Abhigna Kashyap of LTIMindtree on Being Customer-Centric | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

Abhigna Kashyap of LTIMindtree on Being Customer-Centric


What will it take to have your work make it to the winners' circle? ANA's Judges' Journals features a series of Q&A sessions with leading industry executives participating on 2024 ANA Award juries. You can gain insight from the judges on what they will be looking for and what makes the difference between a good versus award worthy submission.

Abhigna Kashyap, senior director and global head of brand at LTIMindtree, is participating in ANA's 2024 ANA Award juries, specifically as a B2 Awards Judges. Denise McDevitt, SVP of award programs at ANA, spoke with Abhigna to discuss what the judges will be looking for and what makes the difference between a good versus exceptional submission.

What current trends are you're seeing in B2B marketing? What has been the biggest shift since a year ago?

B2B brands have always highlighted their values & people as differentiators. But more recently, they're doubling down on what I see as "positioning beyond your core product" — choosing to build their brand on their commitment to sustainability, focus on DEI initiatives, or how they're investing in their employees — especially when they find themselves in a crowded or apparently commoditized marketplace.

And of course, generative AI is everywhere. Everyone seems to be discussing its impact, future implications, or how they plan to incorporate it quickly/effectively/creatively/responsibly (read: one way or another) into their marketing processes.

In your experience, what role does a clear and compelling value proposition play in successful B2B marketing, and how will you be evaluating this aspect in the award submissions?

B2B marketing typically involves working through a complex and multi-tiered selling process, and the need to resonate with different sets of decision makers and influencers along the way. And in my experience, delivering a consistent brand narrative and reiterating the brand's value proposition across this buyer experience is something that's easier said than done.

I'll be on the lookout for submissions that are clear and insightful about what their customer wants, and a well-articulated value proposition that presents itself as a direct solution to these expectations.

Data-driven decision-making in B2B marketing has become a norm. How do you handle the role of data in your marketing initiatives and to what degree will you be weighing the use — and application — of data and analytics in the award submissions?

We all love the rush of an uber-creative "ah-ha" solution, but I firmly believe that any marketing initiative of substance also needs to have the rigor of data-driven insights. The best ones have both in balance; no one wants to pick a candy bar that's got a cool wrapper but leaves you disappointed when you bite into it.

We have a variety of "realities" to work in these days, XR, AR, MR, VR, what priority will you be giving to entries that implement an integration of traditional and new tech realities in their B2B campaigns?

Technology is a powerful tool for storytelling. And the operative word is "tool." When it's used well, there's nothing quite like it.

But there's a tendency to overuse, force-fit, or self-indulge if you don't really know how to use it. While new age tech can certainly immersive experiences or memorable interactions with the audience, I'm always appreciative of a compelling brand story that rises above gimmicks and shiny objects.

On the flip side, what are the enablers to achieving B2B creative excellence?

For me, consistent creative excellence can only be achieved by building a strong creative culture that permeates the client/agency relationship. There needs to be a common understanding around what creative excellence actually is, and a common ambition to achieve it.

What advice would you offer to B2B marketers on how to stand out and achieve success in today's B2B environment?

Be patient and persistent. And live the brand, every single day.

I've always believed that a brand reflects a company's values and culture. And it defines the personality of an organization; not just an esoteric "brand personality," but the characteristics embodied by the employees and lived through the daily experiences and interactions with customers and colleagues.

My last question: If you could offer just one key suggestion, one request in your role as a B2 Awards judge to teams preparing their entries, what would it be? How would you complete this sentence: "If nothing else, be sure your submission ______________________."

Gets the jury thinking... or better yet, gets us thinking, "Why didn't I think of that?!"

Recognizing excellence in results-driven marketing, the ANA B2 Awards program is dedicated solely to B2B marketing and communications.

The final deadline to submit work into the 2024 B2 Awards is March 8, 2024.

Awards will be presented to top-performing B2B marketer and agency teams focused on driving demonstrable business growth across 50 different categories plus the B2B Agencies of the Year, Marketer of the year, and the Best in Show honors at the B2 Awards Gala, a special evening reception/dinner awards ceremony event at the 2024 ANA Masters of B2B Marketing Conference on June 12 to 14 at the Ritz Carlton Naples in Naples, Florida.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Denise McDevitt is SVP of award programs at ANA.