Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with VeraContent’s Carlota Pico and Christian Flaschka, global marketing expert at Markem-Imaje:

Carlota Pico 0:14
Hi everyone, I got a look that Pico from the content mix and I’m excited to be here today with Kristian Frasca, who is global marketing expert at Mark come image and has over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. Christian, thank you so much for joining us today on the content mix. It’s a pleasure to have you

Unknown Speaker 0:33
and I cannot thank you very much for having me. It’s a huge pleasure for me as well.

Carlota Pico 0:38
Thank you. Well, let’s jump into the interview to get this interview started off. I’d like to learn a little bit about your background, your company and how you got to where you are today.

Unknown Speaker 0:50
Okay, um, I was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, where I studied economics until the mid 90s, approximately and then I decided that I didn’t know Want to spend my whole life living in Austria so I traveled a lot. And one of my destinations was Barcelona, which I liked very much. So I decided to settle in Barcelona and I started looking for a job there. And I started in a fashion company, where I lasted a couple of years or so. And then I moved on to our cultural merchandising, event marketing. And then after a while, I ended up in industrial marketing, and that was probably around 2005. So I’ve been in industrial marketing since 2005. That’s 15 years already, believe it or not. I started off in a company called lindi material handling logistics solutions. Then I moved on to six center intelligence where I was for 11 years in charge of marketing for Iberia, Spain and Portugal. And two years ago, I moved on to marketing manager where I’m right now, initially as a media marketing manager, and earlier this year, I transitioned into a global position as a global marketing expert.

Carlota Pico 2:03
Okay, well, congratulations on you. Oh, and also, of course on your experience. Before moving on to the next question. And for audience who’s not familiar with industrial automation, I do want to define a little a little bit and give a brief explanation of what it is. Industrial Automation is a set of technologies and control devices that results in operations of machines and systems without or limited human intervention and delivers a superior performance compared to manual operation. So are there any peculiarities about marketing in the industrial automation industry that our audience should be aware of? So what’s your day to day look like your time and the solutions that you find?

Unknown Speaker 2:49
If you compare industrial marketing in general or industrial automation, marketing to consumer marketing, maybe it’s not as fancy and it’s not as emotional. So it’s more goes more to the brain and to the heart. And the information needs to be more precise. And it’s very technical. Of course, we’re talking about technical solutions like marketing match, where we offer solutions for packaging, coding on primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. So that’s a very technical area where we work in, so people need to be informed correctly about the impact of the solution. So it’s not like selling chewing gum or t shirts. You need to be very specific in your information. And also, I’d say maybe it’s a bit less colorful, then consumer marketing to you because of these restrictions that we have in terms of getting our content across and informing more than selling. Let’s say

Carlota Pico 3:49
that presents a whole level of different challenges because all your sales cycle is much longer than what a sales cycle would be. At a different type of company, yes. Therefore, I’d like to learn a little bit about how you measure the performance of your marketing campaigns. In other words, what KPIs are you measuring,

Unknown Speaker 4:11
okay? We have to distinguish between online campaigns and promotional campaigns. So in the case of online campaigns, it’s the same as in consumer marketing. You send out an email blast, and then you see what comes back. And you measure this by the opening rates, the click through rates, the opportunities created and actually the return that you get from the follow up of the mailings. In the case of promotional campaigns, as you need to approach directly a certain decision maker in the company, it’s far more personal. So our sales or account manager in this case approaches the decision maker or makers into different companies where he exposes the added value of the new solutions that we offer. And it’s a very face to face marketing and business. Of course, in the end, what we want to do is we want to sell a new product. So it’s always about opportunities created and opportunities won in the end.

Carlota Pico 5:09
Okay, when it comes to content HubSpot CEO said the following separates a good content from great content is a willingness to take risks and the envelope. So let’s take that to a marketing level. What do you think separates good marketing and from great marketing, especially taking into consideration your 20 years of experience in the marketing in the marketing industry? I think

Unknown Speaker 5:39
innovation is always a very important point in marketing. There are followers and there are leaders and if you are a follower, you can create good marketing. I experienced that, for instance, in a fashion company where I worked, they were very good followers. So their marketing was good, but it was not great. It was always like a diluted version of what was already available. Whereas in other companies, you see that there is really an aim to create something new, and to take a new approach to what’s marketing and towards communication. Using new tools always being up to date in terms of what are the current social media that people are using, you need to know that which social media actually refer to your target group. So it’s no, there’s no point for us to work on Tick Tock these days. But of course, we have on Facebook, on LinkedIn, and we’re also working on Instagram. You need to know what tools you can apply and what works and what doesn’t work. And there’s a lot of trial and error as well. Because if you try to be innovative, and if you try to be ahead of the competition, sometimes you fail, and sometimes you’re successful, but I think there’s always the value of trying to trying out new stuff. And I think that makes a big difference between just being a company that copies somebody else’s sales pitch to certain extent or You create your own pitch, I was prepared to create our own pitch.

