Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Giulia Perotta, regional marketing manager at Wildix, on developing a remote work strategy:

Shaheen Samavati 0:12
Hi, everyone, I’m Shaheen from The Content Mix, and I’m excited to be here with Giulia Perotta, a seasoned B2B marketer based in Barcelona, who’s currently regional marketing manager for EMEA and the US at Wildix. Thanks so much, Giulia, for joining us.

Giulia Perotta 0:26
Thanks. Thanks for inviting me. I’m very glad to be here. Thanks.

Shaheen Samavati 0:30
So, so you’re based in Barcelona, but your company has its headquarters in Estonia. Could you tell us a bit about Wildix, what the company does and how that works with working remotely?

Yes, absolutely. Thanks for the question. Actually Wildix is a multinational company. Yes, the headquarter is in Tallinn, Estonia, but we are spread all over the world, we can say, because we have offices in Italy. That was the first market, then France, UK, Germany. So the DACH region, then we are present here in Spain, in Barcelona, in the Nordics area. So with, we work with Sweden, Denmark, and all the Nordic countries, and also in the United States. Actually we have, nowadays we have an office in Ohio in the North America. But we are also starting working with South America market. So yes, I’m based in Barcelona, I am Italian. So sorry if my English is not perfect one hundred percent. I was born in Milan a few years ago, no matter how many. And I’ve been living in Barcelona for five years now. Yes, now it’s almost two years that I’ve been working for Wildix. Actually, basically just to make a long story short, Wildix develops and distributes, sorry, unified communications and collaboration solutions. We are a channel-first company. So we are, we can say that we are a B2B2B company because we don’t sell directly to the end user. So to the companies, actually our unified communication and collaboration solutions are provided to small and medium enterprises from 10 to 1000 users more or less. So tools that can, you know, enhance communication, the internal and external one. So chat, video conferences, webinars solution, and stuff like that with the software and the hardware part. And actually, we are, all the sales team and the marketing team is actually remote, managing remotely, especially in 2020. Because of course due to the pandemic and the coronavirus, we are working from home, we can say, in the major part of the countries since February, March, more or less. This was very challenging, we are lucky we can say, because of course we worked a lot. Because actually we provided smart working solutions, we can say, so solutions that enable to work remotely. So you can imagine how was important our job and our work, especially during the first month of the pandemic. As I was telling, as I told at the beginning, we don’t sell directly to the end user. So we distribute our solution throughout a high-quality channel of partners spread all over the world, that basically are system integrators and managed service providers. And this year was very challenging, because I guess that I started two years ago in Wildix, as marketing manager for Italy and Spain. And then a few months ago, I got a promotion we can say so I started this new journey as regional marketing manager for EMEA and US. And reporting, of course, directly to the CMO, our marketing director, and I’m coordinating all those countries that I have already told you. And this year was very challenging, honestly speaking…

But you were already working remotely. The team was already remote even before any of the pandemic…

Well, we can say that, of course, the company’s mentality is to allow, even if I don’t like the terms “allow” in that case–

Or promote, yeah.

Giulia Perotta 5:01
Yeah, or promote, exactly—smart working. So for us in Wildix, it’s not a news. I mean, even before the lockdown—we have offices, physical offices—but even before the lockdown, a lot of employees work remotely one hundred percent, or do a sort of mix. So few days in the office and few days at home. Before the pandemic, of course. During the pandemic, we realized that it made no sense to go to the office. In some countries, it was impossible, as you perfectly know, like in Spain, and even in France, in the United States. So we started working remotely 100%. Thanks, of course, to the tools that the company provides, that is actually, that are actually the tools that Wildix is selling and developing. So our software and hardware to work remotely perfectly. And also, thanks to the mentality. So for us, it was challenging, because it’s a hard year, we can say, very stressful, very, you know, with bad feelings sometimes. But for us in Wildix, it wasn’t such a “Oh my God, how we can manage now the work, how we can work, how we can manage the job.” Because we were used to work remotely. Of course, the only sad thing for me, and for us now, is that we cannot travel in a relaxing way, we can say, for the moment. So we were used to travel a lot to meet, you know, the team in Barcelona, or in Odessa or in Italy. So we were used to meet physically, because this is very important. This is what we are missing a lot.

Shaheen Samavati 5:07
Like having the mix of being able to also meet in person some of the time, right?

