Q&A with Kolja Eikelmann, CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries

MEDIA 7 | June 20, 2019

CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries
Kolja Eikelmann, CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries is a forward thinking and result-driven Marketing expert with 20 years of experience in the FMCG marketing industry. 

In this Q&A, Kolja shares his unique marketing experiences and gives us interesting insights about PPG Industries, a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, and specialty materials which is driving innovation, sustainability and color in the industry.

MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into Marketing?
KOLJA EIKELMANN:
I wouldn’t be able to say when I first realised marketing was the path for me, but I think it’s been evident my whole life that I’m interested in the diversity that marketing allows. Since childhood, I have always been so fascinated with the details of a product, no matter what it is. I have an endless sense of curiosity and I think that was the major driving factor for me to enter the world of marketing.

I realised marketing might be for me when I discovered the unique opportunity it offers to be involved in all spectrums of the business; not just advertising, but also in creating solutions and analysing outcomes. The overarching goal is always to make a real difference and help people in their daily lives, and marketing allows you to both be a part of the solution as well as a witness to the outcomes.

My job with PPG is very colourful – just like my company! Within my one job title I get to explore innovation, creativity and analysis. This variety has always been appealing to me.

M7: You have an exemplary marketing experience of more than 20 years in the FMCG industry. How have the marketing dynamics changed over these years and what tactics do you feel modern marketers should adopt, to survive in this competitive world?
KE: 
As you would expect of any industry in the 21st century, marketing is constantly changing and increasing in complexity in this digital age. The increasing presence of digital media and the growing demand for ease-of-access online services, has resulted in the field growing broader than ever before. The possibilities now are numerous, but they are fragmented; you must be truly dedicated to the field to build the knowledge base of marketing tools required to thrive in such a climate. Ultimately, PPG wants to produce work that has the greatest impact on businesses, this was arguably easier in the past when you had a traditional, simple media mix, as opposed to now when success depends on mastering traditional media and online outlets, social media and digital advertising tools.

For example, it can be easy to spend a lot of money on Google ads that are expected to be high value, but instead, organizations might see greater return on sales if the money had been allocated to a faster and more agile response to SEO.

In marketing, it can be easy to get caught up in the creativity of the work – as that is most often our strength – but not fully immersing yourself in the analytical side of things is a mistake that is often reflected in outcomes. I would recommend that every marketer should always make sure to know their KPIs inside and out and try to get as familiar with Excel spreadsheets and analysis as they are with the creative work.

In this constantly changing modern landscape, marketing has become even more important than ever before. Specifically, in the paints and coatings industry, marketing was a late bloomer as it has been driven by shelf sales for so long. However, as an industry we are refocusing on innovation and purpose; and pushing the boundaries on what is expected from paints and coatings and what they can do. PPG aims to improve and protect the world through our products – but none of this is possible without proper marketing to support the business.


"A focus on our customers, our innovation, our people and our entrepreneurial way of working – are all elements that inspired the One PPG vision, and what most accurately represents the key to our successful way of working."

M7: Your work experience spans across highly complex matrix organizations to entrepreneurial and start-up businesses. What do you believe is your driving force behind your proven track records and achievements?
KE: 
I am very proud to say I have left behind a strong track record of positive differences within the companies in which I am working. Although I have worked in many different, seemingly unrelated industries, the knowledge and tools that I learnt at each step along the way continue to prove invaluable for each new challenge I face. From paints, to dairy, to cosmetics – your collective marketing knowledge spans across whichever business you are a part of. Once you’ve built up this knowledge base, the true challenge is not having the tools but knowing which tools to use and when.

I have always been most drawn to companies that challenge me to make a difference. This is how I’ve shaped my career and how I made my decisions on where to work.