Carlota Pico 7:04
That’s extremely valuable advice. So I do want to put some of that theory into practice. And for that reason, I’d love to ask you about a marketing project that you’re particularly proud of its result and how you made that happen Most importantly,

Unknown Speaker 7:19
okay. Only recently because of the current situation, we were supposed to be at a very important trade show in Germany, which is called interpack. And the trade show got cancelled, like so many other events. And our marketing director came up with a very good idea. He said that instead of having a physical tradeshow, let’s create a virtual trade show, which was quite makeshift, because we had very little time we wanted it to coincide with the original data potato. But it was very successful because we reached out to our customers we offered, I think about 40 different webinars. And we got a huge response from that because people have a lot of time at their hands because there was not a lot of work. Back in March, April, so we had a huge attendance rate. And also we got some new contacts out of these webinars. And I think it created a lot of noise in this very, say limited market that we work in. And to my knowledge, it’s already being copied by some of our competitors, which is always I think, a good form of flattery, isn’t it?

Carlota Pico 8:22
Definitely, definitely. So what isn’t digital trade show?

Unknown Speaker 8:27
It’s a landing page that you set up where you present on one hand plus your your stock products, so to speak. And on the other hand, you have for the possibilities for people to register on webinars. And these webinars consist of product presentation solution presentations, and they are very open to questions and there’s a lot of interaction. So that’s what we’re seeking online interactions with our customer.

Carlota Pico 8:52
Okay, very interesting for sharing that experience with our audience. So I do want to talk about COVID-19 because you did just mention it in your last response. And plus, it’s a hot topic. Unfortunately, we’re all facing the consequences of the pandemic, but so our marketing budgets worldwide, they have been one of the first budgets to go for many companies. So with that in mind, what major lessons have you learned about marketing during this time? What do you think the future of marketing will look like?

Unknown Speaker 9:24
Um, I believe that

Unknown Speaker 9:27
although they are not obsolete, I think we have to take into account that physical events can be cancelled at any time from now on. So we should always have a plan B on the digital side. And we should invest far more in digital marketing, far more resource, not only money, but also ideas and personnel. I think that would be my advice for the future. What we learn or what I learned from the whole crises is that anything that has to do with physical contact now has become very unstable. So let’s go for the plan B, which is the digital world, which is not as evolved, I’d say in the industrial marketing than it is in consumer market. Okay.

Carlota Pico 10:12
Well, on that same note, I do want to ask for your advice. Again, maybe the last question of this section before we move into the recommendations. One piece of advice that you would give to recent graduates who would like to pursue a career in marketing and in Europe specifically, what’s one thing that you would have loved to have known 20 years ago before you embarked on this journey?

Unknown Speaker 10:38
You know, what I see with young marketeers sometimes is that they are very driven by the ideas that they get from their master studies or from their university studies. And it takes them a long time to learn that it’s not a copy paste thing. So there are books and better theories. And then there’s the A world out there. And it’s completely different sometimes. So don’t stick so much to your books. Learn about the products that you’re trying to sell. Learn about the company that you work with company structure is very important to understand the structure, who are the decision makers who are the people that can support you. Because as a marketing department, you are not an island, you need a lot of interaction with other departments, especially sales and product development. You need to have these people on board with your ideas, and you need to get their input. So don’t sit on the high horse thinking that you know everything, just listen to people from other departments and take into account that marketing is always there to support sales and not the other way around. Because in the end, we all live from the sales figures that we achieve in a company. I think that’s a very important piece of advice that took me quite a long time to learn as well as well. That really our job is a supporting role. We are not the stars of the company, and especially Be creative Try to have your own ideas and don’t get intimidated by other people’s ideas.

Carlota Pico 12:05
Christian, I could not agree more with your response. Fabulous insights, I’m actually head of business development at very content. And within my role we do incorporate we do organized under the same umbrella sales and marketing because both ads in hand and without one of the other, none can survive.

Unknown Speaker 12:25
That’s exactly Yeah,

Carlota Pico 12:26
I definitely agree. Okay, we are going to be moving into the recommendation part of this interview. We already offer great recommendations and great advice, but I’m going to pick your brain a little bit further. Let’s go. What’s your theory at the moment, and why?

Unknown Speaker 12:43
Um, I only recently discovered Audible, which I think is powered by Amazon, if I’m not mistaken. In the past, it was like a classic book reader reading physical books, paperbacks. And the last book that I read was The Autobiography. Have you by a musician that I like very much Mark Lanigan, which is a very entertaining, but it’s really great. It’s very Charles Bukowski. And I like that a lot. And he’s got a great voice. So I checked out some of the interviews on YouTube. And I found out that he spoke his own. He read his own book on Audible. So I downloaded audible and I thought it is a really it’s a great app for book reading a book listening to rather, it’s

Carlota Pico 13:27
very interesting. I’ll have to check it out, you know, of its existence in there.

