Vin: Welcome to the Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you’re going to put in your ear. I’m Ben, the associate producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market and we’ll have a little fun along the way. In today’s episode, Vincent and Ajay chat with Jasmine Martirossian, VP of marketing at TÜV SÜD. She explains how as a company for over 150 years, they provide safety for everyday things we consume, as well as using an agile approach to marketing rather than a traditional style to get desired outcomes. Ajay recovers from COVID being caught in the Gupta household and Vincent asks Alexa to play the Marketing Stir, give it a listen.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista’s the Marketing Stir. I am your host Vincent Pietrafesa, the vice president of B2B products here at Stirista. So happy to be here. Thank you so much for listening to our episodes and the feedback has been great. I was at some conferences and people were like,” Hey, you’re the host of that show. I love it.” I was like,” That’s amazing. Thank you.” That happened recently at a few shows. Ah, you know what else is amazing, ladies and gentlemen? My co- host. I’ll get to him in a moment. Let’s pause for some station identification. That’s not really a thing. I just said it, but I want to talk about Stirista for one quick minute. Who are we? We are a marketing technology company. We own our own business to business data, our business to consumer data. People utilize that data to get new customers through email marketing, through display, connected TV. We own our own DSP. Email me at email@example.com. That’s all I will talk about Stirista. It’s not about that, it is about the content, the guests that we bring you. It is about you the listener. It’s about my co- host. Ladies and gentlemen, very happy to have him here as always, every single episode, except for one, which I let him hear it every time that he couldn’t make but ladies and gentlemen, my co- host, my CEO, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What’s up, Ajay?
Ajay Gupta: Hey, Vincent. Doing pretty good. We actually finally, the Gupta household, did come down with COVID but glad to say we have all recovered and didn’t miss any podcast recordings.
Vincent Pietrafesa: You did not, you didn’t miss any podcast recordings. You missed a few tennis matches. I was sad to hear that because you’re still working on the wrist there but seems like our Stirista sponsored team, I think. Is that safe to say?
Ajay Gupta: Yeah. Yeah. Look, for those of you watching on video, I have my Stirista Bandit shirt on, so we did win the indoor state championships this weekend. I was unfortunately relegated to the bench but still that was fun to watch.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That’s all right. Well, I’d love to have my shirt. I’m an XL, sometimes double X because as you know, I have massive shoulders. It’s a weird body type that I’ve talked about on the podcast before. Ajay, I’m going to share with you a happy moment that happened to me this morning. We have Alexa installed, Alexa. And I have my almost five-year-old and we were around, my wife was listening to a podcast on the Alexa app or little thing there and it wasn’t ours. I was like, oh.
Ajay Gupta: That was my next question.
Vincent Pietrafesa: No, it wasn’t ours. And she was listening to a podcast about COVID. I was like,” What do you need to know? It’s been here for two years.” Anyway, so I said,” Oh, that’s cool.” And then I said,” Alexa, go to the Marketing Stir.” And it did. And it pulled up the episode that just had come out and we heard us, but my son was like,” Dad, that’s you. What?” He thought it was the coolest thing in the world because I was on this Alexa that plays all his favorite songs and the soundtrack to sing to and all of this. That was a cool moment that I had this morning. It was nice.
Ajay Gupta: That’s very cool. Occasionally my almost eight-year-old has discovered Gong on my iPad. He enjoys watching your sales calls as well.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh geez. That’s no fun. You got to get that kid out more, Ajay.
Ajay Gupta: We got to get him on the podcast versus the Gong calls.
Vincent Pietrafesa: On the Gong calls. For those of you, shout out to Gong out there. Gong, it’s a service that records your calls, transcribes them in case you miss anything. It’s also like, wow, I say that a lot. That’s not good. But not entertaining for anyone but especially a child. But you know what’s entertaining Ajay? Besides yes, this podcast. It’s because of the guests that we have on our podcasts. That is what. It’s not us. Even though a few people at a conference were like,” Yeah, I like it.” No, it’s the guests that we get on. We’re lucky to get these guests on and we’re lucky to get guests on that first you meet. And I said this before, I don’t say this in every podcast, but you feel like you know the person. It’s like, how did I not know this person for 10 years? That’s a shame that I didn’t know her, but I know her now. And the Marketing Stir is going to get to know her. Ladies and gentlemen, we are so happy to introduce the VP of marketing eCommerce lead for the Americas TÜV SÜD and also the host of Innovation Nation podcast, a fellow podcast host. Give that a listen, Innovation Nation. Ladies and gentlemen, Jasmine Martirossian. What’s going on, Jasmine?
