Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Jérôme Logie, EMEA marketing manager at Pall Water, on marketing for the water industry:

Carlota Pico 0:13
Hi everyone, and welcome back to The Content Mix. I’m Carlota Pico, your host for today’s show, and I’m excited to introduce Jérôme Logie, who is EMEA Marketing Manager at Pall Water and has over eight years of experience in marketing, and communications. Welcome, Jérôme, and thank you so much for joining us today on The Content Mix.

Jérôme Logie 0:37
Yes, hello, Carlota. And hello, all. Very pleased to to be to be part of this interview today. So thank you for that, Carlota.

Carlota Pico 0:45
Well, thank you for joining us. Okay, Jérôme, so tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get into marketing for the water industry?

Jérôme Logie 0:52
Well, I would say that it was not really by accident, but more by passion. So I fell into water treatment… I fell into water treatment 20 years ago, actually, starting with an application engineer job, and just evolving from there.

Carlota Pico 1:09
Okay, excellent. And what’s it been like so far working for a water treatment company? Because it’s quite a particular industry, right?

Jérôme Logie 1:17
Well, particular, I don’t know whether this is the best word to describe that. Complicated, for sure. But, actually, what can I say, it’s exciting, to take one single world, meaning that, well, there’s always something new to learn, something new to educate people about, and to sell to people also by the end.

Carlota Pico 1:46
Right, from a marketing point of view, what makes the industry so complicated?

Jérôme Logie 1:53
Well, I would say that, in most of the the markets, actually, you do have kind of maturity. When I’m saying that, it means that people are used to use the good old ways to deal with water treatment. And so it’s actually challenging to to bring innovation also within this market space.

Carlota Pico 2:18
Yeah, definitely, I can see how that can be a challenge. So what is Pall Water doing in order to innovate in this space?

Jérôme Logie 2:25
So, first of all, Pall Water is known for…its a water filtration for a lot of decades, I would say at least 20 years, as a standalone company. That been said, we do have in-house R&D, first of all, and in terms of in terms of marketing, obviously, there is a path forward to bring those new products onto the market. So going first, with Return on Experience, and, obviously bringing this new value proposition to our end users, our customers.

Carlota Pico 3:09
Okay, I want to take a step back and look at your career as a whole. Could you walk me through some of the most memorable marketing experiences that have shaped you as a professional?

Jérôme Logie 3:21
Yeah, well, I would say that I started my career as a technical person and then moved to the sales role. And I’ve been given actually the the opportunity to work into marketing given also this technical background. So, meaning that having this technical varnish has been definitely key to progress towards marketing. And, that helped me a lot also to make the bridge between actually R&D and sales, which is the central role of a marketing person within the water treatment. I would say that the key step has been the need for the redefinition of a strategy for profitable growth within the company I was I was part of at the time. So mixing the experience from the R&D people and the reality of of sales has been the challenge which has been given to me. And actually, that’s how I stepped into marketing by default, I would say, and the rest was through also education, and I have been actually lucky since the company or the group I was part of at that time, was having an excellent—how can I say?—learning cycle or let’s say internal university to go through the different steps of becoming a marketer.

Carlota Pico 5:17
Okay, so you started off in sales? And just for our audience, FYI, who were your customers, when you started off in that sales position? Or who are the customers, the natural customers, of a wastewater treatment company?

Jérôme Logie 5:31
Well, actually, we’re both in water and wastewater, but for the company, it was the companies—sorry—I was working for. Well, this is basically all the scope of, sorry, of industries, meaning from dairies to nuclear power plants. Because we were delivering solutions, which were applicable to all kinds of industries in terms of filtration, in terms of clarification, and at that time, in my former company, say everything relating to water treatment chemicals. So it’s a b2b environment. Definitely. So yeah, that’s about it.

Carlota Pico 6:18
Okay. Okay. Very interesting. So then moving into your role as a marketing manager now, could you talk to me a little bit about how you attract an audience to your social channels, although you’re a b2b water treatment company? How does that work?

Jérôme Logie 6:38
Well, content is the key. I would say that, you can have an account based marketing, which will be rather linked to your historical sales. So you try to attract, or to re-attract your existing customers. But if you want to attract some new ones, some prospects and so on, well content is the key. You have to define what is your potential customer, customers needs, or pains, and drag their attention on how you can solve them. So basically, give them return on experience. Give them also some ideas of the savings that they will be able to achieve. So it’s not necessarily saying “Well, we’re the best water treatment company in the world!” No, you have to prove it first. So that’s, that’s that the way it goes.