M7: How well do you believe that a service-oriented and data-driven leadership approach along with business strategy and operational execution can lead to company growth with an upsurge in revenue/sales?
KE: 
I strongly believe in a service-oriented and data-driven leadership approach, as well as incorporating social and ethical capabilities. Data-driven leadership is the key to the future – in many industries – but especially in marketing. The industry today is all about knowing your KPIs and business cases, which are data rich. Working in marketing is about being able to positively impact business outcomes, and that ultimately boils down to the ability to add value for your customers and consumers. Focussing on PPG work as a service-oriented industry highlights the need for data availability – both in that of the business and that of our customers – to be able to best consult and serve. Knowing your data is the key currency for success in the 21st century.

Data analysis can provide us with information such as click through rates and viewership. We are able to access tools now that, if used right, can prove invaluable to achieving successful outcomes. Being able to use this information to your advantage will allow you to instantly see whether your data retrieval is successful. Every business case and KPI that you set out to tackle can then be achieved using the data to measure sales growth.

M7: PPG Industries has been included in the list of American Fortune 500 companies. What do you think has made it possible to build a fortune for PPG industries?
KE: 
PPG has a strong culture of building the business across SBUs through investment, innovation and acquisition. We are one of the leading and largest paints and coatings companies in the world. This status is maintained by PPG’s culture of investing in R&D and constantly challenging the boundaries and expectations of the coatings world.

The opportunity to build our position as a market leader in many countries around the world is only possible through our global network and international approach. For example, our Alison Park facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a major hub of innovation for PPG – but work that is done there is often inspired by an idea from Europe, that itself was driven by a customer need from Asia. To stay on the frontlines we can’t sit still and be complacent. Our recent acquisition of Hemmelrath and a new plant in Tianjin, China is evidence of our strategy to expand our foothold, our abilities to deliver for customers and our capacity for innovation to maintain our position as a market leader.

PPG has many moving parts which all function in different areas of the world across different business units, but our central goal is to add customer value. A focus on our customers, our innovation, our people and our entrepreneurial way of working – are all elements that inspired the One PPG vision, and what most accurately represents the key to our successful way of working.


"Data-driven leadership is the key to the future – in many industries – but especially in marketing."


M7: How is PPG Industries’ tagline ‘WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD’ serving its purpose of enhancing the world through its paints and coating solutions?
KE: 
PPG is in every part of daily life – even if you don’t realise it. You touch and feel PPG in your living environment practically 24/7: from your car to an airplane, to your refrigerator, to your laptop or even your soda can. This tagline reflects how PPG’s paints and coatings cover every part of life. PPG products provide the expected functionality of adding a colour or coating to an object, but even more than that, PPG products enhance the longevity of an item and increase its appeal. Whether it is an electronics coating that makes a laptop feel smooth to the touch, or a coating that protects the body of an airplane from overheating in the sun. PPG’s mission is not to provide what is expected, but to offer innovative solutions to questions no one expected an answer for.

Environmental impact is one of the greatest concerns of the 21st century, for both our customers and us as manufacturers. As a business founded on mass production, it is our responsibility – and therefore our challenge – to be as positive a force as possible in the fight against climate change. This is why so many of our modern products are developed to align to both PPG’s mission of protecting the world and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals: boat coatings that reduce friction and therefore reduce fuel consumption, aircraft windows that don’t need frames to reduce plane weight to help minimise carbon emissions, electric vehicle battery coatings that enable cars to travel for significantly longer periods of time per charge, increasing the viability of electric vehicles on roads. We are innovating with purpose – for the public, for our customers, for consumers and for our own PPG people.
The world cannot function without paints and coatings in our everyday life, and that’s why PPG’s tagline is so powerful. If we are going to continue to be a worldwide presence, we want to be sure we are making the world a more beautiful place in the most long-term, stable way possible.