Jasmine Martirossian: Wow, Vincent. That’s such a fun and spirited introduction. Thank you. It’s great to hear you and Ajay talk back and forth. That eight-year-old does need to get out more, Ajay.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Listening to the Gong sales calls, him and David Bailey. That’s the only one that’s listening to those calls. Our VP of sales.
Jasmine Martirossian: Yeah, though possibly he’s got an amazing future in sales. Who knows?
Vincent Pietrafesa: Absolutely. I love it. Well, we love your spirit, Jasmine, and we love all the things that you do and we’re so happy to have you on. What I’d like to get out of the way of the podcast in the beginning, let’s talk about TÜV SÜD, your organization, what you do. And I’d love to understand your role within the organization.
Jasmine Martirossian: Well, TÜV SÜD, our global headquarters are in Germany. We are over 150 years old, yet we operate like a startup. We have that youthful energy of a startup but with deep roots historically. We do make the world a safer place through our work. We support all sustainability efforts as well. Frankly, if you’re wearing clothing, if you use mobile devices like cell phones, the laptops we’re using right now to talk, food you eat, transportation, cars you drive, we have an impact on all of that through testing, certification and inspection, making sure that all those products meet regulatory requirements in various geographies and countries around the world and that they really will serve consumer needs in the right way for their intended use. We’re a major global organization with over 25,000 employees and in the Americas, we’re active in north to south, Canada, US, Mexico and Brazil.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I love it. I love it. And Jasmine, one of the things our listeners love hearing, it’s we have a few staple questions. This next one is one of those. It’s how you got into marketing. People always love hearing that because it sometimes is, but not always, I should say, a direct path. And if it is, that’s the rarity, it’s like I studied marketing and here I am. We’d love to hear your story.
Jasmine Martirossian: You know what? It’s one of those things that was meant to be. Most likely in a couple of years ago, I was actually clearing out a closet, one of those deep, gigantic storage closets at home that provides also access to the roof and in the back I found a test I’d taken 20 odd years ago, which predicted that I would be best suited for a role in marketing leadership, in journalism. And so, it’s interesting. And I kind of had worked that through the test but completely forgotten about it. My first formal exposure to marketing was when at that time, the CMO of the institutional division for Fidelity Investments was looking for someone to help him write content, which is so modern as of today, content marketing. And I was thinking of doing a job on a contract basis because I was in graduate school, and I went to an interview with him. He gave me a piece of writing and I kind of did not even appreciate it at the time when I think back that I was interviewing with the CMO of Fidelity Investments. Kind of a big deal, brilliant guy, Stewart Rose. Amazing strategist. I learned a lot from him. He gives me a piece of paper and says,” Hey, what do you think of this writing?” And I started reading it, the first few lines and I looked at him and I said,” You know what? It doesn’t say anything meaningful. You’re talking about people retiring, give some numbers, provide context, ground it in something.” He looked at me and he said,” You’re hired.” That was my entry into marketing. And then from there, I kind of within Fidelity, I did some work in public relations and then it just took off from there. Market research and I was very, very fortunate to be at an organization that invested in digital marketing very early on, way ahead of the curve and to be there and take off with that, hugely beneficial. I’m very grateful for the opportunities that different organizations along my path have enabled me to grow and to help them in return.
Ajay Gupta: Jasmine, tell us a little bit about your current marketing efforts. What are some of the channels and strategies that you focus on?
Jasmine Martirossian: You know what? We’re all digital first but also, it’s just not enough to be digital. It’s also about revenue marketing because in 2022, when we’re talking about marketing, if marketing does not have direct impact on outcomes, then marketing is not doing its job. We’re also very focused on agile marketing rather than kind of the traditional plan out just a couple of campaigns, execute slowly. We experiment. Agility in marketing is also very important. It’s not just one thing, it’s having the proper alignment within the cluster of what marketing should look like in modern day and age because it’s all omnichannel too. But marketing itself has to behave that way to get the right outcomes. It shocks me to no end how the structures of a lot of marketing departments to this day are really rooted in the outdated approaches and how much soiling and separation there is within marketing as well. And frankly with COVID, we’ve also had to engage in more emotion, empathy marketing to connect with people in different ways. We did for instance, an infographic on how to keep coronavirus at bay. We also did a professional pushes page. Both of those have been extremely popular and have served their purpose and mission kind of for the betterment of humanity and people. We got so many positive responses based on that.