Carlota Pico 7:37
Okay, and what about being on social media? I mean, you’re a b2b company. So why would a b2b company within the water industry want to have a presence on social channels?

Jérôme Logie 7:47
Well, even though most of the segments we are targeting are mature, well, you have a new generation of customers, or contacts, which is coming. So meaning those, those people are definitely millennials. So for their research of new solutions, or how to solve their issues, well they are going first online. And so, online presence is not only through a website, or through recommendations or reference list, but also on the those social medias. I mean, there are, for example, on LinkedIn, you do have a lot of different groups, which are specific to an industry—can be belt and paper, can be the chemical industry, and so if you want to be visible, well, you have to be part of those groups. You want to be one of the happy few companies who are seen as being experts in each domain.

Carlota Pico 8:57
Okay, very interesting. Do you have any like golden rules in terms of engaging with groups on LinkedIn?

Jérôme Logie 9:05
Yes, again, we don’t want to make a pure advertisement, we don’t want to say annoy potential prospects/customers. We actually want to bring them to know—how can I say?—the specifications of or equipments, but through let’s say an explanation on how we did to solve similar issues for companies which are comparable to theirs. As an example, well, if you sell some filter cartridges, when nothing is more, let’s say looking like another cartridges, then that’s a cartridge. Okay, so it means that it will look exactly the same from the outside. But when you are able to show that your cartridge will have to be replaced only once per year, instead of once per six months, well, then you are bringing value also to your customers. So it’s showing the value proposition, definitely. Not only the price of the product, because you will never be the lowest bidder, but overall, working on the on the total cost of ownership is actually a key and the way forward to engage our customers and social media is definitely a good way—probably the best way—actually to engage customers.

Carlota Pico 10:46
Creating compelling content requires a lot of time with a lot of marketing managers just don’t have. So do you have any like tricks or tips in terms of repurposing content?

Jérôme Logie 10:58
Well, there’s—there’s a saying, there was a saying—in my former company, which was if only we knew what we know. So meaning that there’s a lot of knowledge within the company, a lot of reports, a lot of white papers, which has been written maybe sometimes years ago, but they haven’t been leveraged on. So going to, going through the assessment of all those, let’s say educational papers, or return on experience, etc, is taking a hell of a time for a marketer to put content together. So, I mean, it’s not necessary to create content every time you want to communicate on social media. You can maybe, let’s say reframe it, you can make it a little bit prettier or up to date. But still something which happened five or even 10 years ago, can be still very, let’s say accurate for for the problems, or the issues your potential customers would meet right now.

Carlota Pico 12:26
Okay, let’s put some of this theory into practice, Jérôme. Could you zoom into some of your favorite content projects? And the purpose? How you made that happen? What the content looked like?

Jérôme Logie 12:42
Well, still on social media, right?

Carlota Pico 12:45
Wherever you want.

Jérôme Logie 12:46
Okay, well, I would say that talking about our new products on mobile water treatment was actually kind of difficult because we were talking to a lot of different industries, a lot of different…with a lot of different needs, actually. So to put that into a short video, with all the compelling arguments was kind of a challenge. So instead of trying to go and list with bullet points all the arguments we’re talking about, well, we’ve made our people talking and so meaning an application engineer, dealing on a daily basis with with customers on different sites, etc, would be the best person actually to describe what are the most appealing arguments. And so that’s what we did. So in one and a half minutes or so, he has been able to explain properly, how the system is working, what kind of issues it is solving. And to bring it, let’s say to a more appealing format, we used as an example at the help of drone footages, you know, so because our system is in a container, so not really appealing from the outside. But when you put that into the context of a water treatment plant, and go up to the sky with with the drone, well, it actually showed some kind of modality and actually put the system into its environments. So it’s very important because then your potential customers would be able also to identify themselves. So meaning, okay, so now I can see where I could put potentially this container on my site.

Carlota Pico 15:03
Okay, that’s a very interesting example. So I’m going to ask you to put your sales hat on for a second. How do you attract those customers to your company? Because I understand that they’re governments, right?