M7: You have taken transformational business initiatives to foster incremental business changes and drive cultural change throughout the organization especially in dynamic business sectors. What are some of the advantages of taking such timely measures?
KE: 
As part of the global shift towards greater digitization, businesses have the opportunity to drive cultural change. Digital transformation is a key component, especially as peoples' buying habits are evolving and changing how they purchase products. This is acutely felt in Europe, with its variety of different countries, cultures and languages. From a marketing standpoint, the industry is offering incremental business changes in this new culture of on-demand. In the age of Amazon and digital transformation, people want easier and faster solutions from the paints and coatings industry. Customers want to get the job done as quickly and as easily as possible with support from the supplier. As a result, PPG is innovating to be more agile and fast, by developing architectural paints that take less time to dry or offering customers a more on-demand paint matching experience.


"A successful campaign is one tailored to the needs, style and audience of the customer."

M7: You have an amazing experience of working with top leading companies like Nestle, L’Oreal and currently PPG Industries, how influential was your role in transforming marketing tactics for these organizations?
KE: 
My roles in these organizations were really diverse. For L’Oréal, I was more into sales and worked within category management. This later proved very influential for my future marketing career as it introduced me to the integration between marketing and sales in helping to serve customers in the best way possible. Integrated communication between marketing and sales is an essential tool in connecting both ends with the business purpose while still staying customer focused. You need to drive your campaigns forward and also sell your products in a much more complex way that is completely focused on the customer’s view. In order to do this, you need to know what is best for the customer when you place your products within a category role. This requires a lot of analytical skills to convince a customer what is best for them. You need to oversee the whole thing and act almost as both an internal and external consultant for your company. This whole picture view of the marketing process really influenced my journey and helped me strengthen my skillset for my future roles, such as when I was head of digital for Nestle.

When it comes to marketing, you can’t just pick the most creative, 360 media campaign available and offer it to the client. A successful campaign is one tailored to the needs, style and audience of the customer. To be best at what we do, it is essential to build an in-depth understanding of your customer’s view and what is best for them. This experience came with me into my work for PPG in using this knowledge to establish myself in a more leading role. At PPG I am also the communicator in the company and need to understand everyone’s view and connect with all the different departments. I am not only the marketer in my department but I’m also responsible for looking at the whole value chain within this digital leading role. PPG has experienced double-digit growth in the past two years in both B2B and B2C and this success is down to how closely we collaborate here.

M7: Kolja, what is your super power?
KE:
I would say my super power is a combination of my visual and analytical skills, articulated through my courageous and enthusiastic mindset. Being able to both develop a specialized skill set and confidently acknowledge my areas of expertise and strength makes for a very beneficial cocktail to drive progress. Having empathy and other social skills are important to exert a positive influence within my team at PPG. However, these qualities should also be backed by facts – knowledge, experience and history -- which is a combination I have not seen in many people. Being self-confident and believing in my strengths is a powerful tool in business, and something that has greatly helped me along the way.

M7: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
KE:
I’m really driven by being up to date and well informed in as many areas as possible, and I would advise my younger self to do the exact same. I’ve always been a very curious person, but I would tell my younger self to be even more so and to take in as much information as possible. In this fast-moving world, that is just getting faster as we become more digital, there is always something new to learn or discover. If you remain stuck in one point of view or one way of thinking, you are already behind the curve. Stay flexible, stay interested and always remain in a constant state of learning.

ABOUT PPG INDUSTRIES

PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™
At PPG (NYSE:PPG)
, we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $15.4 billion in 2018. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.

