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

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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PowerSchoolachieved record-breaking registration rates, 75 CTA clicks, over 400 poll responses and 300+ content downloads during an educational experience with ON24. S&P Globaldoubled marketing qualified leads and boosted engagement by designing an ON24 digital experience personalized to different customer segments. Tata Consultancy Servicesdrove revenue growth with record-high registrations for their webinar on ON24, resulting in 70% attendee participation across 30 countries. Texthelpsourced leads during a webinar series and converted at least 70% of them into marketing-qualified leads within 30 days. TOPdeskincreased revenue and improved its customer engagement by 7% YoY and extended the shelf life of its content with an on-demand hub. TravelMediaGroupclosed three deals from a single digital experience by creating a seamless and engaging customer experience on ON24. UCBachieved a 50%+ attendee conversion rate by enhancing the HCP’s experience and integrating ON24 engagement data with its business intelligence system. UnitedHealthcareachieved an 80% cost savings, increased attendee score and engagement with a new digital engagement strategy and an always-on content hub. Wood PLCsourced leads, increased audience engagement and automated continuing professional education credits on ON24, across different time zones. ZoomInfosurpassed webinar benchmarks by generating a record number of marketing-qualified leads and 190 scheduled demos, resulting in 10 closed-won deals. To learn more about 2023’s leaders in digital engagement, watch the on-demand webinar here. About ON24 ON24 is on a mission to re-imagine how companies engage, understand and build relationships with their audience in a digital world. Through our leading sales and marketing platform for digital engagement integrated with generative AI, businesses use our portfolio of webinar, virtual event and content experiences to drive engagement and generate first-party data, delivering ​revenue growth across the enterprise – from demand generation to customer success to partner enablement. ON24 powers digital engagement for industry-leading customers worldwide, including 3 of the 5 largest global technology companies, 3 of the 6 largest US banks, 3 of the 5 largest global healthcare companies, and 3 of the 5 largest global industrial manufacturers, enabling organizations to reach millions of professionals a month for billions of engagement minutes per year with all the first-party data being captured, generated and integrated from one place. ON24 is headquartered in San Francisco with global offices in North America, EMEA, and APAC. For more information, visit www.ON24.com.

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Account Based Data

DemandScience’s End-to-End B2B Demand Generation Products Earn 50 Awards in Winter 2024 G2 Reports

GlobeNewswire | January 10, 2024

DemandScience, a leading B2B demand generation company that accelerates global growth for its clients, today announced that the company’s products earned 50 awards in G2’s Winter 2024 reports. This is the second consecutive quarter DemandScience has won 50 or more G2 awards. Highlights include: four Fastest Implementation awards, three Easiest To Do Business With awards, four Momentum Leader awards, nine Leader and 30 High Performer awards. “Winning 50 G2 awards across our product portfolio underscores DemandScience’s ability to partner with our customers at any point in their demand generation campaign lifecycle to help them exceed their goals and realize a quantifiable ROI – which is vitally important during these times when marketers are expected to do more with less,” said Peter Cannone, Chair and CEO of DemandScience. “We value each and every customer and are especially proud of these G2 awards because they are based on verified reviews from real users of our solutions.” DemandScience’s Winter 2024 G2 awards are both global and regional, including wins in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. Examples of recent, verified customer reviews of DemandScience on the G2 platform: “The level of knowledge and attention the team provides is exceptional.” “They are very flexible, quick to respond and are thorough from beginning to end. I enjoy having a full program that provides the level of insight and lessons learned once the program wraps up. I’d recommend…” “DemandScience - A win for Lead Gen.” “DemandScience is the best way to get highly qualified MQA (Marketing Qualified Accounts) using content syndication campaigns…” “Klarity by DemandScience is the wind beneath my wings.” “Klarity has been an invaluable and versatile tool for our Growth Marketing team. We have been able to use it in a variety of ways including database building, pulling in specific segments to run campaigns to, and identifying target audiences for us to run in both content syndication and display with DemandScience.” DemandScience’s Content Syndication, ABM Display and B2B Intent Data products won 25 awards: Award Report Easiest To Do Business With Relationship Index for Enterprise Account-Based Web and Content Experiences Easiest To Do Business With Relationship Index for Enterprise Account-Based Advertising Easiest To Do Business With Relationship Index for Mid-Market Buyer Intent Data Providers Fastest Implementation Implementation Index for Mid-Market Account-Based Advertising Momentum Leader Momentum Grid Report for Account-Based Web and Content Experiences Momentum Leader Momentum Grid Report for Account-Based Advertising Momentum Leader Momentum Grid Report for Buyer Intent Data Providers Momentum Leader Momentum Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader Enterprise Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader Small-Business Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader Americas Regional Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader EMEA Regional Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader Europe Regional Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader United Kingdom Regional Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader Enterprise Americas Regional Grid Report for Lead Capture Leader Small-Business Americas Regional Grid Report for Lead Capture High Performer Grid Report for Account-Based Advertising High Performer Grid Report for Buyer Intent Data Providers High Performer Enterprise Grid Report for Buyer Intent Data Providers High Performer Mid-Market Grid Report for Buyer Intent Data Providers High Performer Americas Regional Grid Report for Buyer Intent Data Providers High Performer Americas Regional Grid Report for Marketing Account Intelligence High Performer Europe Regional Grid Report for Account-Based Advertising High Performer Mid-Market Americas Regional Grid Report for Buyer Intent Data Providers Klarity by DemandScience, the company’s B2B marketing and sales Account Intelligence tool for building, sharing, and prioritizing contact lists has won 25 awards: Award Report Fastest Implementation Implementation Index for Small-Business Lead Intelligence Fastest Implementation Implementation Index for Marketing Account Intelligence Fastest Implementation Implementation Index for Sales Intelligence High Performer Small-Business Grid Report for Marketing Account Intelligence High Performer Small-Business Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer Americas Regional Grid Report for Lead Intelligence High Performer Americas Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer EMEA Regional Grid Report for Lead Intelligence High Performer EMEA Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer Europe Regional Grid Report for Lead Intelligence High Performer Europe Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer United Kingdom Regional Grid Report for Lead Intelligence High Performer United Kingdom Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer Asia Regional Grid Report for Marketing Account Intelligence High Performer India Regional Grid Report for Marketing Account Intelligence High Performer Asia Pacific Regional Grid Report for Marketing Account Intelligence High Performer Mid-Market EMEA Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer Mid-Market Americas Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer Small-Business Americas Regional Grid Report for Lead Intelligence High Performer Small-Business Americas Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer Small-Business EMEA Regional Grid Report for Lead Intelligence High Performer Small-Business EMEA Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer Small-Business Europe Regional Grid Report for Lead Intelligence High Performer Small-Business Europe Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence High Performer Small-Business United Kingdom Regional Grid Report for Sales Intelligence “Rankings on G2 reports are based on data provided to us by real software buyers,” explained Sara Rossio, Chief Product Officer at G2. “Potential buyers know they can trust these insights when researching and selecting software because they’re rooted in vetted, verified, and authentic reviews.” G2 is one of the world’s largest and most trusted software marketplaces. For more information on G2 Research Scoring Methodologies, visit here. Learn more about what real users have to say at G2’s DemandScience page and Klarity by DemandScience page. About DemandScience DemandScience is the premier B2B demand generation company accelerating global growth for our clients. The DemandScience intelligence platform empowers B2B organizations to swiftly identify the right accounts and target in-market buyers with precision. By combining groundbreaking technologies, machine learning and data science innovation, the company ensures timely delivery of accurate data, intelligence, and insights, adding value to the end-to-end journey from initial engagement to conversion. Founded in 2012, DemandScience provides 1,500 global customers with superior marketing solutions, B2B data, and leads. With a team of 600+ employees across operations in seven countries, DemandScience is certified as a Great Place To Work, named #5 on Fortune Magazine’s 2022 list of the Best Workplaces in Advertising & Marketing, and one of only 143 companies in history to be named to the Inc. 5000 for 10 consecutive years. For further insights on why DemandScience stands at the forefront of transformative demand generation, visit demandscience.com and connect on LinkedIn, X, Facebook, and Instagram. About G2 G2 is the world's largest and most trusted software marketplace. More than 60 million people annually — including employees at all of the FORTUNE 500 — use G2 to make smarter software decisions based on authentic peer reviews. Thousands of software and services companies of all sizes partner with G2 to build their reputation, manage their software spend, and grow their business – including Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoom, and Adobe. To learn more about where you go for software, visit www.g2.com.