Jérôme Logie 15:16
Well, governments or industrial and then that’s clear. And it goes through different different approaches. Well, these days, obviously, there are a lot of challenges linked to, to COVID, and so on. So it’s actually indeed, challenging. In Europe, we do have also something which is difficult to handle called GDPR. So I think this content, it’s out and distributed to potential customers and contacts, it’s kind of difficult. So social medias are one of the ways to address that. It can be sponsored content, also sponsoring of newsletter for particular industries, i.e. Pulp and Paper Magazine and so on. I’m not a strong believer on hard copies. But in terms of digital advertisements, well, we saw quite attraction also. So being on those very specific publications helps us to draw content and audience. So and obviously engagement, because when you do have someone clicking on your banner, then you do have a first opt in that you need to confirm, obviously, under the GDPR, but it’s a step forward. And, and we’ve seen that pretty obviously in the last month at Pall Water.

Carlota Pico 17:01
Okay, very interesting. My background is actually in government relations. So PR for government. And the way that I used to reach out to governments was actually manually. I would set up an appointment with a minister with a government or something like that. Do you do any manual outreach as well?

Jérôme Logie 17:18
Well, absolutely, but we do have a salesforce for that, and or, I would say our goal, or, our duty—sorry—for in terms of marketing here is to put together actually the list of contacts, contact details and so on, and help the sales people to prepare for those appointments with with officials, in particular.

Carlota Pico 17:47
But what about like events or trade fairs? Are you also engaging in those type of marketing strategies?

Jérôme Logie 17:53
Yes, we are, we are, but we are becoming also a lot more selective than in the past. Because well, for a salesperson, an event or trade show would always be seen as as a great opportunity—how can I say?—to foster existing contacts, not necessarily to generate leads. And that’s what we we saw also in the last two years, and so on. So the level of engagement of new customers/prospects is low when you go to big trade shows like IFAT in Germany, or Polytec in France. You have to be there somehow to show yourselves but more and more companies are just stopping going there because they don’t see the return on investment. So we are now shifting or so more and more resources that we put on, or we used to put on, regional trade shows towards this digital digital content, which is easier to handle, which is also bringing far more leads than those physical events.

Carlota Pico 19:21
Okay, so Jérôme, you mentioned COVID-19. It’s a word that we all hate. It’s disrupted all industries. Could you talk to me about how it’s disrupted your marketing plans?

Jérôme Logie 19:33
Well, as I said, we are still taking part to some trade shows. But I would say that most of them have been canceled this year. So all the leads that we were expecting, well are not coming through this channel. We engaged also ourselves into webinars, we were not used to do so before. So that’s something totally new for us. And also engaging a lot of resources to create content. So engaging also third parties throughout this and organizing this is another challenge. But actually content generation is here. It’s a far more resource consuming than just putting together a new brochure or something like this, you know, so and you have also to engage some other people than the marketing team, from your company. So that’s also a challenge because you have to have their buy in and actually getting them ready to talk in front of an audience, which is not always something easy.

Carlota Pico 20:57
Okay, Jérôme, could you talk to me a little bit about how you’ve had to adapt your language in order to empathize better with your audience during COVID times?

Jérôme Logie 21:06
When I would say that the key to that is actually to be very specific, in terms of the audience that you are targeting. First, when you are when you are talking to a broad audience, well, you will be only vague and not necessarily straight to the point and you will lose this audience. So when we were putting together webinars, we have been very specific also in terms of topics to be covered. So can be PFS removal in wastewater, as an example. Or it’s a dissemination plans, pretreatment etc. So very, very specific, in order to have a very focused and targeted audience—easier to manage. And you can also foresee what would be their questions, etc. So, we, just as a result, when you look at the webinar statistics, well, we didn’t lose a lot of people throughout the webinars, you know, sometimes when you do have a too broad audience, you will lose up to 40% of your audience pretty quickly—within five minutes—because they’re just not interested. Here, we were below 10 persons. So meaning that actually, the topic was straight to the point. And you have in this case, also to be, not to do an infomercial, you know, just answering how to solve an issue, not putting yourself in pole position, or putting your, your company just stating that, okay, we are an option for you to solve this issue. It’s raising awareness somehow. And that’s really the key challenge of those days is to keep awareness level very high. And also to improve your visibility. So you have to be very selective, again, on the verticals on the market segments that you want to target.

Carlota Pico 23:28
For your industry, what’s the ideal length of a webinar?

