Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Rocío Arrarte, senior marketing manager at Diligent:

Carlota Pico 0:14
Hi everyone, I’m Carlota Pico from The Content Mix, and I’m excited to be here today with Rocío Arrarte, who is Diligent’s senior marketing manager for the EMEA region, and has over five years of experience in marketing and communications. Rocío, welcome, and thank you so much for joining us on The Content Mix.

Rocío Arrarte 0:34
Hi Carlota, it’s nice to meet you and see you.

Carlota Pico 0:38
Awesome. Rocío, to get the interview started, I’d like to learn a little bit about your background and how you got into your current role.

Rocío Arrarte 0:47
Yeah, so my background is quite a different one, I would say. I actually studied in Spain translation, and I did a master’s on interpreting, like conference interpreting. My goal and my dream was actually to be a conference interpreter for the EU. But a personal situation got me to the UK, here I’m in London now. And it was really hard to actually build my network again for being an interpreter and translator here. So I decided to join a company, Fisher Investments actually, which was looking for a person who knew culture and languages for Spain and France. And those were two of the countries I had lived in, and the languages I spoke, and they actually trained me on marketing. So that’s how my career in marketing started. And from there, I actually did some training. I did a Google Squared training, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it; it’s a digital course from Google, which is actually really good. And I gained all my experience, and now I have spent over five years doing marketing. So I’m really excited, I really like marketing. I don’t think I’m gonna go back for translation, at least for now, so yeah, that’s my background.

Carlota Pico 1:57
Excellent. Well, thank you for sharing that with us. Could you tell us a little bit about the company that you currently work at? It’s called Diligent—what’s Diligent all about?

Rocío Arrarte 2:05
Yeah, so Diligent is a company which is based in America. It started in Australia, actually, but now the whole executive team is in America. And all we do is we provide solutions for the boards, the executive teams and the compliance teams. And we also have a very solid base, which is to help them with thought leadership content, which I thought it was quite interesting that you reached out to me from The Content Mix, actually.

Carlota Pico 2:33
Okay, well, thank you. We will be speaking about your experience, obviously, at Diligent. But I also want to focus on your experience at Fisher Investments that you mentioned in your previous answer. You were part of their international marketing team, and taking that into consideration along with your current role as EMEA marketing expert, what makes marketing in Europe particularly challenging or different from marketing elsewhere?

Rocío Arrarte 3:03
I think basically, when you work in Europe, you need to understand all the different cultures, all the different countries, and it’s in such a small region, compared to the US, for example. We have so many different varieties and things that we need to understand about Europe. There’s different languages, there’s different types of communities, different personas that we target in every country. So for example, in Diligent, as I mentioned, we work with boards. So it’s not the same way that we talk to boards in Spain, where they are barely digital, now they have to become digital, but they are barely digital, and that’s our main goal, to digitalize boards, in Diligent. But in the Netherlands, for example, they are purely digital, they are more concerned about the environment, they have a different system for boards. So in every single company you need to know that, you need to know who your target audience is and what the differences are about those regions, not only the language, just what the different personas are in each region.

Carlota Pico 4:02
Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. The world has actually added another level or another challenge to the plate of every company, which is coronavirus, COVID-19. And I do want to focus on marketing when it comes to coronavirus, and how you’re tackling that situation, because from our conversation while we were off the record, you mentioned that now you’re on maternity leave and that’s actually, the baby noises that we’re hearing in the background is your son. So congratulations on that.

Rocío Arrarte 4:37
Thank you very much, and apologies for the noise.

Carlota Pico 4:39
It’s lovely. He’s a very, very cute baby. I was able to see him while we were off the record, for our audience seeing us now. I know that you went on maternity leave right before the major coronavirus outbreak. But before going on maternity leave you had left your marketing strategy in place for the person who was going to be replacing you during these months, and then all of a sudden coronavirus, and you’ve had to redo your entire strategy and adjust your strategy towards current times. So talk to me a little bit about that, how coronavirus impacted your marketing strategy.

