Azerbaijan, Baku, March 7 / Trend /
Ania Jakubowski resides in Athens, Greece working as the Group Commercial Marketing Director for Coca-Cola Hellenic. In 2011, the company reported revenues of 6.9 billion euro in a total of 28 countries across Europe.
Previously, she enjoyed a 20 year international career with Procter & Gamble, spanning North America, Eastern, Central and Western Europe in sales, marketing, operational & market development roles, strategy and capability building roles.
Born and raised in Canada, she graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario) with Honors, in a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Ania is an active member in the communities in which she lives. She is the Chair of the Advisory Board for OWIT International (Organization of Women in International Trade: www.owit.org). She is also on the Board of Advisors for the Women International Networking (WIN) Leadership Forum - and an active contributor to mentoring students across various university affiliations.
This April, Ania will visit Azerbaijan to speak at the Marketing Kingdom Baku, event organized by P World and Azercell.
Taking place on 4th and 5th April 2013 at the Four Seasons Hotel, the Marketing Kingdom Baku will explore the latest trends in the global marketing industry. Marketing Directors of the London Olympic Games, Microsoft, LEGO, Yahoo!, Novartis and SAP are only some of the speakers presenting at the event.
For International Women's Day, Ania talked to trend.az about her job, challenges, mistakes and her expectations for Baku.
Ania, what do you think is the most effective way for a company to talk to its customers (consumers)?
Like in any relationship; listen, be open, recognize and adapt to change. Stay true to who you are; be authentic. Any other way - people (in this case your consumers) will see right through you.
Recognize that talking to your consumers is only one side of the story - in today's day and age - we need to understand what our consumers are talking about - who they are talking to, what and how are they are talking about us.
You need to invite a dialogue - versus have a one way conversation, the days of 'just' talking to your consumers are limited if not over. In short - like any relationship it is about building or perhaps better said, earning trust - which can only come from listening, understanding and engaging each other.
What makes marketing at Coca-Cola Hellenic different from marketing at other companies?
Coca-Cola Hellenic is part of what we refer to as the broader "Coca-Cola System". The System comprises of a network of bottlers alongside The Coca-Cola Company - the bottlers responsibilities are to add value with local insights and understanding with shoppers, customers and the communities in which we operate..
Whether partnering with The Coca-Cola Company to engage with consumers and delight shoppers, or bringing joint value to customers (eg. retailers), or contributing to communities, Coca-Cola Hellenic strives to be the preferred supplier with our customers and a force for good and for positive change in the communities in which we operate.
Perhaps the biggest difference within the Coca-Cola System is that you have in essence two entities (The Coca-Cola Company and the bottling companies) operating as one in any given market to accomplish one goal of maximizing brand love and ultimately purchases of our brands. It means that we need to work together much closer to align with each other on what are the right steps we take together to achieve that.
Everyone is talking about social media nowadays, what are the biggest mistakes companies make when it comes to social media?
I would say that larger, traditional FMCG companies have been slower to adopt and understand social media. If you look at many start up companies and immerging brands today - social/digital is their life blood and many of them do not even consider traditional TV in their media mix. Larger corporations were slower to move and embrace - in some part, because they simply didn't know how to measure the impact of social media, in addition of needing to build the capabilities.
Measuring GRPs and reviewing a media plan were familiar - trying to understand what 'engagement' really is - and that 'likes' aren't enough takes more understanding.
Being willing to try and learn from the unfamiliar is key - within Coca-Cola - there is an innovation and investment principle called 70-20-10. The 70% representing - "NOW" - tried and true low risk things you know have worked well and achieved results, 20% - are"NEW" emerging trends, opportunities that are starting to take hold and will eventually become a part of the 70%, and 10% - the "NEXT" represents higher risk - experimentation, yet to be tested ideas/approaches. Embracing this approach as a System - enables us to stay a learning culture and therefore adapt and adopt for new realities like those that the social media environment bring forth.
What do you think are the biggest challenges in today's marketing world?
My initial reaction would be to say - what would life be without challenges? Challenges are the seeds for progress and innovation.
If I had to define what is unique to this point in time - it is that the world now operates in real time, all the time. Information is instant. It requires a much more flexible mindset, and operating framework. And therefore greater trust in your strategies, capabilities and people. Decision making is more horizontal - you need to create the frameworks and then let your people operate within them with, less command and control structures of the past - and far more cultures and structures that foster empowerment.
The internet and mobility - have redefined so much in our lives; the sense of time, the tools and gadgets we use - who knew what an I-pad or tablet was 5 years ago? And now every airport or hotel lounge - has 30-50% full of people tapping away on their tablets. Our habits are in constant motion - it always makes me smile when I check in for a flight - and the airport staff try to move the screen on my blackberry (you know that sweeping finger motion or reverse 'pinching motion' on the screen of an Iphone) to get my boarding pass code to show. My blackberry still has the little button - that you have to roll up/down - side ways to get the information on the screen to be visible. How is it that I am outdated already?
Have you been to Baku before? What are your expectations from the event?
No I haven't - and I very much look forward to the visit. I'll confess - I often watch a "well known" international news station - and Azerbaijan tourism often advertises on it (as do several tourism ministries of many countries). The blend of progressiveness - embracing investment and growth, alongside with preserving the deep culture and heritage are something I can't wait to experience.
I am a passionate traveller by hobby - so I look forward to being able to experience the people, feel the heartbeat, and understand the history and culture of the city. And of course, to be a part of the Marketing Kingdom Conference - where I know I too will be inspired by the other speakers and energized by the audience.
Any tips for me on things to see and do while visiting?
The Marketing Kingdom Baku is sponsored by the most reputable companies in Azerbaijan: the country's leading GSM operator Azercell Telecom is the Platinum Sponsor, Pasha Bank is the Gold Sponsor, Peugeot, VIP Club Concierge and Hesab.az are Silver Sponsors and Bruketa&Zinic Baku is the recommended Advertising Agency.
The supporters and media partners are the following: Trend.az, mak.az, BOUTIQUE Magazine, Zerkalo, biznesinfo.az, ANS TV jobs.day.az, Facemark.az & Facemark TV, Azerbaijan Marketing Society, AIESEC, marketer.ge.
For more information and registration please visit the event's official website:
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