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6sense | September 28, 2022

Today, Latané Conant, Chief Market Officer at 6sense, announced the second edition of her book, “No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls.,” a modern, must-have manual for sales and marketing leadership seeking to hone their craft and forgo the status quo by truly embracing their customers’ needs and habits. After the initial release of the book in 2020, Wiley, global leader in publishing, education and research, picked it up to distribute internationally. Over 15,000 first edition sales indicates the book’s intrinsic value and demonstrates the need to continue to help more teams with this expanded second edition. “No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls.” shines light into an opaque business environment where an estimated $2 trillion in waste prevents companies from achieving predictable revenue growth. It is a step-by-step guide that will transform how professionals think about marketing and selling in the modern age, equipping them with the strategies and tools they need to eliminate guesswork and other outdated practices. “This book was born to meet the needs of a new generation of sales and marketing leaders who are ready to ditch the traditional strategies, tactics, and technologies that are no longer working,” said Conant. “The nature of our work at 6sense and the scope of cross-industry customers we serve gives us a profound view of the need for a how-to guide to revolutionize sales and marketing efforts and enable all businesses to proceed with confidence. We put these strategies to work at 6sense, enabling us to achieve 1,136% three-year revenue growth and rank #550 on the 2022 Inc. 5000.” In the two years since the book’s initial release, Conant has compiled more critical information to better equip sales and marketing leaders with the latest strategies and tactics to succeed in 2023 and beyond. As a result, in this version, readers can expect: Conant’s and 6sense’s collective knowledge and industry expertise on modern marketing strategy and the tactics to make them happen. An all-new chapter, “The Modern Sales Organization,” authored by Mark Ebert, 6sense’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales, dives deep into the latest and most effective selling principles from the Chief Revenue Officer perspective that put sales teams in a position to win. Foreword by Jason Zintak, CEO of 6sense – someone who started and grew his own career as a business development representative (BDR), outlines the credibility and timeliness of the book, provides solid rationale for change and calls to action to create better B2B buyer and go-to-market experiences. An FAQ chapter answers questions about how to put these modern sales and marketing approaches into practice — including a step-by-step guide to implementing an authentic, spam-free nurture program. Key sales and marketing topics spanning data, AI, technology stacks, customer experience, B2B buyer behavior, prospecting, personalization, pipelines, the role of BDRs, lighting up the Dark Funnel™, all things account-based marketing, and more. The mindset shift required to be a market expert, how it benefits your entire organization, and what you’ll need to leave behind to drive change. “This book challenges sales and marketing leaders to engage customers the right way, in the right place, at the right time to achieve predictable revenue growth. It lays out exactly how to enable sales and marketing teams to take pride in the customer experience and put prospects at the center of everything,” said Ebert. “It’s a prescriptive roadmap to uncover customer demand, prioritizing which accounts to work, engaging the entire customer buying team, and measuring real success and revenue growth.” “This book challenges sales and marketing leaders to engage customers the right way, in the right place, at the right time to achieve predictable revenue growth. It lays out exactly how to enable sales and marketing teams to take pride in the customer experience and put prospects at the center of everything,” said Ebert. “No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls.,” is available nationwide today at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers. All proceeds from book sales will go to GoodSense, the charitable arm of 6sense, whose mission is to support communities they operate in. For more information: Get excerpts, read reviews and purchase the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble Visit the landing page, where you can read the first chapter for free Follow Latané on LinkedIn and 6sense on LinkedIn and Twitter Stay updated with announcements at the 6sense Newsroom About Latané Conant As CMO of 6sense, Latané is passionate about empowering marketing leaders with effective technology, predictive insights, and thought leadership so they can confidently lead their teams, company, and industry into the future. As a “recovering software saleswoman” she is keenly focused on leveraging data to ensure marketing programs result in deals, not just leads. Latané leads the Empowered CMO Network, an organization focused on empowering women CMOs to realize their full potential professionally and personally through leadership, inspiration, and craft. She is a member of Pavilion and serves in Advisory Board Member roles for both Mediafly and Atrium. Latané is creative, charismatic, and competitive. Her high energy, positive attitude, and sense of humor are contagious and it’s hard to find a customer, partner, audience, or employee who doesn’t want to work with her. Follow her insights, inspirations and updates on LinkedIn. About 6sense 6sense reinvents the way organizations create, manage, and convert pipeline to revenue. 6sense Revenue AI™ captures anonymous buying signals, targets the right accounts at the ideal time, and recommends the channels and messages to boost revenue performance. Removing guesswork, friction, and wasted sales effort, 6sense empowers sales, marketing, and customer success teams to significantly improve pipeline quality, accelerate sales velocity, increase conversion rates, and grow revenue predictably. 6sense has been recognized for its market-defining technology by Forbes Cloud 100, Gartner, and Forrester, and for its strong culture by Glassdoor, Inc. Magazine, and Comparably. For more information, visit 6sense or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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ACCOUNT BASED EXECUTION