Rocío Arrarte 5:17
Yeah. It has been quite interesting. Because so yes, as you said, I went on maternity leave mid-February. So just before it actually was a big deal, coronavirus. And I had planned all this strategy for all the content plan for the whole year. I had all the keyword research done, I had all the topics, all the writers that were going to do all our content, and all of a sudden it just stopped. Like all my plan has gone to none. And he has had to build, my actually replacement had to build a new one. So it has been quite interesting, like Diligent, as I said, is all about digitizing the boards and the executive teams in a secure way. So this is quite handy for us. This is what we have been talking about. But we were of course, also talking about diversity. We were also talking about security, we were talking about many different topics. While now we have focus, like the focus right now is on virtual meetings and security on the meetings, because we know there has been a lot of like outbreaks and cyber attacks on different companies and digital meetings. And of course the topics and things they discuss in boards are very, they have to be protected and they are not content that should be shared. So of course, all boards need to know that there are secure materials to protect them.

Carlota Pico 6:36
Absolutely. I mean, most information that’s shared in the boardroom at the executive level is quite sensitive and it has to be protected. I do want to focus a little bit more on what your marketing strategy looked like before coronavirus, and what it looks like now during coronavirus.

Rocío Arrarte 6:54
Before coronavirus, as I said, we had like a topic every two months that we were going to discuss globally. Of course, as I said, we had different personas for each topic, and different ways of talking about it. As I said, first two months, it was about diversity in the boards and the executive team. There was, further into the year there were others which were about compensation in the executive team. Others were about cybersecurity and how to deal with confidentiality in the boards, etc, etc. So we were all talking, like the different markets were talking about those topics. So we had a global content marketing strategy, this time for the first time, because all the other years we all had different strategies all over the world. But this core plan that we had built has had to be built from scratch, and now all their materials are coming again from like, the US, more centralized, but we are all localizing all our plans in order to talk about COVID, and how to deal from the board with COVID, and what has it changed? And how to deal with virtual meetings in the community of boards, etc.

Carlota Pico 8:08
You also lead webinars at Diligent, is that correct? Are you localizing the webinars, or is your approach more global? And how do you tackle that?

Rocío Arrarte 8:19
Yeah, so webinars, it depends on the region. But before COVID, we did mainly events, for example, in Europe, because we thought those were more interesting, and it was a better way to build partnerships with executive teams. But now we have shifted to webinars and how we’re doing it is just the same way that we were doing events basically. We actually take a topic and we localize it for each region. Of course we have in Diligent, we have experts and thought leadership experts that talk about many different topics and some of those only speak English. So if that’s the case, they will do their webinar in English and then we will have a person or a client which will localize it that way, if that makes sense.

Carlota Pico 9:01
Yeah, no, definitely. I understand that localization is a key component in your strategy. And I’m part of VeraContent, which is a content creation and localization company, as I mentioned at the beginning of our interview while we were off the record. And that’s one of the biggest challenges that brands face every day, is how to communicate with their audiences according to market cultures and personalities. And it’s awesome to hear from a marketing professional who is constantly doing that in their day-to-day and really making sure that they’re communicating correctly to their audience… according to what the company wants, right? On that same line, that brings me into my next subject. When it comes to content, the CEO of HubSpot said the following: “What separates good content from great content is a willingness to take risks and push the envelope.” Taking it to a marketing level, what do you think separates good marketing from great marketing?

Rocío Arrarte 10:07
Yeah, I think that is a very interesting question, actually. I think great marketing is when you actually talk to your personas, I think that is a key. If you actually know your market, know your audience, and then you have all the content and all the strategy built on them, that is great marketing. I mean, nowadays, we have a lot of data, we have a lot of information on who our audience are and what they’re doing, what they’re looking for, which keywords they’re searching, which articles they’re reading, where are they reading them? So using all that data, I think it’s key to have a great strategy. I mean, I don’t like when all of the time I have information I don’t want to read and I have it on my phone, right? So I think the of same way, for an executive team in this case, which is the audience I target. I even think it has to be more relevant even, because they have limited time and limited resources. So what they want to see has to be really enticing for them, I believe.

