Yokogawa IA's Maaike Goinga - Marketing Expert Interview

As part of our Marketing expert series, our sister company Peter Bush Communications interviewed Maaike Goinga, Marketing Manager at Yokogawa IA. Similar to our previous interviews, PBC asked a variety of questions to learn more about the life of our latest marketing expert:  

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

This year I became a Yoga teacher as it is my hobby and one of my greatest passions. Yoga also gives me the balance I need between my busy work life, and relaxing in my own time.

  • What is your favourite book?

‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara- a great story about friendship. I read it last year and it really stood out to me.

It’s about a group of friends and how their friendship grows, and it really highlights their respect for one another. The friends take different paths and careers in life, some more successful than others, but their friendship never dies. There is one person that is very vulnerable and never speaks his heart, but everyone is so touched by him. It’s a very fascinating book. I believe Melanie at Peter Bush Communications has also read it.

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

I don’t know if I would be in another career other than marketing. It is one of the many things I love, including art and history. Sometimes I dream of having a gallery of my own or even going back to studying. But then there is also Yoga; I could imagine myself having my own Yoga school.

  • What do you think have been the biggest changes to B2B marketing in the past 3 years?

I do think the speed of everything has increased over the past few years. For example, the development in technology and how there is now far less patience to get copy/content out there in the market! The market is definitely transforming with the growth of the internet and use of techniques such as marketing automation. Sometimes it gets hard to keep up to date with all the latest information, especially social media, with all the different touchpoints and channels being developed.

  • What do you think is the most effective and least effective method of marketing?

I think to be effective in marketing you must be consistent across all your touchpoints with customers and target audiences. Ultimately if you don’t bring consistency and authenticity your brand won’t be associated with how you want it to be, and you will not make a difference.

I also think in this vastly developing digital world, people think that all things digital are ‘the golden bullet’, when in fact I don’t believe that. I do think that digital activities should be linked with some element of face-to-face contact as well, which people now often forget or dismiss. If your business misses out on that human interaction, you are likely to hit those consequences and not achieve your goals.

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

For me, I think it works well when we can come together face-to-face, so we can really make a mark. As I work outside of the UK, Yokogawa and Peter Bush Communications often talk over the phone and through email, and we can achieve plenty through those platforms, however, things crop up from time to time which can be forgotten, so it’s great to come together to make a bigger impact, although we cannot spend our lives travelling!

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

Depending on the type of campaign, success can appear in different forms. If you have set your objectives clearly before the start of your campaign you can measure the behaviours and buying habits of your customers.

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

Being in this business is all about the people who I meet and work with. I would really like to see all our people at Yokogawa get a voice in our campaigns to make our professional company approach seem more human.

I believe having more of a human aura to the company to solve customers’ issues, would be appreciated by our customers. They would trust our company more as they know more about the people behind our company. That would be my ‘genie in a bottle’.


HARTING's Natasha Sephton-Pike - Marketing Expert Interview

Natasha Sephton-Pike, Regional Marketing Manager at HARTING is the latest marketer to take part in our marketing expert series. From Natasha's view on the biggest change to B2B Marketing in the past 3 years, to the hobbies she likes to do in her spare time, we asked Natasha a variety of questions to learn everything we could about our latest marketing expert: 

  • What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to go on walks with my dog, Raspberry Beret (yes, she is named after the Prince song). The muddier and wetter the better is her motto!

  • What music do you like? 

The dog’s name gave this away; I am huge fan of Prince. He was an artist I grew up listening to and I just fell in love with his songs, his clothes and his voice! His performances and lyrics just blow me away. He truly was one of a kind and paved the way for many other artists to come.

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

I would probably have worked in some form of caring capacity, either with the elderly or disabled adults. I enjoy caring for people and helping to enrich their lives, the elderly is a section of society that can often be overlooked and not heard, which is really quite sad. I try to support elderly people in my local community and getting involved with organisations such as Contact the Elderly are a great way to help.

  • What do you think have been the biggest changes to B2B marketing in the past 3 years?
  1. Big data opportunities
  2. Social media
  3. Changing audience demographics – particularly in an environment marketing to engineers, the skills gap here presents a unique challenge for how we communicate across this wide split in age and experience.
  • What do you think will be the biggest change in the way you approach your campaigns in the next 3 years?

Data driven marketing campaigns to support our customer journey - incorporating our historical learned data about our customers and their interactions with us with external market data to produce tailored material across multiple channels, delivered to the right people at the right time.

