Lidia Lüttin is a digital marketing specialist with expertise and an eye for innovation in global marketing strategy and research and is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of Bynder.
Let’s get talking – global brands, automation and marketing to marketers… with Lidia Lüttin.
BQ – How do you believe a clear and consistent brand can help improve a company’s bottom-line?
Lidia – Brand consistency refers to the delivery of a consistent portrayal of a brand across all marketing and communication channels. This includes the use of colors, logos, and fonts on the website, advertisements, social media, point of sale, as well as the transferred philosophy and attitude. Regardless of the number of marketing channels being used to share a message or even markets covered, consistent customer experiences are key.
Inconsistent branding can have a tremendous effect on the brand experience, and eventually brand equity , so ultimately a company’s bottom line. Brand identity should work across all channels, as brand consistency affects a company’s success in many ways:
Delivering a consistent brand message makes a specific brand easier to recall, creates a sense of trust, and affects loyalty and brand evangelism, which is directly connected to company revenues. Moreover, consistency helps brands establish a more powerful presence, as it leads to an increased awareness in the marketplace, ultimately resulting in higher sales and profits.
Last but not least, I think it plays a major role in facilitating trust and building a relationship and supporting dialogue with customers.
BQ – What are the specific benefits or challenges you face within your own marketing, considering your target audience are themselves marketers?
Lidia – Having an overview of the day-to-day challenges marketers face certainly gives us an advantage when marketing to marketers. We understand our target audience extremely well because, at the end of the day, we speak the same language. We quite literally “market marketing” to marketing departments, offering solutions to brand and marketing managers, making their jobs easier. We make it a point to be transparent in all communication, and to deliver highly relevant and educational content that is useful for our target group. Marketers are a sophisticated bunch and a tough audience to impress , so it is essential to create impeccable campaigns that are appealing both visually, and contextually.
The challenges I see lie in the existing tension between the targeted content and message created by the marketing team, and the manner in which the sales team believes this message should be delivered. While we genuinely understand our customers’ needs, the sales team is closer to the market. At Bynder, we have a program called “Smarketing” which assists both teams in staying connected and learning from one another.
Here’s a secret Bynder Tip: We have highly efficient meetings because we always take a marketer along to meet with prospects.
BQ – Besides language, what have you found to be the largest differences between the various markets Bynder has a presence in?
Lidia – Bynder is active in markets in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia. We have a different approach in terms of our marketing strategy for the European and US markets.
Our marketing communications focus on creating relevant content for different buyer personas globally. While there are a lot of similarities (e.g. stages of the buying process), there are huge differences when it comes to what content is perceived as relevant. For example, we offer a cloud-based solution for marketing and brand management. In the US, cloud technology benefits are widely recognized, whereas businesses in Europe are battling lower budgets and are still hesitant about the cloud in general.
In terms of branding, we see vast differences as well but we decided to develop a singular brand that is global, as opposed to adapting branding to various target markets. Having an established brand with high visibility is an important factor in the US, while decision makers in Europe tend to utilize raw data and facts, such as tool features for decision-making.
Knowledge of local culture and PR is therefore very important in establishing a global brand, which is why it is important to me to work with a very international marketing team. This year, one of our initiatives includes expanding our marketing team to the US in order to address the needs of the market there.
BQ – How do you maintain a cohesive company culture and employee brand with multiple offices in very different ‘cultural zones’?
Lidia – Bynder culture is sustained by enthusiasm. We’re originally a Dutch company with an extremely open culture and flat hierarchies. In 2014, we opened two additional offices in Boston and London and, on average, we add around 10 new Byndies every month across all offices. While growing, our vision is to promote openness, positivity and enthusiasm while maintaining our small company culture vibe.
The evolution of a company culture has to progress naturally as it expands into different culture zones. We also found that the local Dutch office culture didn’t need to be replicated in our Boston and London offices because core values shine through no matter where you are in the world. The effective communication of our core values allowed our company culture to be replicated globally.
I believe two factors are essential when maintaining the company culture: hiring people who are a perfect match with your culture, regardless of cultural background and effective communication. Offices in different time zones should not feel disconnected. That’s why we try to fly over and visit our Boston and London offices as often as we can and why our overseas colleagues regularly visit the Amsterdam HQ. Thanks to our ‘Byndie’ WhatsApp group chat, where we are always sharing random things, everyone feels connected. Even in the office, there’s a perfect balance between work and fun.
BQ – What is the number one piece of advice you would give companies looking to expand their brands globally?
Lidia – Companies that aim to expand globally should “act locally, while thinking globally”. Brands with a global focus must adapt to cultural differences to be locally relevant, while acting under the umbrella of the global brand strategy. This means that in all communication, intangible brand assets, such as storytelling, imagery and tone of voice must stay consistent, while content and messaging changes depending on the target audience.
Brand management for global organizations is complex and requires true dedication. It necessitates the establishment of new processes that allow for profits from global economies of scale while conjunctionally creating local multichannel relevance. Brands looking to expand globally can find support in Branding Automation software. These solutions are specifically designed to empower brand management and traditional marketing professionals who find themselves losing control of the intricate task of the development and maintenance of a sustainable worldwide brand.
Branding Automation software’s foremost goal is to present brand managers with the toolkit necessary to scale up their branding and stay in control and enforce compliance of all brand-related content. Global day-to-day operations such as reinforcement of brand consistency and planning/execution of branding related projects are streamlined and automated.
BQ – What do you believe is the next step in the evolution of online brand and marketing management systems?
Lidia – The current marketing software landscape shows that every field has specific go-to toolings – online marketers use marketing automation tools such as Hubspot while Sales teams utilize CRM tools such as Salesforce.com. However, when it comes to traditional marketing and brand management, the tools available are completely diversified and an all-in-one option is not readily available. As a result, marketing and branding departments struggle with manual workloads, time to market pressures and maintaining brand consistency.
Branding professionals, in particular, spend a huge amount of time ensuring consistency of brand assets throughout the entire content lifecycle. This is because in each stage of the process – content creation, cultivation and consumption – various tools are used. Imagine if you could close this loop, have control of the entire content lifecycle and in doing so, achieve end-to-end brand consistency.
That’s why I believe Branding Automation is the next step in online brand and marketing management systems. Branding Automation software gives us the opportunity to reinvent our approach to brand management by achieving complete automation. I think more and more companies will look for a ‘one-stop-shop’ where they can bring all of their tools together and control all stages of the content lifecycle in one place.
Not only that, Branding Automation software will have the ability to integrate with existing systems such as Photoshop for content creation and social media sites or CMS for distribution. Finally, such a system will measure the content lifecycle and provide useful insights and analytics, helping to increase the effectiveness of your branding.