Unknown Speaker 13:31
It’s really fun. And it’s well I think it’s very intuitive. And, of course, you’ve got a huge book library. So if you’re not into reading, which I’m not because I get tired quite easily when I read because usually I read before I go to bed so it’s five pages and then I I nod off and you can listen to the book on the train or way to go for a walk so I’d really recommend them.

Carlota Pico 13:54
Interesting brings me back to my childhood when my parents read me books. I’m quite You as well, although I’m a journalist, a former journalist, reading books at the end of the day just makes me Oh, yeah, you play. So read to me, I’m more likely to stay awake and just be engaged with Exactly,

Unknown Speaker 14:13
yeah. So that really helped me also get more into books because sometimes because of a lack of time, you’ll see there are quite a few book recommendations where they say, Oh, I should check that one out. And then it never happens. Bird with via audiobooks, I think that’s really for me at least it was a great discovery. They’ve been around for quite a long time, but I only discover them recently and that’s something that I’m definitely dive into in the near future.

Carlota Pico 14:38
Okay, well, thank you. My next question will be a resource or an influencer from your country that you admire, and that inspires you.

Unknown Speaker 14:48
Mm hmm. Um, I’d say. Actually, I could talk about a very good friend of mine whose name is Have you been here and he’s from Barcelona, and he’s a great marketeer as well. And he also works on different radios and he does a lot of podcasts. And he’s very skilled and very self made. And I like that about him. I think he’s a good inspiration as

Carlota Pico 15:19
well makes Charlie’s work special.

Unknown Speaker 15:22
I think he’s very persistent. And whenever he’s invited to any kind of chats, he always, I think he prepares himself very well. And he’s very well read on a cultural level of thing is always very well informed. I admire that and I like that because he got the energy to always absorb, absorb a lot of different information from different people in different areas.

Carlota Pico 15:47
What a key world key word culture, right, especially in our industry, culture plays such a huge role in everything that we do, because of course, marketing to different audiences is a whole different world and What may work in Spain may not necessarily work in the UK, although we’re all on the same continent?

Unknown Speaker 16:05
Yeah, I fully agree. Also, in terms of marketing campaigns, for instance, if you think that, let’s have a look at South Europe, where I am based, that would be Portugal, Spain, Italy, probably you can add Greece and Turkey. In terms of marketing, these are countries that are very price driven, and thinking rather than the short term and the long term. So the pitch that you’re trying to get across is more what is the added value during the next six months or so. Whereas in the north of Europe, in countries like Germany, or the Nordics, UK, people are more interested in long term solution. So as you rightly said, what actually works for the south of Europe might not work for the north and vice versa. So that’s something that you always have to take into account. There’s a lot of cultural differences in Europe, maybe not so much in the US, although some might disagree, Florida. is not Minnesota, of course. But given the language and cultural differences that we have in Europe, I think that the marketing has to be far more nuanced than maybe another territory.

Carlota Pico 17:12
Absolutely. I mean, I work for content creation and translation and localization company. As I mentioned, while we were off the record, and brass localization is key, because even within Southern Europe, it works in Spain may not necessarily work in Italy, because, for example, when it comes to consumer products, or public holidays are completely different. So it’s, you know, that’s something that one always has to take into consideration, especially when communicating across social networks.

Unknown Speaker 17:38
Yeah. Also, I think there’s some very important point that you mentioned, if you think about South Europe, I mean, the month of August is completely dead. Everybody’s on holiday, whereas in the north of Europe, people do go on holiday in August, but it’s not like the whole countries go on holiday and then like closed for business, but in the south of Europe, that’s something that definitely happened. So you need to take that into account for you. campaign management, but also for your budget, because you might be aware of the fact that there will not be a lot of money coming in during the month of August.

Carlota Pico 18:08
Yeah, I mean, although I absolutely love my country, I am from Spain, working in August is definitely a challenge because it is yeah, shuts down.

Unknown Speaker 18:19
If you do work in August, it’s great because there’s less interference. So you get a lot of work done, but it’s slowing down considerably.

Carlota Pico 18:29
Okay, Christian, well, those are all great insights and advice. Thank you so much for sharing them with our audience and the content mix. And I look forward to keeping in touch and following you on your journey.

Unknown Speaker 18:42
Me too. Thank you very much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Carlota Pico 18:45
The pleasure has been mine. Thank you, and to everyone listening in. Thank you so much for joining us on the content mix. For more perspectives like the one today, join us on the content We’ll also be publishing on content on iTunes and on Spotify. So keep on tuning in and see you next time. Thanks again. Bye

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