Yeah, but fingers crossed, we are optimistic. So we have only to wait now. Some countries are starting again, are coming back again to traveling, some no. So we have to be patient; this year is like this. And so we can go on, but we are lucky, you know. So we are happy because we can go on working even if another lockdown should arrive. We hope no, but…

Yeah, so now a lot of companies are having to adapt to remote work. Do you have any tips from your experience with remote working over the past years?

Giulia Perotta 7:38
It’s… how can I say, it’s challenging. Not only if, as in my case, you’re managing a team of people. But also if you’re not managing a team, I think that working remotely, it’s sometimes hard and difficult. No matter what is your job role, you know, because there are some personal reasons, maybe you don’t have the proper space to work. You don’t have the proper privacy. I think that the worst, the biggest issue during the lockdown was that not only you had been locked down, but also your family, your dog, your children, your wife, your husband, or whatever your family is. So this was a little bit challenging. But in general, my suggestion is that if you’re working remotely like us in that moment, like the sales and the marketing team, you have to set up a to-do list for your days. So to avoid, you know, the fact to just get up early in the morning, sit down, and then you know, finish the work and then go on the sofa. So to avoid this, because it’s not too healthy, to set up a sort of to-do list. So how to work in the morning, or go, for example, I go running every morning, you know, to get some fresh air before starting. Or you can do some yoga or meditation or stuff like that.

Shaheen Samavati 9:16
So like being deliberate about working time into your schedule for doing other things besides sitting on your computer.

Giulia Perotta 9:23
Exactly. Yeah, the risk, you know, is that for example, I saw a lot of friends, a lot of my friends, that were not used to work from home, because they work for some old-style companies that want the employees from Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm at your desk. And they were super stressful, because they worked a lot and they didn’t know how to manage this work-life balance, that if you work remotely you have such a lot of positive aspects. So you don’t have to spend two hours in traffic, you don’t have to, you know, to organize everything in advance with dogs, cats, children, or whatever. So you can manage your time in a better way. But if you’re not used to do it, could be very stressful, because you can, there is the risk that you can work too much. Because you don’t have, you don’t know how to manage the pause, the breaks, because you don’t have colleagues that come to you and say, “Hey, let’s have a coffee,” because you’re all alone. So this is quite difficult sometimes, yes.

Shaheen Samavati 10:41
And well, from the perspective of a manager, I mean, how have you adapted to remote work in terms of collaborating with your team? And how is it different working remotely?

It’s different. So you have, as always, as I’m always saying, never stop learning. So I am studying how to, you know, how to manage remotely. Luckily, in Wildix, we are, we have a lot of, how can I say, training courses, for example, from a Kanban perspective, to understand how to manage different project, with different team. We have a lot of training to understand how to manage it. And nowadays, I’m still looking some LinkedIn Learning videos or tutorials, or following some podcasts or blogs, to understand what is the best way. Of course, it’s needed meeting strategy, because for the fact that you don’t have the possibility to say, “Hey, can I, can we have a coffee, I have to speak with you.” But you cannot even call a lot of time, you know, a person. So you have to have, in my opinion, a meeting strategy. And then also, it’s really important to understand how to make a sort of team building, because we are human, we are people. So it’s not only relative to business, and it’s not only relative to how to deliver a task, respecting the deadline, in my opinion. We are people, we have our feelings, our fear, our emotion. So I’m trying to studying and to understanding what is best way also to collaborate and to communicate with my colleagues, with my colleagues that actually, they are amazing. And it’s really challenging, but it’s very interesting. So I really suggest all people, professionals, to study, to read, to have some information, especially for United States when we’re remote working. It’s not a new thing. So I mean…

Yeah. And I know you have lots of awesome recommendations for us on like resources, which we’re going to get to in a little bit. But first, I wanted to ask you about, well, about your experience with LinkedIn, because your background, you have some extensive experience with LinkedIn writing. I’m curious, kind of, you know, how you’re using the tool now in your current role, but also your advice for other marketers on kind of how to get the most out of LinkedIn?