Ajay Gupta: Jasmine, so digging a little deeper on the digital side, since that seems to be a big focus for you, a lot of people that watch our podcast or listen to our podcast are marketing professionals. What are some of the tips you have for people that want to build a more robust digital presence?
Jasmine Martirossian: Yes. And frankly, the word digital and digital marketing and digital presence can be interpreted in so many different ways by different people. And everybody talks also about digital transformation. But honestly, if you ask a dozen people, they probably will give you a dozen different responses. Digital today in our interpretation is because buying patterns have really changed, you have to really be digitally present for your audience in ways that meets their needs and that helps them along their buyer user journey. I have a good colleague, Katie Greenwood, who said,” You have to speak to the radio station WIIFM, which stands what’s in it for me?” You have to cater with the idea of making sure you do bring value to your audience. You have to really help them along their journey. You have to make yourself relevant. The old fashioned, putting up a page on a website and thumping your chest saying,” We provide the service,” nobody cares about that. Offering a solution to your audience, helping them evolve in their decision making, that makes a world of difference. Especially now when with the great resignation, expedited retirement of a lot of people, there are even generational changes in the marketplace. A lot of people who have held certain roles moving on, changing, new people stepping in, you have to be available with your kind of content cluster I call it, along that journey to be there for them. And also, digitally it’s two sides of a coin. On the one hand it’s content, I just spoke about that but it’s also the backend for SEO. It’s the part that many people do not see but the value of it is immense. Do you have schema markup on your pages? Are you catering to the right keywords? Are you doing it with integrity? Because you see every now and then people saying,” Oh, it’s all about this.” They do keyword cramming. Well, that’s not a best practice. Do content with integrity, with the right digital foundation. Digital marketers today have to be very multifaceted. Those that will kind of advance and grow. They have to know technology. They have to even know about the development that kind of underlies that and then they have to know about content and reaching the audience. And ultimately, I’d argue the world was digital before the pandemic as well, but it’s become digital on steroids since the pandemic. Because now we’ve gone through two Christmas cycles that I’ve done all my Christmas shopping online. And I’m the kind of person who actually loves to browse stores sometimes, but I’ve adapted and done that. People are adapting and changing, and a lot of those behaviors will carry through because time is the most valuable commodity that we’re all short of.
Vincent Pietrafesa: And Jasmine, I want to stay there on that because I’ve heard you speak and I love this term that website is the mothership and the real importance you’re talking about and everything digital, especially now, you’re right online, eCommerce shopping very important to have the right website. But talk to me about that. I love that phrase. And we haven’t heard too many people, if any, on our podcast really just say,” Oh, our website is the most important.”
Jasmine Martirossian: Thank you.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Love to hear you elaborate that.
Jasmine Martirossian: If you woke me up at 3: 00 AM and I was sleepy, I would still tell you that and it’s a phrase that we repeat a lot for everybody to internalize on our team. The website is the mothership, and we have to have that digital first thinking. If it’s not on the website, it does not exist. If you’re not thinking of what impact this will have on your website performance, it doesn’t exist, or your thinking needs to kind of be refined on that. For instance, even the language we use on it and the imagery, sometimes we can all have an idea for grand, huge images. Fantastic. But if that image is not properly old tagged, if that image is not contextually important and if that image is too heavy as to increase the load times, guess what? That image is going to hurt you. It’s thinking more holistically and starting with the website because over 90% of all searches start out online. Google says around 96 and they should know it best. Over 83% of people that start searches are not even thinking of a specific brand. They go at it with an open mind. The objective for any organization that wants to compete is to be up front and center on the first page of Google results. If you’re not there, you do not exist. And I’ve heard lots of people say,” Oh no, you have to pay. Oh, you have to.” No, you have to have high integrity content that serves the purpose and that’s out there and identify the critical keywords that will. And by the way, they have to be non- branded. For us, for instance, a term like EMC testing. It doesn’t say TÜV SÜD EMC testing. Because as soon as you put TÜV SÜD or any competitor names, it’s like shooting fish in the barrel but the broad term EMC testing, then it’s relevant. On the other hand, don’t be so broad that anything falls into it. For instance, finance is a term. Trying to rank on it without context, that doesn’t make sense. It’s about driving that digital expertise and intelligence throughout the entire organization. And it should be more than just the marketing team. It should be the sales team. It should be the operations. Everybody has to have that thinking and the website is the mothership. By the way, it’s also inviting the whole organization to look at the website to identify gaps because we’re heavily engineering driven organization so what an engineer might see about a service that’s critical in that marketplace and we’re not seeing it on the marketing side, we have the expertise on the digital end, but we may not know something about fire protection, whatever service then we are looking to the business to provide that intelligence. Together when everybody puts the website first, we grow. If we don’t do that, we do not evolve.