Carlota Pico 10:57
Rocío, it’ike you’re reading my mind You’re leading me right into the next question…

Rocío Arrarte 11:02

Carlota Pico 11:02
…which is about the audience and the executives, you’re always talking to executives within the corporate world. So since Diligent’s customers are corporate leaders from around the world who tend to have very little free time on their hands, how are you creating relationships with your clients according to the particularities of that audience?

Rocío Arrarte 11:27
Yeah, I think, as I was saying, before we were all about partnerships. And we actually create those partnerships all over Europe with key organizations or associations that talk to these executives. Basically, because Diligent is not a very well-known brand in Europe, so we want to sign key partnerships that will help us build that brand. So normally, we were doing a lot of events, like we normally would do it in the mornings, that normally executives are not yet busy in meetings, and if they have booked some time, they will be able to actually attend the events that we actually create. And then we will do a lot of information that is thought leadership information that they are interested in, and is useful for them. We don’t normally base our relationship at first on selling our products, we really want to educate them and help them be a better professional. And then from there, if they are interested in our solutions, then great. If they are not they can continue reading our content and attending our events and building their network through us. And that’s how we have been doing it, like that’s one of our main key marketing strategies.

Carlota Pico 12:36
Okay so it’s much more of a nurturing type of marketing strategy, you’re taking care of your potential client by offering them material and activity that will be useful for their everyday job.

Rocío Arrarte 12:51
Certainly, like what we want is that they know us from being a thought leadership brand more than a solution brand, because we think that there’s not that many providers of good content and information to them. And it’s very hard to find that information for them. And most of them won’t even do it, won’t even get educated because they don’t have the time to. So if you offer it to them right in their hands, I think they will take it very easily and very happily.

Carlota Pico 13:16
Yeah, I definitely agree. My background is actually in public relations. And I used to work with government leaders and CEOs of some of the biggest brands, helping them to develop communication campaigns overseas. And time was always limited. So it was really about offering them a solution that covered all of their different needs, and that was quick and efficient and provided results.

Rocío Arrarte 13:40

Carlota Pico 13:40
So I couldn’t agree more. I would like to put some of the theory that we’re always reading online into practice through an example led by yourself. I’d like to ask you about a marketing project that you’re particularly proud of, its results, and how you made that happen, and the purpose behind that project itself.

Rocío Arrarte 14:01
So one of the main projects that I’m really happy about doing in Diligent… Well, I have to say that when I arrived to Diligent, the marketing was nonexistent. So I had to build the website and everything, and all the partnerships. So that was a lot of work. But the main project I’m really proud of is one that we have launched this year, actually right when I went on maternity leave, which I’m really sad about, but I’m still following the project. We are part, with ESADE and PwC, of this corporate governance center that we have created and develope, and Georgeson as well. And the idea is to build a community of directors that will help them learn through courses that PwC and ESADE are building, and we’re offering webinars, we’re offering them as well some events, and we have created this partnership. It had been quite hard and very challenging to be able to have the attention of those brands, which are huge brands in Spain, as you know. But I’m really happy that at some point they heard my voice and they realized that what we were creating in Diligent was actually useful for directors. And they are starting believing in that, and that’s why they came to us when they wanted to build a governance center.

Carlota Pico 15:13
That’s so interesting, well congratulations on that, it sounds outstanding. I’ll have to read more on that after our interview as well. I would love to…

Rocío Arrarte 15:23
Sure, I’ll send you the link if you want so you can take a sneak peek.

Carlota Pico 15:27
Please, very interesting. And to finish off this section before we move into the next part of our interview, which will be a set of rapid-fire questions, I do want to ask for your advice. What advice would you give to recent graduates who would like to pursue a career in marketing and communications?

