The guest of this week’s episode is Wojciech Mach from Poland. He started his career at Procter & Gamble, then he moved to Hewlett-Packard and now he has worked at Luxoft for the last 5 years. Luxoft is a leading provider of software development services and innovative IT solutions to a global client base. Wojciech is responsible for operations, relationships with key customers and strategic partnership within the Central Europe region.
This episode is sponsored by “Baltic For Events Forum“, which is the first forum that unites under one roof event professionals from the Baltic States as well as from Northern and Western Europe. Our guest, Wojciech Mach, was one of the presenters on that event.
What kind of marketing channels work the best for you? Is it online, is it offline, which type of them?
From marketing point of view we have two main activities. B2B, where we talk to our customers and soon to be customers. The second one is B2E, which is about employees’ attraction and attention. Going back to your question, I think nowadays online plays a huge difference. There are a lot of good tools which help to target and put it the right way. We still do some offline marketing. What we did a while ago was called “Billboard TV”. So, we rented a few big billboards and changed the posters every two weeks. It worked very well!
How much do you do in-house, how much do you outsource?
It depends on the situation. Now we have a pretty strong in-house team. On the other hand, we also hire verdant people and they work with recruitment, HR, general management and together they would create value.
You mentioned that quite often you’re crowdsourcing your marketing activities. How does it look like?
I think similarly to other large players, we have a few agencies and partners, who we are close with. They understand us and we understand them. So, there’s chemistry. But at times we’re crowdsourcing to look for inspiring talents in graphics or in 3D or in other different fields and give them an opportunity. Sometimes they become our partners or even join Luxoft. We don’t have one way of doing things.
Do you use some platforms? What platforms would you recommend to others?
I’m not quite sure if this answers to your question, but in terms of marketing, we implemented agile methodology into marketing. So, they use Gira tool to put work orders and to manage tasks. This works very well – it’s seamless and it is very well integrated with other systems.
You are B2B business. Do you use LinkedIn as well?
LinkedIn is a very important tool for us. I believe in close relationships with employees, but it’s actually not easy to keep in touch with people in this structure. Every month, when the new hires are joining, they will automatically get an invite to join my LinkedIn. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s easier for me to connect to my employees over LinkedIn, rather using our own systems. We have internal communication system. Secondly, LinkedIn will give you an opportunity to pass like a real-life documentary of what’s going on in the company.
Are you using LinkedIn more for HR and internal activities or more for finding new customers?
Not for finding customers. I don’t think it would work for that, at least not in my region. Definitely it’s for HR, recruitment, branding and engagement. This is where you can find what other companies are doing.
You are working with different agencies. What are the biggest mistakes agencies are doing to lose your trust?
Honesty and communication. I really want to know that the deadline will be missed and I can manage that. But I can’t manage, if I call two hours before the deadline and they say they’re still busy and they’ll call next week. It’s terrible! So, open communication is the first thing. Secondly, the reason I choose to go to an external party is that I’m looking for creativity, details and high quality. So, I want that the external party brings value to me. I can do it myself, but I want something extra from them. Lastly, it would be not valuing our partnership. If I see a partner who starts to put more and more attention and focus on other customers, I would feel like a second class. I really want that we take each other seriously.
In your opinion, what is the future of marketing and advertising? What companies need to think about and implement today to be also successful in the future?
There are a lot of things going on and changes are going faster and faster. To answer your question, digital is definitely no brainer. All the things you can do in the digital sphere. Augmented reality is huge and that’s something that we would definitely see in marketing agencies.
We work a lot with big banks. Investment banks would see technology as the key differentiator. Yes, you can be smart in the way you build your tools and deliver things, but still the easiness of doing business is the key. Also, there’s a huge amount of data and it’s used in marketing as well. So, all the information about how the customer will behave, what they will do, connected home, etc. For marketing, all this data is gold mine. If you could put the big data to work the right way, you will understand, what do I like, what I don’t like, where do I buy, when do I crave for my new cappuccino, what kind of milk I want to buy and what’s the good time to sell. What marketing needs to do, is to stay on top of all this data and be able to draw conclusions. That’s why we have this new job called “data scientist”.
Can you share with me your 20% of the activities and habits, which makes 80% of your personal success?
I would say the first one is continue to develop. Doesn’t matter how far you go, never settle. You need to give yourself a tap on the back, you need to make sure you feel happy, but you need to continue to learn. Read books!
Number two is the people. One of the reasons I wake up and go to the office is that I look forward to see the people I work with. Some days they may be grumpy and we may have conflicts, but I still learn a lot from them and I look after them. I’m lucky that I have met a lot of great people throughout my career.
And last one… is the famous comfort zone. When my first daughter was born, we moved to Asia with our family. I got the opportunity to move to HP Asia. From logical point of view, it was so unreasonable, because I had a small child. And when you have small child you don’t have much time to enjoy Asia. And you have a new job, a new stress. But, I went there and it was investment. It was tough at times, but I would recommend it to anybody to spend about one-two years working abroad. It doesn’t matter how patriotical you are, it changes. As well, what I think we need to do for our kids, is to let them live abroad and I think that’s how we will raise much smarter and wiser people.
If the viewers of this show want to follow you, what are the best channels?
I think LinkedIn would be definitely good. I’m pretty noisy on LinkedIn.
If you have one minute to sum up all of your experience and knowledge, what would you tell your successor?
I would definitely say be brave. Use the opportunity, ask for opportunity and use it to maximum. Continue to learn and continue to develop yourself. And lastly, build a network of people around you. Try to stay among people who are smarter in some aspects than you, because you are the average of five people you interact with.