Vincent Pietrafesa: And I love what you said there, that if it’s not on the website, it doesn’t exist. Take that sales manager who constantly say, “If it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist.” Well look, a big driver of sales should be your website. I was on a call earlier where the person who was interested in our services, they were literally asking questions right from our website. I see you do this. I see you do that. I was like,” Yeah, we do.” It just made that call a lot easier. I love it. Jasmine, I wanted to talk about because your passion shines through and that is why your podcast is so popular and it’s because of you. Can you talk about Innovation Nation? What made you kind of start it? Talk about some of the guests. Love to hear more about that.
Jasmine Martirossian: Thank you. Well seriously, it’s about driving awareness of innovation. And I would argue that a lot of people hold themselves back. And by saying people, I also say organizations because it’s people who are decision makers, be it rank and file employees or C- suite executive who sometimes hold themselves back by waiting for this big disruptive thing to happen. Innovation is not like a bolt of lightning that will strike us. Innovation is the consistent driving of continuous improvement as in the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen. Innovation is in constantly trying to find another iteration, another incremental improvement that we’ll have. Yes, every now and then there is kind of category disrupting innovation. But also, we can’t just sit back and say,” Oh, that both of lightning has not struck me. I cannot come up with it.” It’s about being in motion. A body in motion stays in motion. Organizations that keep testing and experimenting and innovating, they do it. And frankly, this is just another innovation piece for our marketing to be not awake to the fact that podcasts are a huge factor for today’s audience. Amazon bought for how many billion dollars or million dollars a podcast just a couple of days ago on Murder, right?
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. Yeah. Ajay just sent me a note about that.
Jasmine Martirossian: What was the price? I forget, I don’t want to mistake.
Ajay Gupta: I think it’s over 200 million.
Jasmine Martirossian: 200 million. That’s sizeable. Seriously. Kudos to them for starting the podcast, for doing a great job and that’s a huge milestone of success. But even without Amazon’s acquisition and purchase of that, to be not awake to the reality, then you’re not a good marketer. You’re not following the marketplace. And it’s also trying to really have a meaningful conversation with people who drive great innovation in their organization. We’ve had some really shining guests like Bracken Darrell, who is the CEO of Logitech. Really amazing contributions in both the area of innovation, most people who are now using computers use a Logitech product one way or another. Yesterday I was in our office conference room and all the remote controls were from Logitech for instance. And they do this unbelievable work on diversity and sustainability. I keep sharing their sustainability report as the gold standard with anyone. Hearing from these people who move markets, who really drive tremendous change is really educational. And it’s about spreading knowledge. Dostoyevski, the famous Russian novelist and philosopher, I would argue, said,” Beauty will save the world,” but I’d also argue that education will save the world. Being educated, making the right decisions and learning from the best, keeping that sense of continuous learning is critical. And that’s also important to marketing, especially digital marketing where there’s some major wave of change maybe every six months. Continuing to do same old same old will not help. Trying to experiment, learn, try new things, that’s critically important.
Ajay Gupta: Jasmine, what are some of the skills that you think young professional or a college student who wants to get into marketing should acquire to be successful in today’s marketing?
