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Creating a culture of innovation and building an innovative marketing team: InTech 2018 overview | B2B Marketing

We cast our eye over three of InTech 2018’s standout sessions, including how to build an innovative marketing team and how to create a culture of innovation

InTech 2018

brought together over 250 tech marketing and business leaders from brands who are daring to be different, challenging convention and disrupting themselves and their markets.

Here are some of the key takeaways from three of the day’s standout sessions; including keynotes Jada Balster and Dr Christine Bailey; and the hugely popular panel discussion.

Innovation in tech marketing: InTech 2018 overview image

Jada Balster, VP marketing at Workfront, took to the InTech stage to discuss innovation in leadership and team motivation in tech marketing

Innovation in tech marketing: InTech 2018 overview image

By 2025, three-quarters of the workforce is going to be made up of millennials, so it’s imperative that leaders understand them and adapt their skills accordingly, said Jada. The workplace is changing, which means assembling the right people to allow you to innovate, including the new generation of ‘digital natives’.

Recognising our unconscious bias and reacting accordingly is essential when hiring new people. Try not to have teams that are just made up of people who are similar to you, said Jada, which includes making sure you have gender-balanced teams – who perform better and increase innovation revenue.

“The digital native generation is not just about avocado on toast. Leaders must understand them and adapt their skills accordingly to enable innovation”

Jada Balster, VP marketing, Workfront

Understand what motivates your team. Bonus or salary incentives were traditionally used to motivate people, but this is no longer enough. “

In a recent survey

, flexible working, a company that is charitable or has a social purpose, and praise from your boss were ranked higher than a bonus and salary as top motivators,” explained Jada.

‘Work is a thing you do, not a place you go’

Where we work is changing. In the same survey,

43% of respondents said at some point they worked remotely in the last three months

. “Work is a thing you do, not a place you go,” said Jada.

“For innovation to exist you have to feel inspired,” she added. Millennials will not stick around if they’re not motivated – the average worker stays in a job for around four and a half years, but with millennials, the length they stay with one employer is, on average, half of that.

Innovation in tech marketing: InTech 2018 overview image

Four senior B2B marketing leaders joined to discuss the challenges of and best ways to create a culture of innovation. Here’s what they had to say

“I feel passionately that innovation isn’t siloed. It has to come from working together,” said Nicola Anderson, VP marketing at GoCardless. “Our most successful team is the growth team in which product, marketing and design work together to deliver growth. Present the team with a problem and empower them to find possible solutions.”

Innovation in tech marketing: InTech 2018 overview image

For Julie Woods-Moss, president at Tata Communications, innovation is like exercise. Everyone knows they should do it, but only those who do it daily have planned for it and made it habitual.

How does she do this? Everyone on Julie’s team has a KPI scorecard, 25% of which is allocated to bringing new ideas to the table.

“Senior marketers should lead innovation outside of the specific marketing outputs and operations, focusing instead on coaching people and setting up goals that create an innovative culture.”

Caroline Scott, SAP Concur

Jeremy Jones, global marketing director at Domino Printing, discussed how to lead change. “We’re having to change the nature of the conversation we have with our customers from being product to service led. That means a cultural change in the business. Much of innovation is about behavioural change – at its heart, it’s about getting people to do things differently. That’s a really hard thing to do.”

His solution? “Find the pain points – where things really aren’t working, and you will find the appetite for change.”


  • Caroline Scott, senior director, enterprise marketing


    , Concur

  • Nicola Anderson, VP marketing, GoCardless

  • Julie Woods-Moss, president, Tata Communications

  • Jeremy Jones, global marketing director, Domino Printing

  • Moderated by Joel Harrison, editor-in-chief, B2B Marketing

Innovation in tech marketing: InTech 2018 overview image

5 steps to embracing change
Christine Bailey, CMO, Valitor

Innovation in tech marketing: InTech 2018 overview image

The ability to embrace change and risk are learned behaviours, said Christine.

She knows this from having developed the ability to look positively at even the most challenging situations – from redundancy to walking on hot coals (yes, literally).

Here, Christine shares her five keys steps to embracing change the right way:

1. Dare to begin before you’re ready:

In today’s fast-paced world of business, no one can afford to wait for the ‘right time’. Take a leap of faith before your competitor does. 

2. Challenge limiting beliefs:

We’re often held back by our self-enforced limits. We tell ourselves we can’t, so we don’t try. Acknowledge limiting thoughts and learn to flip your thinking. 

3. Fight your imposter syndrome: 

We all feel imposter syndrome from time to time, but staying in an environment in which you’re completely comfortable and confident will not help you grow. A little anxiety is good for you. 

4. Dream big, but take small steps:

Your vision shouldn’t be limited by what you can achieve right now, yet nor should your actions be delayed because you’re overwhelmed by the task ahead. 

5. Feed your brain:

Learning new things, like a language, helps develop our brains in different ways, building not only new skills but flexible thinking.

The innovation benchmarking report

Your guide to building a culture of innovation in B2B marketing. This report filters out the babble to provide practical case studies and advice from tech-based marketers on how to foster a culture of innovation within your team, and how to use that mindset to drive ROI.

Start innovating now

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