Cos Mingides of True on B2B Marketing | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

Cos Mingides of True on B2B Marketing


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.

Cos Mingides, co-founder and head of effectiveness at True, 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 Cos 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 is going through a pivotal period of change triggered by the recent influx of B2B-specific research on marketing effectiveness. This is seeing stronger focus on brand investment, greater investment in creativity with bolder, more standout ideas, and investment in more sophisticated measurement techniques that prove the value of longer-term brand initiatives, not just short-term approaches such as attribution.

Every entrant wants to know what it will take to win. What are the elements you will be looking for in this year's entries to garner a top score?

I will avoid awarding campaigns that take us back to the old, expected world of B2B stereotypes. I'll be looking for work that's pushing boundaries and moving the category forward. Ideas that are fresh, inventive, original and stir something inside you. Work that's distinctive and memorable with a high level of craft in the execution.

The need for B2B marketing campaigns to deliver effective lead generation and conversion is often always the priority, so how do you ensure the need for brand building is addressed?

I don't think anyone can ignore the empirical evidence on B2B effectiveness that's now available to us. Every CMO we speak to fully understands that brand building is the key to long-term commercial growth. Instead of selling the need for brand building, our priority has shifted to building a compelling investment case that resonates with the CFO.

What are some of the challenges you see creative teams facing in the B2B marketing space?

Budgetary constraints remain the biggest challenge for creatives in B2B. Low budgets significantly stifle creative potential, often leading to uninspired stock-reliant ideas that feel very expected. There's an inordinate cost to producing dull work and more companies are beginning to realize the importance of investing in the creative product – but there's a long way to go.

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.

We know an effective integrated effort is critical. What cross-channel metrics do you consider crucial to use when assessing the overall performance of B2B marketing efforts utilizing various platforms and environments?

There's been a lot of focus on attribution modelling in recent years, but it's massively flawed as a measurement approach, generally overstating the value of marketing activity that sits closer to the sale. Marketing mix modelling (MMM) provides a holistic understanding of how brand and performance marketing activities work in synergy to impact key metrics. I'm hoping to see some entries that have used this approach.

Risk taking and effectiveness are sometimes friends, sometimes foes. How have you handled the balance in your marketing efforts, and how will you weigh these elements in your judging of the B2 submissions?

For me, the biggest risk to a brand is being dull. It's so easy to fit in and create work that is 'safe', that sticks to category norms – but that's actually the biggest risk to marketing performance. Effectiveness comes from standing out. Being memorable. I'll be really focused on awarding work that demonstrates that.

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

Break the mold in your category. Stay away from category conventions and make sure your brand has a distinctive voice.

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 ______________________."

.... be sure your submission captures judges' attention upfront, telling a compelling story with real clarity all the way from the business problem and objectives through to the strategic thought and execution.

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.