Jasmine Martirossian: Number one skill that I’d be looking for and I actually wrote an article about it, how it’s not so much having a degree in marketing because that could be a dead end for a lot of people but it’s certain attitudinal skillsets that they need. And chief among them, I would say is curiosity. Marketing is a very fast-moving profession. You need to be very good with numbers. I have some open positions because our team has been expanding and as I interview people and make an emphasis doing the interview process on their analytical skill, their understanding of statistics, their interpretation of data, you can sometimes see on a screen how they’re glazing over or starting to look sideways. Sometimes I’ll even show spreadsheets and data that we use, databases and you can see some people just turn off right away. For today’s marketer not to be data driven, that’s a miss. A lot of people think, oh, marketing is just easy. You just write something, put a picture and you go on. No, it’s not that. It’s very strategic. It’s very intentional. And it’s also very multifaceted. Today’s marketer has to really kind of cover that spectrum of competencies. But if you’re not curious, you’re not going to make it in marketing. It’s about being able to probe. It’s about having also interview skills, talking with your audience, with the subjects, with the people you’re trying to showcase. Because a lot of the interviews you ask somebody,” Oh, what do you think of this?” And you get this you really quick yes or no answer or a response that’s one sentence and there is silence, even silence. Even knowing how to probe makes a difference. Those are not skills that we routinely, Ajay, correlate with marketing. And I’m not sure those are skills that a lot of marketers put on their resumes either but those are the skill sets and attitudes that are critical to them succeeding in today’s competitive marketplace.
Ajay Gupta: Jasmine, you obviously, besides your role have the podcast and you’ve been doing other things to stay successful, on top of things. Are there other things you recommend people can do to keep on a path of success? Because my guess is the role will keep evolving over the next several years.
Jasmine Martirossian: I would say I am a curious person so I routinely push myself outside of my comfort zone. And that’s very important for marketing. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Also having really kind of organizational skills and time management. Those are kind of this listening to people, hearing what your audience is really interested, in market research, understanding the market trends. And I want to be fair. For instance, Apple famously did not do any market research studies on the iPhone because they would not even get any feedback on something so disruptive and new. But they actually, when you think about it, they did understand the marketplace exceedingly well that there would be receptivity to it. That that was the next evolution of that curve. Again, being tied to the marketplace and understanding what’s happening, being tied to the sentiment. If any marketer continued doing what they were doing before post COVID, if they continued the same way, I can assure you, they would not have been too successful. All of us had to step back, retool, repurpose and think differently because all of a sudden, our landscape has changed with the pandemic. And you had to kind of show more empathy too. More so than ever before. All of these are things that are important to driving that kind of change in marketing. And I personally, I love to travel and that helps me too because that feeds my curiosity and helps me find things to look at them from different perspectives. Challenge yourself, that’s what I would say.
Vincent Pietrafesa: And Jasmine, we always, we don’t like always talking about it but it’s kind of the elephant of the room, COVID. How did you, you touched upon some ways there, but can you talk about how you had to alter some of your marketing at TÜV SÜD and also what you were encouraging some clients to do as well, some of your partners. Talk to us about that. It’s a question we get asked all the time that our listener’s like,” Look, this is obviously here and it’s here still. What are people doing?” Because obviously that was a challenge.
Jasmine Martirossian: I am very proud of how TÜV SÜD handled the pandemic. Our America’s CEO, he’s very articulate the way he talks about the three key objectives we had, which was to protect our people and business throughout this pandemic. But he says it way better than I would do. And it’s really important because we focused on that and we focused on the mission. We were very quick at TÜV SÜD to pivot ourselves, to conduct more remote audits for instance. And Abaco Systems even did a case study on how TÜV SÜD stepped in and helped them with the remote certification and how agile and quick we were to follow both the letter of the law in terms of regulatory mandates but also to cater to the changed environment. At the same time, the marketing team, we started daily standup meetings and we’re evolving the nature of those, of what we talk about. Frankly, we have had more connectedness and over the past two years, that shows in both unbelievably increased results, both for marketing in terms of also conversion to revenue and for our overall organization in terms of positive growth.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. No, thank you for sharing that. We hear that. We hear that from a lot of companies, we hear that being proactive, being proactive even sometimes before that is sometimes the key. I want to stay on that. How important is it to be proactive in marketing than reactive?