Yeah. Actually, yes, I am really a supporter of LinkedIn. Before my journey in Wildix, for three years, more or less, I’ve been a consultant and a coach about LinkedIn for B2B companies. Because I see that LinkedIn works, really. And LinkedIn is not paying me. So it’s like a honest suggestion, that I would like to share. Because, of course I’m a supporter of social media, based on my studies and on my job, and LinkedIn, for me, especially from a B2B, so business-to-business perspective, it’s really a powerful tool. And not only because it’s a database updated in real time, where you can find in three seconds, the director of a company that is based in Barcelona, that have between 11 and 50 employees, and that is in a food and beverage industry. You can find this list in three seconds. But not only for this, but also because in LinkedIn, I found a lot of very useful and interesting content that really adds value to my business. So you can build your network. You can strengthen your personal brands, that nowadays for me, it’s very important. You can also strengthen the brand awareness of the company. You can attract talent, you can find potential customers or partners, you can make a retention of this customer that you have. So in my mind it’s super, super important. And actually in Wildix I’m happy because my company loves also this social media as a tool to generate more business opportunities. So I am organizing both for internal, so for my colleagues, some internal trainings to understand how to use this tool, you know, to strengthen their personal brand. And on the other hand, I’m organizing some webinars for our partners globally, explaining how they can generate more business opportunities thanks to LinkedIn. So yes, I’m a fan, but basically, to make this long story short, because I see that it works. And I proved this in my personal experience, because when I arrived in Barcelona five years ago, I didn’t know anyone, because, of course, I am Italian. And I started building my professional network here only thanks to LinkedIn, for the tool. I mean, of course, there is my character, there is the content that is very important. But without LinkedIn, I couldn’t imagine how I could get in contact with some professionals, marketing professionals of Barcelona and of Spain. So it works.

Yeah, and do you have any secrets? Or like, what do you think is some aspect of LinkedIn that maybe people might not know about, or wouldn’t think to do, or a certain feature?

Giulia Perotta 16:57
Well, the first thing is that LinkedIn is not only to find a job. Because this is something that I’m hearing a lot of times, like, “Ah no, I’m not taking care of my profile, because I have a job.” Mistake. Very common mistake. It’s not only—of course, it’s also to find job opportunities, but not only. So you can find a lot of professionals, you can be your network, potential customer, potential partners, potential founders for your startup, potential journalist, etc, etc. And the second trick, the second suggestion is that there are two different field of LinkedIn. One is the corporate page. That is something relative to marketing teams, the content strategy from a marketing perspective. But then there is the personal profile and that is another story. And my suggestion is that, of course, it’s good to attend workshops or to ask some suggestions to some experts. But everyone should make his or her personal profile on LinkedIn. Be honest, be credible, and use it. Because if you’re not going to use LinkedIn results won’t come for sure.

Shaheen Samavati 18:22
I know, there’s like a few questions I’ve seen come up a lot in our Facebook group. One is about whether it really makes a difference if you include, you know, on LinkedIn, they say the best practices like don’t put the link in the in the post, you should put it in, in the comments.

Giulia Perotta 18:41
Yeah, you know, I think that those are tricks, but to to take advantage of the algorithm of LinkedIn–

Shaheen Samavati 18:53
Right, exactly, yeah.

Giulia Perotta 18:54
Yeah. But honestly, I really think and I’ve seen it in my life during my workshops, and also during other workshops, of course, that I attended as a participant, that LinkedIn loves high quality content. So we can add some little tricks like use a photo like this, like customize the URL of your profile. There are some tricks like put the link in the first comment instead of the post, put a ad of a video instead of the link of YouTube or Wistia, or whatever. But those are tricks. The fact is that LinkedIn, your connections, and in general, LinkedIn really loves high-quality content. So another time content is the king, as always. So my suggestion is to share inspiring content, not only promotional about the company where we are working, because it could be boring a little bit and in the future, it won’t work.

Shaheen Samavati 20:02
Yeah, absolutely. And then the other question I have about LinkedIn is where it’s best to share from? Because like, I know, we’ve personally like I’ve been working on building up my personal profile on LinkedIn and I’ve heard that, like, you get more engagement sharing from a personal profile than from, from a company profile. But it’s kind of like, what’s the balance of sharing from, you know, maybe your employees profiles versus sharing from from the company page? And how do you…? Should you share on the page first, and then share from there, or…?

Giulia Perotta 20:32
Okay, it’s difficult to answer in a couple of minutes to this question, but I will try. The fact is that there are two different strategies, totally. So of course, to get more followers to your corporate page, you have to have an editorial plan, a content plan, that could, should be aligned to other content plan, if you have a Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, website, blog, and whatever. So a content mix as we as we were speaking about. But of course, employees are, should be the first brand ambassadors, of course, on LinkedIn. So they should, I don’t like to say they have, but they should share company posts, or putting a like, or putting an emoji or a comment, or share, personalizing their posts, because, of course, a company page and personal profiles are totally connected. So employees should be really brand ambassadors, as I said, at the beginning, because they’re very inter, you know, depending on each other. So of course, there is no rule, like the balance between personal and company, I will say that in the corporate page, it’s good, of course, to share corporate content. So based on the policy, based on the content plan, and so on. On the personal one, it’s better to share, of course, the corporate content, but expressing your what do you think about? Why should I, I don’t know, why should I subscribe to those webinars? I mean, the corporate page can say we are very happy to invite you to join this webinar that will take place etc, etc. If I am going to share the same content is not ‘We are very happy to’ but like, ‘Hey, guys, I strongly recommend to subscribe to this webinars because I value etc, etc.’ This is something that is you know, a little bit different.

