Interviews, Marketing

Axalta Coating Systems: Maximum ROI with Customer Management 2.0

Luisella Giani
Head of Digital Strategy & Operations EMEA, Axalta Coating Systems

Prior to the Rethink! MAD Minds Europe 2016 we got the chance to talk with Luisella Giani, Head of Digital Strategy & Operations EMEA at Axalta Coating Systems. During the interview Luisella gave her opinion on how to maximize ROI with customer management 2.0. She also made a prediction on the future of the marketing sector as getting connected and digital is steadily increasing in importance. Luisella started dreaming digital at early age, she got a degree in Artificial Intelligence and she spent her career launching and building Web & Mobile products (e-commerce/m-commerce, mobile apps, social networks, portals, CRM, loyalty programs) both for start-ups (Skype, Netlog) and for mature large multinational corporations (Lycos, Yellow Pages, Goodyear). Her motto is: simplicity wins, without fail.

Could you please briefly introduce yourself and your professional background?

Luisella Giani: I’m an executive with 15 years’ experience in digital strategy, operations and product development. I started dreaming digital at early age, I got a degree in Artificial Intelligence and I spent my career launching and building Web & Mobile products both for start‐ups (Skype, Netlog) and for mature large multinational corporations (Lycos, Yellow Pages, Goodyear). I was lucky enough to cover leading roles both for innovative start-ups and for traditional companies having the chance to take the goods out of the 2 worlds learning that “simplicity wins, without fail”.

What are some of the biggest challenges associated with building an efficient customer relationship management and how should marketing professionals react to them?

The biggest challenges I found during my experience are related to not updated infrastructure (e.g. systems not able to communicate via API) and to a silos‐working culture (IT, marketing and sales not working together). The recipe to success? Upgrade the infrastructure, prioritizing the features to be upgraded based on business needs. Start changing the internal mind-set building an environment promoting and rewarding trust, innovation, small risk taking, cross teams collaboration.

How do you think that the Marketing sector will look like in the coming years as getting connected and digital is increasing in importance?

I believe that CRM will become more and more a key tool as well for marketing and it will be a must to integrate it with Marketing automation tools, ERP, brand websites, e-commerce and their analytics. Marketers of the future will need not only to be creative, but as well to be able to manage technical tools and data: some of the activities currently managed by programmers and data scientists will become marketers daily’s job.

Using social media to reach your customers is becoming more and more relevant in today’s world. Do you have some tips to effectively use social media as a marketing tool?

Einstein once was asked how he would solve a life or death situation if he had only 1 hour. He replied “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” Often companies jump into social media just because is hype or their competitors have a social media presence. The first step is to define the right question: what are the business goals we want to achieve being present on social media? The answer will guide into selecting the right channels, a consistent content and media strategy, the correct KPIs, focusing not only on number of fans and followers but as well on engagement and conversions.

Your presentation at Rethink! MAD Minds Europe 2016 will be about maximising ROI with customer management 2.0. Could you give me some more insights into it?

I will present a case study showing the business and sales advantages obtained by revamping the CRM following a user‐centric approach. Adoption, users engagement, a satisfactory user experience, a friendly user interface, a strong framework defining business objectives linked to an accurate data matching, are the key ingredients to efficiently manage your customers and to unleash the digital quotient of sales and marketing team.

Thank you for your time to participate in the interview!

Interview partners: Nikolaos Kapetanis and Luisella Giani

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