  • What are your 3 biggest marketing challenges?
  1. Time to stop and think and celebrate – As marketers, we can often be stuck in the role of project planning and execution, always under time deadlines and running from one project to the next. We find it hard to stop and think ahead; think freely and creatively but also to celebrate our success.
  2. Evaluating “the latest marketing trend” – What could help us, what is noise? It can be difficult to decipher the value from the noise with new technologies, tools and methodologies developing all the time. As a busy marketing department, understanding and testing what can help you be more efficient and effective is a tricky challenge.
  3. Proving marketing value – Having systems and processes in place companywide that supports the journey to linking marketing campaigns and interactions with sales. The marketing department must own this ROI project but need support from all areas of the company who are customer facing to truly get a clear picture of the customer journey and how marketing plays it part.
  • What do you think is the most effective and least effective marketing activity you, or your company, undertakes (in terms of ROI)?

It is difficult to say, all our activity supports the overall goal of achieving a positive ROI. Some channels we use are easier than others to measure KPIs against such as digital trade press advertising, email marketing and website performance. Other activities such as PR, printed trade press and to some extent exhibitions, can be harder to measure KPIs against. Recording which touchpoints our customers interact with along their journey is the most important ROI activity that we do, we can see the whole picture, not just a snapshot of the quick and easy KPIs we can measure.

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

For each campaign we have a series of goals and supporting KPIs to measure how well we have achieved our goal.

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

Greater customer and industry research to support a deeper understanding of our customers and to deliver improved tailored content.

Getting the Pitch Right…

An effective pitch email has a huge influence on whether you gain valuable coverage for your press release or not. Knowing how to pitch your press releases to the media is an art which can reap bountiful rewards. It is a skill which may take some time to develop but investing the effort can be a game changer for you and your business.

Building relationships and trust are key factors to gaining acknowledgment of your emails. However, there are other, quicker ways in which you can dictate how an editor will react to your press release.

Before you even start typing out your covering message, have you thought about; visual formatting, tone of voice, or even the quality of your content? If not, it’s time to change tactics.

Editors have very little time and receive dozens of press releases every day, so we should be respectful of this. Yours is just one waiting in a queue to be read and either snapped up or discarded. You have just a couple of seconds of their valuable time in which to convince them to run your story. Be concise, straightforward and to the point.

Therefore, it is essential that you do all you can to capture their attention and stand out from the crowd. If you have not done that by the time they finish reading the headline and the first few sentences, the likelihood is you have failed, and your release is with the others-  in the delete basket.

Editors rarely read to the end of a press release – but they will if you pitch it properly in your email.

First of all, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the email something you would want to receive?

Think about it- is the email something you have thrown together in just a couple of minutes? Does it sound too much like a sales pitch? Your email copy is as important as the press release, take the opportunity to present your content in a polished and formatted way which really grasps the journalist’s interest.

  • Have you addressed the intended recipient?

Be authentic. Personalising your emails with a contact name or magazine title can not only increase your email open rate, but also establish trust and good relationships for the future. Tailoring your email highlighting how your product fits with the publication, story or subject will show them value and will encourage them to read on and cover your story. You should also make sure that your news is relevant to each contact you send to in order to avoid spamming inboxes.

  • Is the subject line compelling?

Did you know that 47% of people decide whether to open an email based on just the subject line alone? Highlight your company name and aim to capture their attention.

  • Have you included a teaser of the press release in the main body copy?

Ultimately the journalist is looking for relevant and news worthy stories. Let them know what to expect prior to opening your attachment with an interesting short summary. Be honest, and be upfront with what you are asking for, do we want them to cover the press release? Would we like them to test a product sample? Do we want a briefing call? – this will help the journalist understand your expectations straight away.

  • Are all of your attachments you wanted to include really attached?

Don’t forget to attach that supporting image, or even your press release! Forgetting to do so could seriously damage your reputation.

Finally, let the recipient read and digest the information you’ve just given them. Picking up the phone minutes or even seconds later and asking if they received your email will only cause irritation.

In summary, how you deliver your press releases is the make or break of your news. Take the opportunity to make your pitch the best it can be before you hit that almighty send button!

At Napier, we specialise in media relations and our long-standing relationships enable us to craft great pitches to increase your news coverage, whilst delivering your key messages. To read more tips about PR in Europe, take a look at our ‘Guide to Tech PR in Europe’.