Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Tiffanie Sobczak, who is EMEA marketing manager at Aegis Software:

Carlota Pico 0:12
Hi, everyone, I’m Carlota Pico from The Content Mix. And I’m excited to be here today with Tiffanie Sobczak, who is EMEA marketing manager at Aegis Software and has over 10 years of experience in marketing and communications. Welcome, Tiffanie, and thank you so much for joining us today on The Content Mix.

Tiffanie Sobczak 0:32
Thanks for having me.

Carlota Pico 0:34
The pleasure is ours. Tiffanie, I’d like to learn a little bit about your background. From my research, you just started at Aegis Software around six months ago now. What led you to where you are today?

Tiffanie Sobczak 0:45
Well, I’ve always liked marketing. From the business school I started, it was clear and I’ve happened to always work with some tech companies and B2B tech actually. Starting in France in simulation software for electromagnetics, so it means, yeah always complicated but it’s kind of my thing, you know… To have engineers who design like a mobile phone so that the electronics works well together in this really small piece. It was my first experience with tech marketing. International was always clear as well because well, I studied abroad, we are in Europe and I really love this intercultural, get to know other cultures, other people, I met my German husband there, so it was of course a good start in international. So after France in this simulation software company, we moved to Germany and there I worked for a German manufacturer, always for marketing, of course. A German manufacturer making fuel cell cogeneration systems. So again, not easy to explain but really, really great to work for. So it’s for the house, you make power and heat with this really innovative procedure, and so this German company registered insolvency after around five or six years I was there unfortunately. And then I was like, okay, what do I do now? So I took the opportunity to get back to studies a bit, to have an intensive training course for online marketing topics, you know, all the things that didn’t really exist when I studied at that time, so I’m a bit old. But still, it was really good to get those new insights and then I was reflecting, okay, what’s the next step for me? And I realized I need tech, I need B2B, so when you look for a new job, I was like, it’s really clear. And what’s my special thing? It’s really this complicated tech. So I kind of used different channels and I went on a trade show. I went on the Productronica trade show at the end of last year. I just talked with some people and said, hey, I’m in Munich, do you look for someone? Here’s my profile. And I met the nice Aegis people there… Yeah, and it happened that they were looking for exactly the profile I had. You know, international, B2B marketing, and actually the perfect mix of the experience I’ve had until now with software and with manufacturing experience. Because Aegis Software makes manufacturing execution system software; it means in the production line, often electronics, some cars or some some airplanes, something quite complicated, again. It’s the system that helps digitalizing everything, you know, not only having everything paperless on the production but also handing the materials, and having some good quality tracking and traceability, and until analytics, you know, for the worldwide sides of the enterprise. So yeah… [inaudible]… six months.

Carlota Pico 4:48
This question, my next question, is particularly relevant to you because you did just join a company. Skills in many cases can be taught and really trained for, but qualities, however, are much harder to develop, right? Like skills you can learn. You could take courses, you could go to school, you can learn on the job, but qualities are really just part of our DNA. They’re ingrained in us. So let’s say you’re promoted and tasked with the responsibility of hiring for your current role. What qualities would you watch out for more than skills?

Tiffanie Sobczak 5:24
Well, as you said, I would look at the personality. Being authentic is really something, it’s important to me, I think, you know, it’s the way it worked. To be accessible, to show yourself, and to just be as you are, to be visible, to make yourself visible, to be communicative. So, well, authentic but in an open way, I would say. It’s the kind of quality I would look for because if it’s your nature, then you’re going to, if you have some challenges, then you are going to be able to talk about the problems, to find out solutions, to invent new ways of getting out of the situation or getting to new ideas.

Carlota Pico 6:14
Okay, excellent. Let’s talk a little bit about COVID-19, speaking about challenges. According to the CEO of Walt Disney, the heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation. In light of the global pandemic, in what ways has your department been innovative or creative this year, Tiffanie?

