5 minutes with… Rosana Wayand, Senior Strategic Marketing Manager – Asia Pacific, Korn Ferry

This month I’m delighted to be speaking to a former colleague of mine Rosana Wayand, Senior Strategic Marketing Manager for the Asia Pacific region at global organisational consulting firm Korn Ferry.

Here’s her 5 minutes with…

What is your marketing background?

I studied communications and marketing at university and wanted to work in a creative industry, so my first job out of uni was in advertising. I worked in copy writing and account management for a couple of years before moving from Brazil to Australia. I’ve been in Sydney for two decades, working in corporate marketing jobs. Initially, I did not think I would survive the corporate world but I learnt that with a steady effort everyone can bring more of their creativity into their jobs and that the creative spark burns brightly in many areas of the business, not only in the typically creative corners of the office.

What does your role at Korn Ferry involve?

I execute marketing strategies and implement marketing campaigns in the APAC region. In practical terms, I ‘activate’ global campaigns, programs and comms in the local markets to create maximum impact both internally (with our consultants) and externally.

You’ve worked in professional services throughout your career what have been some of the biggest changes for you in professional services marketing in recent years?

I’ve been in professional services for close to a decade and the adoption of content marketing and automation has significantly changed how we market our brands in recent years. Content has always been an integral part of professional services but it is now increasingly personalised and done at scale. I remember when the launch of a quarterly branded magazine was a massive event. Today we tell the stories of brands cost effectively in a variety of formats and channels.

I think the next stage will be a shift from a campaign (or transaction) mindset to a relationship mindset, where content marketing will become the backbone of your marketing program and of all communications with your audience.

I think the next stage will be a shift from a campaign (or transaction) mindset to a relationship mindset, where content marketing will become the backbone of your marketing program and of all communications with your audience.

The world is struggling through Covid at the moment, how have you had to adapt your marketing approach?

Yes, agility became the word of the day. We had to figure out new messaging almost overnight, started deploying campaigns much quicker than before and with the Covid re-structuring, we became more creative with resources and time management, collaborating with teams across geographies and functions. Our human capacity to adapt is amazing.

Another notable change was that with less face to face interactions, client facing staff now needs more marketing support. I think this is a positive change that will bring sales and marketing together even post Covid.

You wrote a fantastic blog recently on how to revive tired B2B marketing, what advice could you give to professional services marketers who are conscious that what they are delivering is feeling somewhat ‘tired’?

My advice is for marketers to consider all audiences that will influence the purchasing decision. B2B usually involves complex sales with various stakeholders. Marketers have to understand these different personas and create messages that will appeal to them.

Thank you. I think sometimes we forget it all comes down to the basics of marketing: our customers. I like the concept that marketing is a ‘human to human’ relationship, even in a B2B context. My advice is for marketers to consider all audiences that will influence the purchasing decision. B2B usually involves complex sales with various stakeholders. Marketers have to understand these different personas and create messages that will appeal to them. Once they are clear about who they are speaking to, they can think outside the box and be creative with their messaging.

In terms of getting more creative, it’s important to monitor what your competitors and others both in your industry and far outside your industry are doing, get up to date with your craft and set some time aside to learn and get inspired. I often get inspired by something I read on blogs or a piece of advice I hear on podcasts. Water cooler conversations also used to spark ideas but that was in another life.

One of the challenges for professional services marketers is getting the buy-in from senior stakeholders/consultants to be bolder and braver, how have you overcome that challenge?

I find that the key to stakeholder buy-in lies in being able to show how marketing will deliver value. So, you need to do your homework first, understand the problem you are trying to solve from their point of view. Listening with empathy is a good starting point. Then develop your market knowledge so you both speak the same language.

I find that the key to stakeholder buy-in lies in being able to show how marketing will deliver value. So, you need to do your homework first, understand the problem you are trying to solve from their point of view. Listening with empathy is a good starting point. Then develop your market knowledge so you both speak the same language. I find that it also increases your chances of success if you make your solution or strategy easy for them, especially if it is something you need their adoption as users. You may need to dumb down how you communicate your message or plan. Only bring to the table information that matters.

Your role at Korn Ferry extends across Asia Pacific, how do you ensure brand consistency in each of your ‘very different’ markets?

A consistent brand identity is very important for Korn Ferry and we put a lot of effort in ensuring our global audience receives the same brand experience regardless of their location. We have processes and platforms in place that make it easy for our marketers to communicate and collaborate on projects and access brand and campaign related materials.

The relationship between global/corporate and local/regional marketing can sometimes get strained, what’s the key to a successful relationship?

Most companies, specially now with the global pandemic, are doing more with less.

So, many organisations are restructuring and centralising their marketing functions to optimise resources and deliver better results. It makes sense – global enterprises usually have global go-to-market strategies and capabilities, so global marketing can make the company more efficient. But to be successfully executed it needs to get buy-in at a country level. Regional marketing needs to be closely aligned with the global teams but there is always potential for some power struggle so regional has to be prepared to relinquish some of their control. Conversely, the global team needs to involve key local stakeholders in the initial stages of the global campaigns and be prepared to cater for local differences.

What advice could you offer any local marketers at firms who are struggling with the global/corporate relationship?

Global marketing is usually part of the corporate goal so there is no point in resisting, the key for a win-win outcome is cooperation – local marketers can assist by removing local roadblocks and building bridges with the global team.

If you were told you could only report on 3 key metrics, what would they be?

When I think of metrics, I cannot help but think of a quote that’s attributed to Einstein: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

These days we can count all our marketing activity but it’s hard to identify what is really driving demand. We can count our MQLs but do we really know all elements that influenced them? You generate MQLs when you build connections with your audience and win their trust. So, if I could only measure 3 elements:

  • Social engagement – because it helps understand the overall quality and creativity of your content.
  • Website traffic – as it’s important to understand where your traffic is coming from, what keywords or queries customers are using to get to your website.
  • Marketing generated leads – your program needs to generate revenue.

Finally, thinking back over your career to date, what’s the best piece of marketing advice you’ve ever been given?

When I returned to work after my second maternity leave in 2009 it felt like the world of marketing had changed. I recall thinking of what my dad used to say ‘never stop learning’. It was wise advice 40 years ago and could not be more relevant today. To keep up with changes in consumer behaviour, technology, organisational transformation and general market trends we have to be curious, investigate, question and look for answers, and keep honning new skills.