Jasmine Martirossian: Oh, I despise reactivity. Cannot stand it. And if you’re reactive, you’re really missing the ball or anyone. This is not you as the generic you instance. It’s so important to have your strategy in place, your objectives, your key areas of focus and actually execute on them because let’s face it, the best strategy that’s does not execute is absolutely useless. Whereas if you take even a mediocre strategy and execute on it relentlessly, you will have a better result. It’s also about prioritizing. It’s very easy for marketers to get distracted and not own their result. And then of course, because everybody thinks marketing is oh, so easy, everybody may have ideas. But if marketers do not stand up for their profession, for their expertise and they cannot articulate the value that they bring and they cannot prioritize, they’re going to be distracted. And you know what? It’s way better to be supremely good at doing five things exceptionally well than doing, I don’t know, 15, 20 things at a below mediocre level. And that’s a threat for all marketers to just fall into. And that’s a very easy trap by the way. Having your priorities but marketers can’t be in isolation. Marketers has to also market what they’re trying to do and get buy in from their key stakeholders, be it sales and operations because also today’s marketing is not just what marketing brings them in the door. It’s the experience that the customer has. Marketing doesn’t end with the sale. Marketing continues post sale. There is the bow tie effect. And so frankly, then every person within the organization that’s having an interaction with any customer, they are marketing because that becomes the image of that organization and they are the ambassador, the voice and the image of the company.
Ajay Gupta: Jasmine, one of our staple questions here at the Marketing Stir, so we’ve talked a lot about things that people should do and don’t do perhaps. The question is around LinkedIn and with your title and where you work, I’m sure you get a lot of unsolicited messages. We’d love to know what’s a message that really annoys you, a pet peeve perhaps and then one that gets through your mailbox.
Jasmine Martirossian: Yeah, first of all, I am a huge proponent of LinkedIn. I love LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn actively every day. I’ve made some amazing connections on LinkedIn. It’s a very amazing network platform. Any organization that’s not focused on showcasing themselves and connecting on LinkedIn is missing the ball. But then also many, Ajay, are not doing the right thing. There is this like shyster attitude. They’ll send you a connection and some of them, even in the invitations, they will want to showcase you this. And if you accept then immediately in 30 seconds, and frankly, I get even without accepting, I get sometimes 20, 25 such requests every single day. And everybody’s asking for the same trite 15 minutes of my time or Zoom coffee or something for 15 minutes. I did calculation once, it would take me at least six and a half hours a day to be on those coffees. I’d probably be hospitalized too with coffee addiction and toxicity. But if I consume that much coffee on Zoom on LinkedIn contacts, I would get zero work done. And it’s overdone and outdated. Where people miss the boat is when they come on LinkedIn, share your value-add content, help me learn more, create the demand the right way, the kind of 21st century appropriate for 2022 and beyond way. Because the time of me, me, me, me, me, that time has passed. And then people should know 80 to 90% if not more of the decision to buy these days is made online. Help me make that buying decision as an executive who spends a lot on marketing tech, on a lot of innovation. And then, I’ll be the one coming to you. And then that’s where the human connection really makes a difference. Or sometimes there’s also a sneaky way that a few times they’ll come to you and they’re like,” We’d really like to hear your feedback as an expert on our product,” but that’s not what they’re looking for. They immediately go into a demo and then they start chasing the product. And the best one is they now start sending you a meeting request to which you’ve never agreed or discussed, to which you naturally will not show up. And then they get really upset and huffy, why you did not up to this imaginary meeting?
Vincent Pietrafesa: That’s a first on the podcast, Ajay. Wow. People are going that low, huh?
Jasmine Martirossian: I’ve had four or five such requests over the past, I’d say a year.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Wow.
Jasmine Martirossian: Which is unbelievable. I can’t even imagine if somebody falls for that.
Ajay Gupta: Well, if they’re doing it, someone must be. But Jasmine, you’ve had a great career and you’ve worked at a lot of great places. What’s been a shining highlight or moment for you in your career?
Jasmine Martirossian: Wow. It’s like asking, I have a good friend, they travel a lot, and he always says, when somebody asks me when they travel a lot, what’s your favorite place? He always says,” The place where I’m in.” And that applies also to my career. I love being at TÜV SÜD right now. It’s a fabulous place. I really appreciate everything that has built and brought me to this place. I think sometimes people have a sense, oh, the grass is greener. You have to take advantage of every place, every station in your life and learn from it actively. Try to improve, be open to new experiences, kind of challenge yourself to expand. I do compete with myself and that’s a pretty tough competitor because the bar keeps going up for myself. Challenge yourself no matter where you’re at. I don’t want to choose one. I love being at TÜV SÜD right now. It’s a fabulous place. But what I really like about it is we have a value of promoting that learning. Our training and development and learning functions led by Jobina Gonsalves and Katie Greenwood are very strong in the organization and that sets a tone. Make sure that in your career at any spot you keep on learning.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I like that, challenging yourself as well, competing with yourself. I feel the same way. I think my biggest competition in my head is always me and my biggest critic. I understand that. Jasmine, let’s talk about one more marketing question. Let’s get to know you before we wrap up personally, I want to get to know you more, some of your interests. But three years, five years, where do you see marketing going? Where would you like to see the direction of marketing going?