Tiffanie Sobczak 6:37
Well, it has again to do with communication, I would say. It’s all about the team, I realized, and I was new, so it was, you know, I just talked with the people online, but you know, to get to know them, what’s their understanding? What can they tell me that I don’t see in my marketing environment. So we just talked, you know, and said, okay look, what’s meaningful now? And let’s try this, let’s try more webinars, let’s try to figure out how is the audience thinking and feeling right now? And it’s a great synergy because then you realize, okay, it makes sense to just get inspired from each other and get creative solutions.

Carlota Pico 7:42
Okay. But your target audience are other businesses. So how do you know what other companies are feeling?

Tiffanie Sobczak 7:51
Well, and that’s why I say it’s all about the team, because of course, as a marketer, I’m not daily in conversation with them, but if I talk with my colleagues who are in sales, with my colleagues who are in the technical support, even the people who are discussing with, I don’t know, with their accounting or something, you know. And then we know, okay, what’s the struggle at the moment? What are their business doing? Is it working at all, is it open at all? Or do they have a lot of challenges because they want to adjust to the situation, especially in manufacturing. Maybe I can mention an example of one of our customers, an English company named STI, and they are an electronics manufacturer, right? So they produce different kinds of electronics. And then there was the need of ventilators. So there was this UK ventilator challenge and they took part to it, and to know in this time that they could adjust their production so that they produce ventilators, what was new to them, and, you know, it has to be reliable as a product. And they could do it also because they were using our software. Then, you know, you are at the right place to just take part of this, you know, and so it’s a good inspiration to see those customers. But you are also aware of other customers who struggle, who the production is not working at all maybe. So for those we bring some knowledge, maybe. We make a webinar so that they can prepare for later on.

Carlota Pico 9:44
Okay, great. Tiffanie, since you’re a recent hire of Aegis Software, what do you bring to the table that makes you stand out, and what do you hope to accomplish a year from now? It’s a pretty big question.

Tiffanie Sobczak 10:01
Yeah. I think what’s special and what I like especially—and you don’t find it in every company, that’s why I’m really happy to be at Aegis right now—it’s a kind of, I don’t know how you call it, maybe 360 degrees marketing view, you know, it’s like, you have to be aware of everything that happens. You have to know, okay, here there is this industrial association, or this special journalist, or this special event, and they are out there, and they are part of this ecosystem. And so to have an eye on every little detail, every channel possible, can get involved in and get in touch with so that you go further in your communication activities. I’ve learned that in those specific industry where you are the marketing person for everything and then… I like it.

Carlota Pico 11:06
Okay, excellent. So who wears many hats.

Tiffanie Sobczak 11:11
Yeah, exactly. You know, I wouldn’t have them all. I think I would be missing some of them.

Carlota Pico 11:20
Facebook’s CEO was quoted saying the following—I’m referring to Mark Zuckerberg, of course. He said that in a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is to not take any risks. Looking back on your experience in marketing, what’s a personal or professional risk that you’ve taken which has really paid off?

Tiffanie Sobczak 11:46
Well, I would say it’s kind of linked maybe with this hire at Aegis. When I was looking for a job, and I live in Germany but I’m French, it’s like we have different cultures, right? And I have nothing against it, but when I hear, “Okay look, well, you’re a mother, maybe look at something that fits with, you know, with all the time you need for your kids.” And I was like, but it doesn’t always fit with the responsibility you want to have, right? And I know there are a lot of efforts made and that’s really good today, but I was thinking okay, what’s more important to me? Of course, I have my kids and they’re doing perfectly fine, but I don’t want to give up this career and this job I love, you know, so I’m not ready to accept any kind of job just to fit what what people think that I should do with my life, you know, as a mother. So I said, no, I want a really good job for me, you know, I have ideas, I have energy and I want to invest it where it makes sense. So I think it’s part of the character that you have, and it’s a risk because it’s part of your CV right? The people see you have two kids, but it’s part of the personality, and I know at Aegis it’s part of you, and I think everyone sees, you know, if you live for your passion and your passion is the job you do every day, you like to dig in other ideas in marketing, and to do everything so that we can just move on as a company toward success, then it’s perfect. I hope it answers your question.

