Product Marketing Manager at BDO in Georgia, audit & business advisory.
Tell us about how you got into the field of marketing, and what factors played an important role in choosing this profession?
-I can’t say being a marketer was my fondest dream as a teenager, when I was thinking about choosing a profession. Actually, I wanted to be a doctor. I don’t really remember how I ended up at Free University studying business administration. But once there, I shorty knew what I wanted to do with my life. I think the main reason why I decided to become a marketer was my personality: I can’t stay still. Literally. I can’t imagine myself sitting in an office doing something that does not require communicating with a lot of people. I need to know everything.
In regards to technological changes, what challenges do you face as the head of a marketing service?
Along with technological advancements, we need to adapt our whole mindset. Our future target audience will be media-savvy digital natives to whom you can’t really advertise. We need to find ways to engage at a deeper level. As technology become our everyday life, people crave a more personal touch, and we need to balance.
And, together with finding more people, you can be of help, and keeping your customers happy, and you need to always keep track of the KPIs and analyze how your efforts are driving ROI.
What has changed in the field in the last 5 years, and what changes are expected now?
-Nowadays, information is everything. A couple of years ago, Facebook ads and Google analytics were a new thing. Today, we are talking about chatbots, big data and AI. I don’t consider them a challenge. Well, in a sense, they are, but mostly, all these represent an opportunity to create and deliver personalized customer experience, and be responsive in real time.
How we communicate has also changed drastically. If you could sell your product by trying to convince the audience that your product was the best thing they could possibly have, now nobody wants to buy your product. People buy solutions for their problems, experiences and emotions. We should try to create value for certain people, rather than trying to sell a product we came up with. After all, you could say business is all about solving people’s problems at a profit.
What important features should a marketing manager focus on, and what are their roles in an organization?
-I don’t really know if there is any kind of a recipe for being a great marketer. I don’t consider myself a judge of it, but I think they should be very curious, flexible and good at observing & analyzing events, people and their own behaviors. Creativity is great, but marketers should also be good at seeing through numbers and trends. And a little sales talent won’t hurt, either.
A marketer is not a company’s tool to sell their products. In my opinion, out of all the things we do, being the voice of a customer is the most important job. We should make sure we keep providing what people want and need.
What steps did you take, as an organization, to catch up with new trends, and use innovative approaches in the field of marketing?
-You could say I’m lucky – as BDO in Georgia is the largest business software provider in the country, it’s impossible to stay behind. Being surrounded with 300 tech-savvy professionals in different business fields, it’s difficult to be ignorant. Personally, I’m trying to read a lot. We live in a world where over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day. There’s no need to reinvent the bicycle, you just need to know how to do research.
What’s your organisation’s business model, in terms of marketing?
-In BDO, we are trying to be people who help other people achieve their dreams. We don’t just sell. We aim at bringing value to other organizations and individuals and helping them succeed. Actually, listening to our customers and constantly pushing ourselves to do our best helps us to be the reliable business partner for a lot of successful companies in Georgia.
One word that describes your job.
The most useful advice you’ve ever received in life?
-If you believe in something, persist.
Think of a person who inspires you professionally.
-Can there be two? Those would be Givi Dzamashvili and Zviad Oragvelidze, partners here at BDO in Georgia. They are not marketers, but they are very good at sparking passion and ideas in people around them.