B2B Marketing People Awards: Meet the finalists for 'Client relationship manager of the year'

As any marketer knows, keeping clients happy can reap some big rewards for agencies. Jess Pike gets the lowdown on our four People Awards finalists 

Category 7: Client relationship manager of the year

This category recognises excellence among those in client management roles at agencies who go above and beyond what's expected of them in terms of servicing their clients’ needs, and who've had a direct, personal and demonstrable impact on the success of a campaign or initiative. 

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Gemma Roalf
B2B marketing account director
Really B2B

Gemma’s role
Having joining Really B2B back in 2013, Gemma's risen through the ranks to become a senior member of the client services team. As account director, she’s responsible for leading her client accounts, successfully orchestrating their activity to achieve the desired results, retaining and growing client accounts, as well as supporting her team.

Big achievements
In just four years, Gemma’s been a driving force behind Really B2B’s success in the marketplace: not only has she grown the first account she was involved with by more than double, but she’s also successfully led a marketing automation trial and subsequent rollout for Original BTC – a B2B client of Really B2B’s – and led a global marketing campaign across the UK, France and the US, bridging the gap between Original BTC’s UK, France and US teams to ensure efficiency and consolidation of resources. Added to this, Gemma’s clearly a popular member of the Really B2B family: her team has the lowest staff attrition rate, one of the highest client satisfaction scores and the best client retention rate: 100% since she joined the agency back in 2013.

Kerry Grove
Senior account director
Speed Communications

Kerry’s role
As a senior account director, Kerry’s responsible for leading a client portfolio of five accounts. Day-to-day, she leads a team of eight, and together they work with clients across the US and Europe. Prior to working at Speed, Kerry worked as a journalist across a range of national media titles before turning her hand to the world of PR and joining an international agency based in Singapore, where she managed campaigns for clients including BBC Worldwide, Fitness First, Airbnb, Hotels.com and Oracle.

Big achievements
In under three years, Kerry’s progressed from account manager to senior account director, demonstrating how well she’s regarded by her team and clients, and how quickly she's developed her consultative confidence. As well as doing a sterling job for clients, she’s also spearheaded a number of internal initiatives to motivate team members and drive excellence for clients: one is a weekly pitching clinic, which provides a forum for junior team members to discuss pitches to the media, news hijacking, challenging stories and best practice for securing standout coverage for clients. The second is Speed’s B2B-inspired initiative, which sees the whole business and corporate team sharing compelling examples of creative campaigns and content ideas across business sectors to support its creative thinking for clients and prospects.

Steve Johnson
Associate director
The Marketing Practice

Steve’s role
Steve joined The Marketing Practice in 2011 as an account manager on a relatively new account with O2 Telefónica’s SMB division. Since then, he’s been a stalwart of the O2 account, moving onto its Enterprise division, and has been instrumental in maintaining and developing the relationship. More recently, he's also taken the lead role managing TMP’s account with Genpact. 

Big achievements
Steve’s efforts over the last five years demonstrate his instinct for excellent marketing. From his involvement in the O2 Enterprise team’s digital transformation, to his management of some of O2’s most successful, integrated campaigns, and more recently his ability to bring sales and marketing stakeholders together for an industry-leading ABM programme, Steve has been at the heart of the O2 team’s journey every step of the way. This culminated in the team winning CIM’s Marketing Team of the Year award in 2016. Plus, with Steve acting as key strategic advisor, Genpact’s lead digital programme delivered their biggest ever opportunity in EMEA, and head of marketing Andy Cravos went on to be crowned B2B Marketer of the Year at the 2016 B2B Marketing Awards.

Craig Duxbury
Global client services director
Stein IAS

Craig’s role
Craig’s the only account person to have had his key client named B2B Marketer of the Year in the UK and at the BMA in the US in the same year. This is typical of Craig, who does everything in his power to make clients see results. This has meant becoming one of the most B2B marketing cloud-literate people on the planet and the man with the most travel miles at Stein IAS. This year, Craig’s leadership in implementing the ‘one agency resource’ service worldwide has seen him promoted to global client services director.

Big achievements 
Craig’s the only person at Stein IAS who commutes from the cobbles of Ramsbottom to the skyscrapers of New York for his clients. The brilliant irony is he now sees more of his family because he works at home while in the UK – a commitment win-win. Business-wise, the proof’s in the pudding with Craig: Stein IAS reported a 24% year-over-year increase in revenue for the fiscal year and a 107% increase in average revenue per client. His colleagues would put this down to the fact that Craig and his team keep delivering results and efficiencies that enable client marketers to win more budget. Plus, he’s spearheaded Stein’s personal development plans, finding time to map more than 300 competencies that take an account exec to an account director – one of the reasons why his team was the most promoted in Stein IAS in 2016.

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B2B Marketing Awards 2017

Unleash your beasts, answer the call, and gather for a wild night of feasts and festivities to celebrate the world’s best B2B marketing. The B2B Marketing Awards will take place on 23 November 2017.  The biggest B2B event in Europe, celebrating some of the wildest most outstanding work, talent and achievements across the B2B marketing industry.

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