Jasmine Martirossian: I think marketing is going to become even more omnichannel. Of course, that’s in the US but we have also watched some pending legislation because there, especially California is a bellwether state. There is more legislation on privacy there is going to start carrying through the rest of the nation. And privacy is a bigger issue for instance, and I completely respect the need for privacy in Canada and Europe. We have to start taking those things into consideration. I see evolution into voice marketing. You started out the segment, this podcast talking about Alexa, and I see more and more of that coming along. SMS marketing, text marketing is already here, and I actually even see it picking up more in 2022 and beyond. That’s a reality. And a lot of people associate that only with B2C, but I see that going also to B2B potentially. Because think about this, these days it’s no longer the kind of, this is, oh, this is B2C. This is B2B it’s B2P, business to person because I can assure you that when people who are making purchases on amazon. com, on delta. com, on eBay, they do not then think, oh, but my B2B experience, wait, it has to be boring, and it has to be slow. It has to be unfriendly. No. That’s no longer the reality. They bring the same human expectation for speed, for responsiveness, for convenience to their B2B decisions and purchasing. Then how B2B reacts to it has to be similar. Everybody talks about AI but frankly AI has been in the background and evolving more and more and more. That shall continue. That’s a given, but it’s not a new thing. Many things have been AI enabled in the background for a long, long time. It’s just there’s more awareness now. And connectedness will, of course continue at an uber scale.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I like hearing that. And it’s something that I just put out something on LinkedIn as well, where I was saying,” Connected TV being one of those things where it’s like, oh no, it’s just consumer brands.” No, no, no. Those business executives are at home. I’m the only. Jasmine’s at home, Ajay’s at home, I’m at the office. Yes, but majority of the people are at home. Those business as executives, make it personalized, target, they we’re at home. I love that. Jasmine, as we wrap up here, tell me more about yourself. Some of your hobbies, what you’re into, you said traveling, obviously. You started to do that again? What’s happening? Talk to me a little bit more about what you love to do.
Jasmine Martirossian: It’s interesting because Delta Airlines at year end told me that in 2021, I had been to five new destinations. I was surprised pleasantly that even in a pandemic year, I’d somehow. Actually, last year, we had already quite a bit of business travel. TÜV SÜD has been really good with that. We followed all sorts of COVID protocols, but our vaccinated people can meet. We had a big leadership meeting in San Diego in November. We have been traveling already. I was at the office all day yesterday for a strategic event, with a follow up educational kind of dinner, which was really great fun. And the connectedness with people will always, always be critical. And that also. I love to travel because I love to meet, see different cultures, learn about them. Frankly, be challenged because a lot of the travels I do, it’s not as if I buy a tour and just go and somebody shuttles me around. It’s all kind of planned and that in itself is fun. I love reading. And my husband’s passion is for music and through osmosis, I’ve learned a lot and I hope we come back to a time where we can go to concerts live. It’s all very welcome.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Nice. No, I agree. I feel that I have a few, my wife and I have a few concerts scheduled here in New York City very soon. We’re hoping that doesn’t change, fingers crossed, stay tuned to another episode to hear all about that. You know I’m going to mention that. But that is amazing, Jasmine. We really appreciate your time. And these are those great podcasts where I’m like, wait, I have more questions. That is the sign of a great podcast. Ladies and gentlemen, that is Jasmine Martirossian. She is the VP of marketing and eCommerce lead for America’s at TÜV SÜD. Check that out, please. Check out Innovation Nation podcast. This has been another episode of the Marketing Stir. That’s Jasmine, I’m Vincent, that’s Ajay. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.
Vin: Thanks for listening to the Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista. Please like, rate and subscribe. If you’re interested in being a guest on the podcast, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And thanks for listening.
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