David Wright, the European Marketing Communications Manager for Microchip, is the first interview in our series of marketing experts. We asked him a variety of questions, first looking to get to know the man behind the marketing expert. We asked him:

  • What do you like to do in your spare time (hobbies)?

I like DIY, watching football, going to concerts.

  • What football team do you like? What music do you listen to?

            Queens Park Rangers is my favourite Football Club. I would say I have a broad taste in music, as it goes from listening to bands such as The Beatles or The Rolling     Stones to Philharmonic.

  • What other career would you have chosen if you weren’t in marketing?

I like the car industry. When I started my career, I worked at Chrysler and then, I got to do a lot of different jobs including commercial training, accounting, customer relations etc… These jobs led me to marketing.

We then asked him to share his insights, opinions and expertise of marketing, to help us understand how marketing has developed and changed over the years. We asked him:

  • What do you think has been the biggest change to B2B marketing in the past three years?

Social media has moved rapidly and is more and more significant. Information is now circulating quicker than three years ago.

  • What do you think will be the biggest change in the way you approach your campaign in the next three years?

To have a complete rounded campaign not only based on social media. There are routes to market other than online mechanism. Also, it is important to be flexible in our approach and adapt to the target audience. As they are many differences between North America and Europe, a campaign will be modified to suit the audience.

  • What are your three biggest marketing challenges?

The first one is working with Americans. They are now using iPads, smartphones and we need to tailor the message differently, depending on the device. We must look at ways to market and adapt the message to the right media. Also, translation costs are not cheap.

The second challenge is time. Some processes require approval, and it can take a lot of time to obtain it (when people are travelling for instance).

The third one is cost. We have a budget and we need to stick to it, even though we would like to reach the maximum audience.

  • What do you think is the most effective marketing activity you, or your company, undertakes in terms of ROI?

It depends on what people classify as ROI. For some people, exhibitions are great but others say they are useless. The problem with events is that we cannot measure what we get from them, for instance in terms of visibility for the brand or the value they brought. Also, we can only interpret if the exhibition was good or not. It could be of interest only to a minority.

Another effective marketing activity we undertake is emailing.

  • What is the most over-hyped marketing tactic?

Definitely social media. It is not enough to measure the performance of a campaign. Also, it is important to be cautious and craft the message carefully when posting on social media.

  • What was the best campaign you’ve run?

When I worked for Black & Decker, we sold out regularly. At the time, we used printed communication.

  • What is the worst campaign you’ve run/tell us about a time when a campaign went wrong?

I don’t think a campaign ever went wrong. Of course, some campaigns resulted in lower return than what was expected but it really depends on the market sector and the target audience. Also, B2B is different from B2C so return wouldn’t really appear in the earliest months, it is more on the long term.

  • If there is one thing you could change about the electronics press, what would it be?

Electronics press should send less messages and target correctly. Sending three relevant messages a week is enough. No need to send several messages that will, eventually, be deleted.

  • If there was one thing you could change about how agencies work with you, what would it be?

I think that when an agency works with you, it becomes part of the team. Through this partnership, both parties strive to gain the best of each other. An agency brings a valuable expertise and a better view of things changing the market place.

What agencies should not do is saying yes to everything. An agency needs to be aware and should not be afraid to give judgement or views.

  • Can you explain how you define and measure success for your campaigns?

Success includes a lot of elements such as cost effectiveness, the number of contacts made, the exposure number. A campaign involves a lot of activities complementing each other, just like a big jigsaw. You start by writing a press release, then you put a video together, a poster etc… Activities relevant to the target audience. Some have a better result than others. Ultimately, what matters is how these activities complete each other throughout the campaign.

  • If there was one wish you could make to improve your company’s marketing activities, what would it be?

I would ask for more people. When there is a takeover, the marketing team remains whereas support people are no longer part of the company. This results in losing expertise and knowledge.