Rocío Arrarte 15:47
I would say just go for it. I mean, I think, as I said I don’t have a background on marketing and I was able to have a good career. And I think it’s just about being creative, being imaginative and just working quite hard. I think you have to be always on the trends, right? Like knowing what are the latest trends and how to build your strategy on those. But I think if you have a dream, just go for it. I think that’s the best way: hard work and continue believing in your dream.

Carlota Pico 16:19
I think baby Daniel agrees with his mommy.

Rocío Arrarte 16:23
Yeah, sorry about that!

Carlota Pico 16:28
How cute. Okay, well we are moving into the rapid-fire questions. The first question within this section will be a lesser-known app or tool that you can’t live without or that you can’t work without.

Rocío Arrarte 16:40
So Diligent is basing all of their decisions on data. So one tool that I do spend a lot of time on when I’m actually working is Domo. It’s a visualization tool for data. I don’t know if you’re aware of it or familiar with it. But yeah, it really helps to create a graph and build your decisions very easily because it’s very visual. So it’s very easy to make decisions that are based on data from a tool like that.

Carlota Pico 17:08
Excellent. Thank you for sharing that information with us. What about a marketing influencer in Europe that you follow, that inspires you, that you admire?

Rocío Arrarte 17:18
Yeah, I’m not sure if it would count as a marketing influencer, but she’s definitely an influencer. I don’t know. It’s Ana Botín, the CEO from Banco Santander. She recently launched her Twitter and Instagram account, and she’s quite vocal and active on them now. And it’s herself actually who writes them, which is actually quite interesting. I think what she’s doing with promoting women, equality and creating a good ESG environment, and everything that she’s putting on social media is actually really interesting. So if you haven’t actually followed her yet on Instagram, I would suggest you do it because she’s doing great work, and actually showing a lot of what Banco Santander is doing all over the world.

Carlota Pico 18:02
Definitely, I couldn’t agree more. I actually follow Ana Botín well. I guess that has a lot to do with our backgrounds. We’re both from Spain and from Madrid as well, which is where Ana Botín is currently located.

Rocío Arrarte 18:15
Well I’m actually from Santander, I was born in Santander. So even more reason for it, yeah.

Carlota Pico 18:20
Oh, I thought you were from Madrid! Okay. Well Santander bank is originally from Santander, and Ana Botín is currently located in Madrid. I’m also one of her followers definitely. And I agree that she is a fountain of inspiration, especially for us women, and also for female entrepreneurs. She’s constantly pushing out excellent tips and advice in all different types of subjects and topics. Okay, what about a valuable European industry group, association, or event? It does not have to be in person, it could be a digital event as well, especially during coronavirus times.

Rocío Arrarte 19:01
Yeah. As I said, this year I’m actually out of the loop on those. But I do find the association for marketing here in the UK, based in London, has a lot of like courses and I have done a few of them. Last year I did one about SEO, and they have a lot of networking events as well that you can pay for. And if you’re a part of it, then it’s cheaper as usual. And then if not, then you can join for a bigger fee. But yes, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but it’s actually a very good source of courses and information, and yeah, a good network place.

Carlota Pico 19:43
Well Rocío, thank you so much for sharing this with us. You’ve provided great insights and advice, and it was amazing to have you on Thank you once again.

Rocío Arrarte 19:56
Thank you for actually wanting to talk to me, and dealing with my baby noises. And thank you for your time as well, Carlota.

Carlota Pico 20:04
It was a privilege. And best of luck with your future endeavors. I look forward to following you across the different social networks. And best of luck with maternity leave as well, but a amazing journey ahead of you.

Rocío Arrarte 20:19
Yeah, thank you very much. Good luck with The Content Mix.

Carlota Pico 20:24
And to everybody listening in today, thank you so much for joining us. For more perspectives on the marketing and communications industry in Europe, check out We’ll be releasing interviews like this one every week, so stay tuned. And see you next time! Bye.

Rocío Arrarte 20:45

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