Shaheen Samavati 22:55
Absolutely, bringing your own like personal perspective to it and making it, like relating, with people, right?

Giulia Perotta 23:01
To do it is not easy, in my mind because you don’t have to say to your employees, “You have to put a like, you have to share content,” because it’s not “you have to.” The work to do these employer branding, we can say or brand ambassadors is to educate as you are educating your customers to your services and products, also to educate your employees or your freelancers or whatever, to share this content, and why this is value added. I mean, why does is adding value to their post. So this is something, you know, really this is the typical, typical challenge, ti’s very struggling, you know, sometimes.

Shaheen Samavati 23:53
Yeah, no, because it is something. it’s like your employees, it’s their personal profiles. So you can’t…it’s kind of a delicate issue of like, well, it has to be their decision to share it, right? You can’t force them to their personal profile for a company reason, but you also want to, like encourage it.

Giulia Perotta 24:10
Exactly. And yes—sorry to interrupt you is—so the label, so the board, so the director, the CEO, they have to be the first in sharing content, because, of course, employees, look, you know, are they’re responsible managers, directors or whatever. So, they have to be the first, and then you know, employees will follow the flow. And this is always a good idea. A customer is happy to buy a service or a product from a company where he or she sees that employees are happy. Talent, will send you the curriculum, because they see that all employees are happy and they say, “Okay, I want to join your company.” So it’s a win win strategy.

Shaheen Samavati 24:59
Yeah. Absolutely. So I want to go through the recommendations part of the interview. So, yes, I just wanted to ask you a few things. These are rapid-fire recommendations, we call it. So first I want to ask you where you get your inspiration? Any source of inspiration, like an influencer you follow or books that you have read that have really helped you in your career?

Giulia Perotta 25:23
Yeah, of course, I had a lot of influencers. For sure, my professors, some professors during my university. And then I recommend, yes, to follow… I’m following some influencers, both Italian and international. For example, in Italy, I really like and I find very inspiring Marco Montemagno. That is one influencer in a communication field, we can say. Of course, I strongly recommend to read the books of Seth Godin, for example, that I really like. I’m reading, actually the last book of Philip Kotler, that is one of my influencers, we can say, so I took and I’m taking a lot of inspiration from him. Philip Kotler now wrote a book with our Christian Sarkar, and the title is ‘Brand Activism: From Purpose to Action.’ And I’m reading it, so I cannot do some spoilers, but for the moment, it’s super inspiring, because I really, I strongly recommend it. And, of course, following blogs, following podcasts. So I’m trying to you know, also, thanks to LinkedIn, this is another very useful things, that are out of groups that are relative to my business and to my job role, and to my field. And so yes, I really recommend it. And last, but not least, I read a book a few months ago, and it was very interesting for me. The author’s name is Robert Poynton, and the book is, the title is “Do Pause: You are not a To Do list.” And it was really inspiring. It’s about the work-life balance, how to manage your time. So this is strictly written connected to the remote working, but not only, it’s in general, and it helped me a lot in managing my time, my seven days per week. And so I strongly recommend this book. It was really inspiring for me.

Shaheen Samavati 27:40
Excellent. That sounds like something I should read.

Giulia Perotta 27:44
Yeah, it’s super.

Shaheen Samavati 27:45
Yeah. Excellent. And well, and then would you have any recommendations for any, like professional groups or events?

Giulia Perotta 27:53
Well, events for the moment, let’s wait.

Shaheen Samavati 27:56
Not this year!

Giulia Perotta 27:58
Not this year. I know that there are—and I have participated in the past—to a lot of Web Summit, digital marketing summits in Madrid, in Lisbon, in Milan. There were until to 2019 a lot of marketing events, very interesting. Now let’s wait for the next year, hopefully—fingers crossed—to have some other interesting events. Of course, there are a lot of online events that could be very inspiring. For example, just yesterday, there was the Apple event in which they present a lot of new products, like the iPhone 12, and whatever. And I think that is very inspiring. And of course, I strongly recommend the TEDx speaker and TEDx events. There are a lot of them, the American one and then some local and regional ones. And so I think they’re going to make it organizing live. So I recommend it.

