grown gyro into one of the largest, most successful B2B marketing agencies in the world.

Under Becker’s leadership, gyro was named 2019 Global B2B Agency of the Year by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) as well as B2B Marketing’s Top U.S. B2B Agency 2017-2018. gyro was also named Advertising Age’s 2016 Global B2B Agency of the Year. In 2018, Becker was inducted into the ANA’s prestigious B2B Hall of Fame.

Becker has spent nearly 30 years building brands and creative cultures around the globe. Before gyro, he served as Chairman and CCO of FCB New York for eight years, leading the agency’s creative output across the entire client portfolio. 

Becker has spoken at a number of high-profile events such as Cannes Lions, Fortune Brainstorm: Tech, Forbes CMO Summit and Advertising Week. 

At gyro 700 creative minds in 16 offices work with top companies, including Aflac, Danone, eBay, Google, HP, Teva, Workplace by Facebook, Fujitsu, Mastercard, USG and Vodafone.

What are the biggest challenges or priorities you’re hearing from clients today, and what’s your firm doing to help?

Clients are fixated on long-term, sustainable growth. The enemy of growth will always be sameness. Many of our clients are focused on making their marketing matter more through efficient targeting, and the delivery of dynamic creative experiences, that break through the clutter. 

At gyro, we often talk about radical growth. Radical growth springs from originality and brave work. We take a collaborative entrepreneurial approach with our clients, which creates the trust platform to build the never before.

What recent campaigns or other work has your team done that best reflects your approach to helping B2B brands create meaningful connections with their customers? 

gyro London’s “Square and Fair” campaign for Square, gyro New York’s “I’mpossible” work for Hiscox, gyro Chicago/Denver’s “Status Go” brand platform for Grant Thornton and gyro Paris’ work for Zeiss are great examples of how emotional storytelling can be an effective way to stand out and have a profound impact on the end user. 

We fundamentally believe in the need for human relevance in our ideas and solutions. We are convinced that by igniting emotions, we ignite business decisions. We strive every day to make our work more human and purposeful. The power of a humanized brand cannot go unnoticed.

The number of martech applications continues to proliferate — what tools do you find are helping your firm and your customers achieve their objectives, and are there new innovations you’d like to see?

Martech applications do continue to proliferate, but the trend is towards more open platforms with multiple point solution integrations of third-party apps.

Tools we find are most useful for gyro and that our clients use vary since martech covers such a wide range of areas. Popular tools include: Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle Marketing Cloud from a marketing automation/CRM perspective. Adobe, Google Analytics 360 for measurement and DemandBase platform for ABM.

As Martech and Adtech increasingly converge, the effect on B2B could be very powerful, and we see it as an opportunity to link up all touch points to ensure a more integrated approach to B2B marketing. The ability to target and create true individualized communications and experiences is there, the level of information we can capture on audiences is there, and the ability to control all engagement to known audiences is also there.

But few companies are linking and optimizing this fully in B2B. In areas such as programmatic integrated with dynamic creative and messaging platforms. The investment has been in tools that drive targeting and implementation of experiences, websites, apps and analytics. 

The reality is most serve the same mass messages and repeated content and don’t create the unique experiences that data and technology allow. This is often due to the fact that it is resource intensive so greater development in automating this process would be invaluable to drive engagement with audiences at a deeper level.

What are some of the key metrics you see B2B brands using to evaluate marketing ROI — are they the right ones, and how do they influence then ones you use internally?

Measurement continues to be a challenge for B2B brands. Nielsen did a study which showed only 1 in 4 CMOs feel confident they can quantify ROI, with 70% planning to invest more in market analytics and attribution.

The reality is that currently they tend to measure the immediate impact of communications, and track engagement across the website, social and apps, but they are unable to analyze the combination of touchpoints and the impact they have individually and collectively on sales.

The key metrics tend to be your standard – reach (impressions), engagement (CTR, CPC), demand (usually measured by downloads of content, registration of events, requests for information – RR, CPR). Integration with sales data has been and remains a challenge and true attribution modelling is not as mature as it needs to be. The increasing complexity and diversity of the decision-making unit – particularly in enterprise targets – makes it unlikely we will ever achieve fully accurate attribution modelling in B2B.

To truly understand the effect of marketing on ROI (an increasing requirement for CMOs who have to prove marketing is working to the c-Suite) we need to help clients improve their ability to integrate the evaluation of all tactics, integrate sales data and use advanced modelling to build an effective attribution model.

What are some of your go-to sources that inspire your creativity and strategic thinking that you’d recommend to B2B CMOs?

I think championing listening and observing is the best advice for inspiration in these times when it feels like there is no time to reflect and create a relevant impression, that enhances your sensitivity to people and things.


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Dave Gordon
Dave Gordon
Dave Gordon is a Toronto-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in more than a hundred publications globally, over the course of twenty years. More about him can be found at DaveGordonWrites.com