2018.6.20 Interview

Bigbeat LIVE is back again this year! A place to gather, learn & meet marketers in the B2B industry.

Bigbeat Inc. will be holding another Bigbeat LIVE seminar in 2018 focused on the theme of “Changing management with marketing” in the Japanese B2B marketing industry. With the continued progression towards a more digital age comes the importance of marketing in the role of businesses and management in Japan, where maintaining tradition tends to be strongly preferred over change. Bigbeat has made it their mission to fuel this dialogue for change in the Japanese B2B marketing industry.

Last year, over 300 marketers and managers joined Bigbeat in this discussion for change. Since then, small changes in reform have been adopted and implemented, and at this year’s Bigbeat LIVE, we will be focusing on the experiences of these challenges from notable speakers in the B2B marketing industry as a way to yet further this dialogue.

We held an interview with CEO & President Mr. Yutaka Hamaguchi to hear about the contents of the event, his enthusiasm, and his thoughts.


It’s “marketers first” at the 2018 Bigbeat LIVE

—Bigbeat LIVE, which was first held in 2017, will be held once again on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018. Could you let us hear about some of your enthusiasm?
Hamaguchi: The Bigbeat LIVE that we held last year was originally planned with the idea of offering support and encouragement to the managers and marketers involved in B2B marketing. More than 300 managers and marketers joined us at this event. We all thought that there was a common desire to change something in regards to B2B marketing. I actually felt that kind of energy in the air running through my skin throughout the event.

Bigbeat LIVE 2017

I wanted to continue this dialogue and make it even stronger, so I decided to hold another Bigbeat LIVE on August 1st again, the same as last year.
This year, we are focusing on the philosophy and thoughts of marketers that go beyond work. I thought it would be a good idea to have them talk about practical examples, besides their career, of putting into practice changes in reform.

—What problems are B2B marketers aware of and share in common?
Hamaguchi: I think that would be the feeling of limitation on what one is able to learn only through one’s company. When B2B marketers connect with their fellow colleagues, there is a sought out desire for learning opportunities. For an advertising company like ours, we often get consulted and requested to make introductions.

However, it’s not enough just to gather marketers in place and leave it at that. When people gather in one place, suddenly people start to complain and then we have a grievance session. There is no point in that. So, it’s essential to have a place where we have more practical, concrete ideas and examples from which to learn. For example, if we share things such as how marketing changed when certain things were done, or how success was achieved when media that the company created was utilized, etc. then we are able to learn from specific examples and as a result have opportunities to further discuss using that knowledge. I think in that way marketing will get better.


Changes in the B2B marketing industry in the past year

—A year has passed since the event was held last year. What changes have occurred in the B2B marketing industry since then?
Hamaguchi: As expected, it feels like marketers and managers who are aiming to break away from the current situation have definitely increased.
“I want to take part in content marketing and the latest B2B marketing methods, but I don’t have knowledge of the company. What should I do?” I often ask marketers like these about their worries. With the increasing momentum of the need to do something is an increasing number of marketers worrying about what to do.

President & CEO Mr. Hamaguchi Yutaka

In the meantime, companies revising the company’s structure to create marketing departments have also been increasing. One president of a client company has said, “I’m thinking of changing the name of the ‘Sales Department’ to the ‘Marketing Department’.” A long-time sales department manager was surprised when suddenly told, “Starting tomorrow, you’re the Marketing Department Manager!”
In Japan it is still prevalent, however, I think that rather than putting a marketing staff person within the sales department, it is better that they exist as an independent department. Additionally, the person in charge should manage as the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).


Marketing is connected to work-style reform

—How does marketing contribute to management?
Hamaguchi: Marketing is not merely supporting sales activity. It has the power to improve the way a company works as well as a company’s productivity levels.
Marketing has many definitions. To me, marketing is making evident “who is the most important and best customer,” and creating one image that moves the targeted audience. How to efficiently proceed from there is an important point in management strategy.
Without marketing, the impact of marketers and programs in the marketplace will be small, resulting in sales inefficiency. It is extremely inefficient and lowers productivity.
Although we have been told of the importance of marketing, the idea of real marketing may not have been very well-nurtured within Japan’s industrial industry. In comparison to Western companies that are strong in marketing, there is a large gap in today’s global competition. However, to that extent we can still grow.


3 pillars supporting Bigbeat LIVE 2018

—Could you tell us about this year’s content at Bigbeat LIVE?
Hamaguchi: In order to build a better future, we will share, as speakers and as 9 B2B marketing challengers who are changing ourselves and our companies, the state of our current progressive challenges.
I’ve requested 3 fighters who have experienced many areas of B2B marketing to act as hosts to organize the speakers.
The aim of the speakers, hosts, and us as organizers is to create an event that won’t end with “I learned a lot” or “That was interesting.” I hope to create an event that has attendees changing how they act from the very next day.
I want to create a place where attendees don’t just listen but where attendees and speakers have opportunities for communication.

Past Bigbeat LIVE Speakers
—The details will be announced soon then? We are excited and looking forward to it!
Hamaguchi: I will do my best so that attendees to this event will express the same. I think that there are not many other events like Bigbeat LIVE that are held with the theme of fostering marketing strategies and marketing culture.
My greatest goal is to respond to the needs and thoughts of the marketers who have always been of service to us.
I think this event will be much more exciting and much more lively than the last time. I hope to see B2B marketers from around the country come and attend. It’s going to be LIVE in Tokyo on August 1st!


Bigbeat LIVE: Changing Management with Marketing! (Held in Japanese)
 Date:  Wednesday, August 1st, 2018
 Time: 10:00~20:00
 Venue: Kioi Conference (Nagatacho Station, Akasaka Mitsuke Station)
 Organizer: Bigbeat Inc.
 Partners: Japan Business Press Co., Ltd. and
 Cost: Free