Shaheen Samavati 29:03
And then you also I mentioned earlier some like communities I guess that you’re following like the Social Selling Experts, Digital Marketing Worldwide… B2B…

Giulia Perotta 29:13
Yes, those are those are communities, are LinkedIn groups, where I suggest that you can ask to join—those are not secret groups—but just open. And Social Selling Experts, B2B Social Media for example is another group that I strongly recommend, or Digital Marketing Worldwide, B2B Technology Marketing Community. So here you can find a lot of—not all, not 100% percent—but 80% of useful content, inspiring content. You can see how other companies spread all over the world are managing some projects or campaigns or how they are treating some products or, yes, or services that they are offering and that they are providing. And so I always think that it’s super inspiring. And then, of course, to follow company pages, not only on LinkedIn, but also on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or whatever, of those companies that are inspiring you. So I think this is something a little bit personal, but I follow LinkedIn, also Microsoft, Apple, a lot of you know, companies, or Airbnb or TripAdvisor, to understand, you know, how they manage everything. It’s really inspiring.

Shaheen Samavati 30:47
Just an interesting the point about LinkedIn groups, because actually, I’m someone who’s always been, my primary social media has as long been Facebook.

Giulia Perotta 30:54
Okay. Good choice.

Shaheen Samavati 30:55
So I’ve always been big on that, and I use Facebook communities, and I actually have a community for The Content Mix. That was kind of the the Facebook community existed before anything else, the blog or anything.

Giulia Perotta 31:07
Of course.

Shaheen Samavati 31:08
Yeah, so things kind of grew from that. But like LinkedIn communities is something that I’ve like, never gotten into. And I always felt like people weren’t…didn’t engage as much. But I don’t know if maybe that’s changing?

Giulia Perotta 31:18
It’s different from Facebook, you’re totally right. For example, also, in Wildix, we have a community on Facebook for our partners, there are like 2500 members, and it’s really, the engagement is higher than in the LinkedIn community—you’re right. It’s something different, maybe because people are not used to using it, maybe because they don’t understand exactly how, when and if they can answer or share. On Facebook, it’s something more, it’s easier sometimes, you know. So I totally agree with you. It’s difficult to to build for the moment, a community on LinkedIn, in Europe, because in the United States is something really normal.

Shaheen Samavati 32:05
Yeah, I see. But yeah, definitely attitudes in the way people are like, engaging with LinkedIn is definitely evolving. It’s getting more like Facebook, I would say. It used to be…

Giulia Perotta 32:14
It’s different, you know, because you use Facebook also for your personal proposes. I mean….

Shaheen Samavati 32:20
Exactly. There’s this kind of perspective that in a Facebook community, you’re kind of it’s private. Like you’re talking with…I don’t know, people like on this personal level. Whereas on LinkedIn, it’s more professional, I guess.

Giulia Perotta 32:30
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Shaheen Samavati 32:34
But anyway, well, I guess we can well, if you had any other final recommendations?

Giulia Perotta 32:39
Oh, no, no, no. And sorry If I spoke too much!

Shaheen Samavati 32:44
No, no! It was great. And but yeah, maybe if you want to end with any, like final parting advice for other European marketers?

Giulia Perotta 32:53
Yeah. What should I say? Never give up! We are in a very challenging year, we are living a very challenging moment, especially for us as marketers, because market is changing, the world is changing, people are changing. So my suggestion is always to go on learning, even if you are, if you think you are in the best place of the world, where you are the marketing director of Apple—but never stop learning. Because we have to learn every time, because the market is still changing. And so this is my message and this is what I strongly believe for myself. So reading, discovering, asking, investigating and learning, in my mind, are the best thing to do.

Shaheen Samavati 33:47
Totally agree. That’s a great point to end on. So, thank you, Giulia, so much for joining us.

Giulia Perotta 33:54
Thank you, Shaheen. It was a pleasure for me. Bye! Take care.

Shaheen Samavati 33:59
All right, and thanks, everybody for listening in. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out and keep tuning in for daily interviews with content marketers across Europe. So we’ll see you next time. Bye, Giulia!

Giulia Perotta 34:11
Bye! Take care!

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