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Awards case study: Find out how Grant Thornton won for ‘Marketing team of the year’

Find out how Grant Thornton became marketing team of the year through communication, leadership and its team stepping up when needed.

About the marketing team 

These seven functions serve as specialists in its field and come together to execute campaigns and projects. Collectively, the team has been intact for the last ve years. In the past twelve months, the firm has gone through restructuring resulting in a reduction of its marketing team by 20% as well as redefining team function and responsibilities. 

Their newest functions B&MA and SIM, work directly with our External Client Services teams to develop campaigns based on service line, industry, solution, and region. Campaigns led by these functions are supported by the remaining marketing teams. 

The marketing leadership team heads up each of these areas and is responsible for the following: Carol Tarver – Sr. Director, Sponsorships Oversees all sports sponsorships, including its major golf partnerships with the PGA TOUR, PLAYERS Championship, and Rickie Fowler. Assets are used to build client relationships in coordination with its SIM and B&MA teams. 

  • Jamie O’Riordan – Director, SIM Works with business lines to develop marketing campaigns and activations. 
  • Stephanie Pendexter – Director, B&MA Leads marketing functions centered on brand and regional marketing. 
  • Scott Lunsford – Sr. Director, Digital Oversees all digital functions including digital marketing, email, social, UX, and digital analytics. 
  • Megan McKenna – Director, Creative Leads national creative strategy and execution. 
  • Amanda Fildes – Director, Content Leads thought leadership creation, content partnerships and copywriting. 
  • Kim Beal – Director, Operations Leads process design, resource management, KPIs, budget management, and product merchandising. 

The brand they work for 

In a professional services industry dominated by “The Big Four,” Grant Thornton is No. 5. Yet, research revealed that B2B customers have grown weary of a sea of sameness. That is why Grant Thornton embraced its role as the ultimate challenger brand by implementing a “Status Go” mentality. Grant Thornton is the action-oriented antithesis of the stagnant “status quo.” 

Grant Thornton comes together to deliver to clients and CPX targets a culture of quality, innovation, and collaboration. 

Commercial challenges 

Deloitte, PWC, EY, and KPMG are formidable foes. With aspirations for its own growth, they knew they had to address the awareness and consideration gap they had with their desired “growth-oriented” middle market prospects. This target audience was most likely using a Big Four, but the sheer size and lack of customised solutions of these competitors lead to dissatisfaction. 

To demonstrate Grant Thornton is not about the status quo, it catered to clients in new and unexpected ways by developing creative that is fresh and engaging; recognising and rewarding individuals in its local communities who champion positive change; and promoting a culture unique to their competitors. 

Their team was able to create memorable “Status Go” touch points and opportunities throughout THE PLAYERS Championship, which allowed clients to engage with their culture and experience the real difference. 

Individual contributions 

  • Allison Kelly – Managed the entire programme end to end, creating the vision and ensuring all was executed flawlessly 
  • Annette Christensen- Ensured they had the correct clients present at the event to maximise ROMI 
  • Christopher Backs – Designed all print assets, including invitations, web banners, and chalet graphics, all of which set the tone for the whole event 
  • Megan McKenna – Directed the media presence of the event, including TV spots with golfer Rickie Fowler and CEO messages during the TV broadcast 
  • Scott Lunsford – Oversaw complete digital strategy, ensuring GT.COM assets and social presence were timely and relevant. 
  • Kim Beal – Ensured campaign remained on budget to maximise ROMI 

Team working and collaboration 

The business results from this programme prove that the integrated team approach is effective in bringing its largest sponsorship to life across all channels. 

  • NPS of 100, with a 97.5% client satisfaction rate 
  • Over 332MM PR impressions 
  • 384 client programme executives engaged; +22% to goal 
  • ROMI – $14.9MM 

Team development and retention 

Over the past year, its firm underwent a significant  exercise. As a result, junior marketers have stepped up to take on larger roles within the team. The team has worked very closely to navigate new challenges tightening their relationships, resulting in more creative activations. In our second year of executing THE PLAYERS Championship programme a new perspective has given us the opportunity to make enhancements and grow all of our metrics year over year. 


Elevation Awards 

The B2B Marketing Elevation Awards is the US sister awards programme of the B2B Marketing Awards held annually in London. This submission won for ‘Marketing team of the year’.


Find out who made the shortlist here!

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