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Core ABM

Anteriad’s 177% Surge in SQLs Drives it to the Drum Awards Finals

Anteriad | November 07, 2023

Anteriad, the global B2B marketing solutions provider, proudly announced that its marketing team has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Drum Award in the B2B: Brand and In-House Team of the Year category. The award recognizes outstanding achievements and impactful results in the B2B marketing landscape. Notable nominees include Salesforce Studio, Economist Impact, and MasterCard Creative Studio. The winner of this esteemed award will be revealed on November 29. Under the leadership of CMO Lynn Tornabene, Anteriad's marketing team has navigated through several acquisitions and a rebrand in 2022, ultimately devising a sophisticated marketing strategy that resonates with the company's B2B capabilities. Leveraging their own intent data and content syndication tools, the team crafted an effective Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy, delivering personalized content tailored to individual customer behavior across digital platforms. Additionally, they introduced advanced audience modeling and reporting methodologies. The team's efforts have resulted in a significant upsurge in various key performance indicators (KPIs), including a 40% increase in total leads generated, a 25% rise in engagement through nurture campaigns, and a notable 177% enhancement in Sales Qualified Leads. Notably, the team's agility and successful outcomes were recognized by Anteriad's CEO, Rob Sanchez, who expressed pride in their achievements and highlighted the team's adept use of the company's own products. Anteriad's robust marketing solutions, backed by its Marketing Cloud platform tracking over 500 billion buyer-related signals monthly, have empowered leading companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Forbes, SHRM, and Lenovo to achieve exceptional ROI multiples. With a focus on providing high-fidelity B2B buyer data, multichannel execution services, tele-based conversion, and expert advisory, Anteriad remains committed to supporting B2B marketers globally. Anteriad's heavy reliance on digital platforms and personalized content in their marketing strategy may raise concerns about privacy and data security, potentially leading to issues regarding data breaches and unauthorized use of personal information. However, the company's recognition as a finalist for the Drum Award highlights their adept navigation through acquisitions and rebranding, resulting in a sophisticated marketing approach that effectively utilizes its own data and content tools. Its notable achievements, including significant increases in total leads, nurture campaign engagement, and Sales Qualified Leads, showcase their proficiency in implementing advanced audience modeling and reporting, ultimately empowering leading companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Forbes, SHRM, and Lenovo to achieve exceptional ROI through the use of Anteriad's robust Marketing Cloud platform. About Anteriad Anteriad is a data-driven and tech-enabled B2B powerhouse, caters to the needs of growth-oriented marketing leaders worldwide. With a focus on precision and scale, the company offers a comprehensive suite of services including high-fidelity B2B buyer data, multi-channel campaign execution, tele-based conversion services, and expert advisory, all backed by its award-winning Anteriad Marketing Cloud platform. Notable clients like IBM, Microsoft, Forbes, SHRM, and Lenovo have leveraged Anteriad's capabilities, benefiting from its global reach and GDPR-compliant data solutions.

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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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