AdDaptive Intelligence Launches New Website and Logo

AdDaptive Intelligence | September 30, 2022

This week, AdDaptive Intelligence, the leading provider of account-based advertising and analytics, has released a new logo and website. "We started by exploring our business strategy, internal strengths, and market opportunities," explained Laura Goldstone, senior director of communications and branding strategy at AdDaptive. "Then we crafted messaging and designs that conveyed our differentiators most effectively. Strategic planning and cohesion throughout enabled a full brand refresh that spans all of our content, building on and elevating our voice and presence in the market." The new design's elements include: The gradient represents movement, adaptability, and depth as well as sleekness and tech-savviness. The logomark matches the A in AdDaptive. Its shape conveys AdDaptive's emphasis on analytics and success by representing a bar chart growing from left to right. When rotated, it can also resemble a marketing funnel, representing AdDaptive's ability to move key accounts toward clients' KPIs. The tagline informs audiences that they will achieve Smarter B2B Advertising by working with AdDaptive. "The ultimate goal of this project was to elevate our visual identity and tell an authentic story that embodies who AdDaptive is, what we do, and where we excel," said Alexandra Singer, senior graphic designer at AdDaptive. "Every decision in this process was intentional and strategic and done with our mission and vision in mind." While designing their new logo in-house, AdDaptive concurrently worked on a new website that would showcase this new design while also conveying their brand's narrative in a more compelling and data-driven manner. AdDaptive worked with web design agency Bop Design to produce a sleek, optimized, and organized website that conveys AdDaptive's value proposition clearly and thoroughly and provides intuitive navigation and flow. "We're excited that our new site leads with transparent, comprehensive account-based analytics, which is a main differentiator for AdDaptive," said co-founder Patrick Shea. "We're excited that our new site leads with transparent, comprehensive account-based analytics, which is a main differentiator for AdDaptive," said co-founder Patrick Shea. Co-founder Kevin O'Malley added, "Beyond the unique reporting we provide, our new site dives into how to use those insights strategically and how to ensure your campaigns are set up to yield successful results across marketing, sales, and overall business goals. We're excited for our website to walk through the customer journey step by step and hope this new layout provides a positive experience for all visitors." AdDaptive's customer journey as laid out on the new site is cyclical, starting with audience discovery either in the form of an ABM list or custom-built firmographic segments; leading into media activation and campaign deployment either through AdDaptive's curated deals offering or through AdDaptive's accounts management team; feeding into transparent insights in various analytics reports (namely Campaign Analytics and Site Analytics). But it doesn't stop there: AdDaptive's team then acts as strategic consultants, coaching agencies and brands on how to make analytics reports actionable. AdDaptive's team works with its customers to make effective advertising decisions by exploring the insights in previous campaigns' analytics reports and refining their target audience, KPIs, and budget in subsequent campaigns, thus feeding into the cycle for long-term success. "Storytelling is at the heart of how we connect with our customers on a human level," Goldstone went on to say. "While we lead with our insightful analytics and technological capabilities, the way we convey the power and value of those solutions is through stories - stories about the customer, internal teams, and the market. And when stories are supported by strong design, trust among customers increases exponentially and builds a virtuous cycle with tremendous upside." Readers can view the new website and logo at www.addaptive.com. About AdDaptive: AdDaptive Intelligence is the leading provider of Account-Based Advertising and Analytics. Deploying display, native, video, CTV, and audio campaigns for B2B audiences, AdDaptive's proprietary technology bridges offline and online data, optimizes ad campaigns, and provides transparent B2B analytics to help clients reach the accounts that matter most. The result is the industry's most accurate and strategic B2B ABM solution. For more information, visit https://www.addaptive.com/blog/ or follow AdDaptive on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

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PPG Industries

PPG Industries

We work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, w...

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