Jérôme Logie 23:33
Oh, 20 minutes—maximum. I would say even 15. But it has to be very dynamic. Not necessarily having just a kind of ping pong game with the with the speaker, you know. It’s just just going straight to the point. And the most important part is actually on the Q&A session. So it’s engaging the audience to a very dynamic Q&A session. So it’s really the key, the key part. And this Q&A shouldn’t last more than 10 minutes. So all in all, you know, 25/30 minutes, max.

Carlota Pico 24:13
Okay. Well, we are at the end of this first section of our interview, but before we wrap up, Jérôme, if you could do anything in this world, would it still be marketing for a water treatment company?

Jérôme Logie 24:27
Yes, I would say that would be that would be definitely it on an international level, because I just love discovering new cultures and new ways to do business. Otherwise, it would be something like a bar in Bora Bora. You know, but that’s not marketing.

Carlota Pico 24:44
I like the way you think. Okay, Jérôme, moving into a rapid-fire set of questions, so basically, your recommendations for audience. To get this section started off, I’d like to ask you about your source of inspiration. So who do you admire—perhaps a professional role model or an influencer?

Jérôme Logie 25:01
Well, I’ve been lucky to have a mentor within my previous company who accompanied me for seven years, and that was the VP of the water division. So he’s definitely a source of inspiration, because he was leading the team, let’s say with an iron fist in a velvet hand glove, you know, as we say in in French. Otherwise, there are a few people who are influencing on social medias like LinkedIn. And you do have one person called Walid Khoury, former executive within the HACH company, so a lot of influence this person because it’s basically asking questions on a daily basis, so I recommend you to go on his LinkedIn page. Yeah, that would be my influence.

Carlota Pico 26:06
Okay, what about a resource that you’d like to recommend so for example, a book a publication, an event, a community that you find to be particularly valuable?

Jérôme Logie 26:19
There’s a LinkedIn group, which is very…can I say, very active? So it’s The Water Network. So a lot of of good things are happening there, even though there’s also a lot of disturbance with people just coming to try to sell their their products. So you have to be cautious and selective on the on the post you’re looking. On the on the other hand, there are a few…can I say sites or websites, which are very good for getting to know your markets for the water environment. I’m thinking about global water data or global water intelligence in particular. I mean, they are definitely good at giving trends. And all in all, everything relating to economics, you will always find something relating to water there. There are always mergers and acquisitions going on, and, and so on. And you have to keep yourself so very well informed, up to date, and spend five minutes per day just looking at the news sections on on Google or Yahoo or whatever. It’s always inspiring also to better understand the world we are in.

Carlota Pico 27:44
I definitely agree. Okay, what about your favorite app or tool at the moment?

Jérôme Logie 27:50
Oh, yeah. That’s a good question. Well, in terms of an app, well I’m still a fan of WhatsApp, to be frank. We are using it more and more on the professional level. So putting groups together within our organization, which is a matrix one. So we can be very specific and create groups and so you do have a kind of instantaneous interaction. So…

Carlota Pico 28:29
Okay, Jerome, and to wrap this interview up, I’d like to give you the opportunity to offer our audience a thirty second elevator pitch about Pall Water, the company that you work for?

Jérôme Logie 28:40
Okay, well, thank you. Well, Pall Water is part of the Danaher Group, which is a multinational group, both in life science, and also in filtration in general. So Pall Water specifically is offering water filtration technologies. So going from let’s say, the filtration of air, let’s say to viruses, so, very broad range of products, which can be applied from the food and beverage industry, towards the micro electronics where infrastructure water is needed. So we do have consumable products, but we have also engineered solutions, like standard equipment, and even the mobile fleet of water treatment equipment, which can be sent all across the globe to solve temporary issue like, let’s say, remediation of pollution or even, let’s say replacements of existing treatment while they are just maintained. So that’s basically what we are doing—filtration.

Carlota Pico 30:00
Very interesting. Okay, well, Jérôme, thank you so much for joining us on The Content Mix. It was awesome to meet you and to learn about your experience in the water treatment industry as well.

Jérôme Logie 30:10
Thank you Carlota. Thank you all for listening and watching.

Carlota Pico 30:15
And thank you everybody for joining us on The Content Mix. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out The Content Mix. We’ll be releasing interviews just like this one every week, so keep on tuning in. Thanks again, have a fabulous day and I’ll see you next time. Bye!

Jérôme Logie 30:34

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