Christine Jones recently joined Carlota Pico to discuss her role as regional communications and marketing manager for the EMEA region at Sika, a Swiss specialty chemicals company that manufactures products for the construction and automotive industries. At the moment, Sika is rapidly adapting to digital marketing trends, leveraging localization to reach global audiences and finding new ways to push creative content. In this interview, Christine discusses stepping out of the comfort zone of traditional marketing and juggling a variety of responsibilities at her organization.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • There’s been a large shift away from traditional marketing—such as trade shows, press events and radio ads—and toward digital marketing. This is especially important for industries that have typically relied on more established marketing methods, such as the construction industry.
  • That being said, traditional marketing is still effective in certain contexts. For example, face-to-face networking can have a high return on investment. The key is to strike a balance and find digital channels that can supplement classic approaches.
  • Marketers have recently had to get more creative with how they reach their audiences. Many brands have relied on webinars, which have turned out to be an incredibly effective tool for increasing brand reach.
  • Social media is powerful, especially when people use it to come together and show solidarity. Sika experienced this first-hand a few years ago when supporters of the brand came to its defense in the face of a difficult situation, and #TeamSika became the number one trending topic in Switzerland.
  • When creating content, always ask yourself: “Is this relevant to the brand?” You can be there for your audience without pretending to be an expert on everything. Don’t get swept up in the messages coming at you from all angles, and stay focused on what you are an expert in.

Digital marketing is not the future; it’s the present. You have to be where your customers are, and right now they’re everywhere.

Rapid-fire recs

What’s an app or tool that you can’t work without?

We use Salesforce to help measure and keep track of leads. Another tool we’re relying heavily on these days is Microsoft Teams, which has been so helpful to bring people together and connect “face-to-face” even when our organization has been decentralized.

On a personal level, I absolutely love the app PictureThis. You can take a picture of a plant, and then it tells you what it is and how you should care for it. Last year we moved into a house with a big garden, and it’s been a lifesaver for me while tending to it. I find it intriguing that all of this detailed information can be delivered at the touch of a button.

A marketing influencer who you follow?

Chloe Combi, the author of “Generation Z.” I saw her speak at a conference in Berlin a few years ago and found her captivating. She was so passionate about the subject and truly engaged the audience. It really inspired me and made me think about myself as a leader within my own organization, and how I could engage with my own colleagues and inspire them as well.

A valuable resource, event or group?

I’m currently reading several great books. One of them is “Being Creative” by Michael Atavar. The creative nature of my work is what really keeps me going, so when I saw this book in a shop it caught my eye.

Another is “Content Chemistry” by Andy Crestodina. I chose this book because I think it’s great to have input from all different sources, to consider how you can approach and do things in different ways.

Connect with Christine and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Mary Kresge, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

For more insights into communications and marketing, check out:

Sound marketing strategies – Peter Holmberg, global marketing communications manager

The world of higher ed in 2020 – Denyse Lum, marketing & communications manager at ESSEC

Mindful messaging – Payam Edalat, global communications social media producer

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.