Edyta Malesza-Malatrat: A Saleswoman In A Marketer’s Body
Today I'm talking to Edyta Malesza-Malatrat. She is a marketing leader that has had a career that spanned both B2B and B2C. She's currently the marketing lead in Central and Eastern Europe for SAP, based in Poland. She's got a wealth of experience in leading marketing teams and aligning to sales. In fact, she's one of the most commercially savvy marketers I've known, and she has one of the most complicated names. Honestly, I reckon she's a sales professional disguised as a marketer! Edyta, welcome to my Campfire Chat.
From FMCG To: ”Here You Go, B2B."
When I first heard Edyta speak, one of the things that fascinated me about her was that she’d switched from Proctor & Gamble to B2B. It’s quite different and I would have thought that, if you're in consumer brands, you'd probably want to stay there. So, I was intrigued to find out why she decided to change.
Asides from life being an adventure, Edyta told me that there were a few dimensions to her decision. As the name FMCG implies, it’s very, very fast-paced and she admitted that the pressure was getting to her a little. But she also wanted to venture into the B2B environment. Cisco was venturing into the consumer world and she felt that she could offer them her experience about the consumer.
And lastly, Edyta told me:
“In all my career, all the choices I made, it was always along the lines of, I wanted to do things that would challenge me, would stretch me and that would take me to a place I haven't been before.”
Having got practically half her career in consumer, Edyta thought, "Here you go, B2B." Little did she know that technology as an industry would become so important, with even consumer brands today being a technology brand.
Taking FMCG Metrics To B2B
As I said in my intro, with Edyta, I've often said, "I think you're a salesperson in a marketer's body." So we chatted about where that came from.
Edyta told me that Proctor & Gamble formed her as a marketer because, in consumer, marketing (or rather, brand) drives the business. The key metrics and indicators are your revenue, profit margins, market shares and wallet shares. They’re the very typical financial indicators that sales are looking at in B2B.
Edyta said that when she got into B2B she was a little shocked to see that marketing was slightly in the backseat. It therefore became her mantra to try to reposition marketing as a brand who understand the business, who can talk the same talk as sales.
Edyta believes that, as B2B marketers, we sometimes do ourselves injustice because we don't understand the business, and we should.
“And we fall too easily into our safe zone, which is content, which is imagery, creativity. We lack that understanding of the business”.
Edyta’s hope and mission are for marketing to be more business-focused and more at the partner level with sales.
The Future Of The Sales And Marketing Relationship
With sales moving up the funnel and marketing moving down it, as I said to Edyta, marketing may as well just take the commission cheque and become a salesperson!
Edyta agreed. She said that she’s starting to see MDs want to work with marketing and drive digital because they understand that the decision-making decision process of our B2B customers has changed so much. They know that that they need digital to be an influencer along the journey of the decision-making process so that they can close the deal faster.
Edyta told me that this is a huge opportunity for marketers but we need grab to it and take it. We need to do the homework and ask if we understand our business and market. We need to ask if we’re talking to our customers to understand more about their pains.
In consumer, Edyta had regular ways of engaging with consumers through different research methods and even store visits. She believes it’s much harder for B2B marketers because sales own the endpoint.
But while understanding the customer is a lot harder in B2B, Edyta believes that digital allows us to get closer. She follows customers just to see what they’re up to and that often gives her knowledge that a salesperson doesn't have.
Why Be Socially Active?
Edyta’s a very socially active marketer. She’s on LinkedIn, and she's sharing, reading and blogging. A lot of marketers are probably a little bit hesitant to do that. So why does she prioritise that?
Edyta told me that: “social media is almost one of the easiest ways to keep on top of the business, to keep on top of trends, news, innovation, hot topics.” She can look at what other companies are doing and get ideas for campaigns or how to position their product.
But Edyta admitted she also does so from a selfish perspective so that she’s visible and building her brand. Luckily, SAP isn't using employees simply to amplify their content. Instead, their ambition is to put their expert employees out there to show the great talent they've got working for the company.“And that is different.”
For Edyta, SAP’s approach says that they’re proud of their employees and that they’re happy for them to build their brand around the topics that they’re passionate about and are relevant to them. And this means that: "Customers want to work with companies like that. Talent wants to come join companies like that.”
Marketers: “Just Go For It”
I wanted to know what advice Edyta would give to marketers in today’s world?
Firstly, as we’d already talked about, Edyta said it’s important to understand your market and your customers before you start designing tactics, channels, content strategy. This is an area that’s always driven her a “little nuts” because you cannot have a content strategy in isolation of the market and the customer and segmentation.
And Edyta believes that marketing also has to do the job right and start with the who. Whether it's insights, market segmentation or understanding the product you sell and therefore understanding the category or your industry.
The second tip is one that she is living through right now. Edyta told me:
‘I love this quote from Amelia Earhart, the first female who flew around Atlantic. And she said something that talks to me right now, and that is, "Use your fear. It can take you to the place where you store your courage." In other words, just go for it.”
I shared with Edyta that I always say,
"It's about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable." And if you're starting to feel comfortable, then you probably need to do something about it because you're not learning”.
To which Edyta agreed wholeheartedly. It looks like we agree, then!
[02:26] From FMCG To ”Here You Go, B2B”
[04:50] Taking FMCG Metrics To B2B
[07:14] The Future Of The Sales And Marketing Relationship
[11:32] Why Be Socially Active?
[13:53] Marketers: “Just Go For It”
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