And the Award goes to... Interview with B2B marketer of the year Andy Cravos
We speak with B2B marketer of the year Andy Cravos about paper rounds, bad days at the office and his journey from marketing grad at Fujitsu to driving growth strategies at global challenger brand Genpact
This article is part of a series of features exploring the highs and highs of 2016's B2B Marketing Awards, aimed at giving you a head start on your 2017 bid for glory.
Where did you grow up?
I’m originally from Solihull, referred to by some as the posh part of the West Midlands (anyone that makes such a statement obviously hasn’t seen where I grew up!).
Describe your current position at Genpact.
I lead marketing for Genpact in Europe and Australia. I’m responsible for building the marketing strategies and executing the go-to-market plans in those regions, across all target industry verticals and service lines to drive strategic brand awareness and revenue.
What did you study at university?
I went to the University of Leeds where I studied for a BA in management studies; a deliberate choice in that it was a fairly generic course, which allowed me to hone in on my interests and abilities.
Marketing, of course, was an area in which I found an immediate connection. I then decided to test that thinking by doing a Masters’ degree at the University of Birmingham the following year. And it was a defining year for me when I look back on it, and ultimately why I chose to pursue a career in marketing.
The 12-month course in strategic marketing and consultancy involved a six-month ‘live’ consultancy project working alongside local brands including Cadbury’s, JLR and Aston Villa. It was a great initiative and experience that I think has stood me in good stead ever since.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
Technically, my first job was a paper round, which I ended up being released from due to ‘poor time keeping’ (first major lesson learnt in the workplace!). However, my first notable position was with Fujitsu. After washing away the post-uni blues, I joined its graduate scheme.
"I came to the conclusion that I was ready to test myself at more of a challenger brand, and I haven’t looked back since"
I was part of the market intelligence team; a solid grounding for any young marketer seeking to learn about the competitive landscape in which the company operated. I then had a stint in the horizontal marketing team, which strengthened my understanding of the services that it took to market.
I then moved into the client-facing marketing team, where I was responsible for driving strategic business across some of its largest central and local government accounts.
Why did you decide to leave Fujitsu?
I came to the conclusion that I was ready to test myself at more of a challenger brand, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s a fairly unique environment at Genpact, in that when I joined we were only really setting up shop from a marketing standpoint.
And being able to shape things towards the start of a brand’s journey, coupled with the opportunity to help drive an ambitious growth strategy in a modern, dynamic marketing model, was too hard to resist. And it still keeps me energised and enthused today.
What’s been your worst day working in B2B?
I’ve been part of a team that mistakenly emailed our entire client database something that was intended for only a few. While we didn’t feel great in the immediate aftermath, the way in which the team managed the issue with our stakeholders so proactively and seamlessly was great to see.
What made you decide to enter the B2B Marketing Awards? And how did you feel when you were announced as the winner?
That’s a difficult one for me to answer, as I didn’t enter myself and wasn’t even made aware of the submission until being shortlisted. So it was an unexpected yet very pleasant surprise.
What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the same category?
Make sure your agency partner’s got a good copywriter! Ours (from The Marketing Practice) obviously did, and I clearly owe that individual a beer or two for their kind words...
What piece of advice would you give to young B2B marketers at the start of their careers?
Always start by considering the value and the benefit for the end customer. While many claim to do so, hands on hearts, how many of us really practice what we preach? I’m fortunate to be part of a team that does, but have definitely come across those who are inwardly-driven and complacent.
Secondly, really embrace your discipline if you think it’s for you. One of the many benefits of being a B2B marketer is that we’re part of a young industry, which presents big opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow to define its direction in the years to come.
Thirdly, never stop asking lots of questions.