Carlota Pico 13:54
Yes, it definitely does. What a beautiful response, Tiffanie. So instead of doing what other people expected you to do or working in companies that other people expected you to work at, you decided that other people weren’t going to decide what you were going to do with your life. And so you took the risk and ended up in a fantastic company who really appreciate that you’re a professional, but you’re also a mother.

Tiffanie Sobczak 14:20
Yeah, I’m a human. And we’re all human.

Carlota Pico 14:24
Beautiful. Okay, well to finish off this section of our interview, I’d like to ask you to zoom into a project or a campaign that you’re particularly proud of, its purpose, and what made it so special.

Tiffanie Sobczak 14:38
Well taking back this year until now, I was new in the company, and within the first months, we realized, okay, there is a need there to change the channels. We don’t go to any trade shows, we can’t meet the people, the people have other concerns. So as I said, we said, okay, we are going to offer what we have: knowledge, expertise, and an ear if you have some questions and some needs. So we developed quite a heavy program of webinars from the American headquarters, but also here in Europe, to offer some deeper insights in our industry, in some manufacturing topics specifically, and how to do things better. So the people could just access every two or three weeks if they like, in different languages because it was also new to make them available in German and in French. So we started this up, and thanks to the great colleagues I have, we all, you know, we all work so that they happen, those webinars, you know, within a few weeks. And it was quite new for many people, but it’s nice to see that it has some response. And it’s a good path. So at the moment, I’m quite interested to see what will happen with these events. You know, I don’t know what you think about this, but I think it’s really interesting to see what will happen with the trade shows and the virtual events and the hybrid… so exciting right now.

Carlota Pico 16:35
Yeah, I agree with you. I think it’s very exciting moments that we are living. It’s also very unstable and I guess challenging moments because we don’t really know what’s going to happen in the future. But it’s up to us to reshape that future and reshape the world that we live in. So I guess we’re going to, when we come out of COVID, we’re going to discover a whole new world, and as marketing professionals it’s down to testing again, right? We have to test and do A/B testing, see what works, see what doesn’t work, and shape a program according to those discoveries and findings. Okay, moving into the last section of our interview, it’s a rapid-fire set of questions. So to get this section started off, I’d like to ask you about your source of inspiration. So an influencer or a professional role model that you really admire.

Tiffanie Sobczak 17:25
Well, there are a lot of them. It’s a combination, of course, but maybe one person… well she’s German, so I don’t know if you could follow her if you don’t understand German. But she’s at Microsoft here in Germany: Magdalena Rogl. Lena Rogl I think is her name on Twitter. And she has this kind of authentic approach, you know, and she’s trying things out. And I remember this year she like started to do some shortcasts, to just take to the mic on Twitter, and was expressing what happens, what she thinks would happen. She’s also in marketing of course, so it helps. But also showing emotions. So yeah, interesting personality, interesting approach.

Carlota Pico 18:24
Okay, thank you. And to finish off this section, I’m going to ask you about your favorite app at the moment, and why?

Tiffanie Sobczak 18:33
Apart from LinkedIn—which is great to deep dive in different industries and to get some input from different perspectives, job profiles, and people, you know—Spotify. Yeah, it has not a lot to do with work, I’m sorry, but it’s… Yeah, apart from music, when you need some inspiration background or a quiet background. And of course with podcasts, I really like this, I listen to podcasts.

Carlota Pico 19:11
Excellent, well that gives me an awesome opportunity to remind our audience that our podcast will be available on Spotify as well. Check out The Content Mix for different interviews that I’ve led with personalities from across Europe within the marketing industry. Tiffanie, it was a pleasure to have you on our show. Thank you for joining us on The Content Mix. And thank you for your time and also those great insights.

Tiffanie Sobczak 19:36
Thanks a lot for your time, Carlota.

Carlota Pico 19:39
And to everybody listening in today, thank you 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 see you next time. Bye!

Tiffanie Sobczak 19:58

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