Erika Greco

Digital Marketing Tips from Expert Kathy Suchowiecki

Kathy_PhotoI had the pleasure of interviewing digital marketing professional Kathy Suchowiecki, who works for Meritor, which is the leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. Digital marketing and technology is ever-changing and Kathy has had to work with those constant shifts to master the digital space and lead those efforts on a global scale.

She started her career when she was 17 years old as a high school co-op working for Meritor. Kathy continued working at Meritor throughout her college career. But in her last semester she left for Daimler in order to utilize her degree in marketing and international business.

Daimler was actually one of Meritor’s customers and she said the role allowed her to use her industry knowledge and degree while working in various marketing and digital positions. After five years at Daimler, she decided to return to Meritor working as a senior specialist of marketing and communications. Since her return, she has held various roles at Meritor that included product marketing, branding, digital and international marketing. Today, she is the manager of global brand management and digital communications and is responsible for the companies global branding and digital strategies.

I talked to Katy about what she has learned throughout her career to assist in staying up to date and what to consider when creating or deploying your company’s message or product to generate the most results.

SPARTANS INNOVATE: What tools do you use to evaluate the success of some of your campaigns?
SUCHOWIECKI: With Google Analytics being as strong as they are, it’s a great solution, go-to tool package for digital analytics on websites. It’s an extremely cost-effective package as well. Then there’s also other tools. We have used Hootsuite for social media management and now we use Gain for social media management. We also use analytics within the social media channels too. There are many data points within these tools that can help us guide our strategies.”

How many people are on your current marketing team and what kind of roles do they play?
Currently, my co-op and I manage our branding and digital space. But, we work closely with our marketing and communications team we’re about 12 people strong. Each role is a little different, our product marketing team provide us with content that they would like shared, communications team helps us filter through our messages, our multimedia specialist assists with creative development and we manage all of the channels.”

How do you assess your market to provide the most valuable content to them?
Each department or business unit has a different audience that they’re trying to target. So we do our best to balance those messages. We also create audience/customer profiles for our various customers so we understand their needs, wants and based on that it’s easier to structure the content that they’d like to see.

What is your process of working through a project end-to-end?
What I like to do with my team is setup check-in meetings on Monday morning to talk about what’s happening during the week. That goes for really any role, it really helps to establish your path for the week, making sure that everybody’s on task and on target with what they’re supposed to be delivering…what they are accountable for.

The second thing is a robust content calendar. Content calendars are a huge asset for the digital marketing space, specifically for social media and website management. If you’ve got a content calendar in place, it allows you to stay on task and again meet those deadlines.”

How would you describe your current brand’s tone of voice and visual identity?
Meritor is a very strong brand in the commercial vehicle and industrial market. We’re committed to the customer and really understand what our customer needs are. Our visual identity is represented by our bull. He is a mythological creature that represents power, strength and innovation. Those two go hand in hand, so not only do we have the power and the strength but we have the dedication, the commitment and the heritage that emphasize our brand and tone.

What are some of the most effective media channels for Meritor?
Facebook and YouTube are two very effective channels for Meritor. Our audience relies on both for information and specifically when learning about new products and training.”

In your opinion, what is the relationship between SEO and content marketing?
SEO and content marketing work most effectively together. First and foremost, you have to have strong content on your website. Back in the day when I was growing up in this industry, content was king, the more words on a page the better.

With time, that’s really changed. So, what I would advise is don’t focus on content as much in terms of length, look at the most effective content pieces for your audience. Always take the content you’re pushing out there and ask yourself the question, would I want to read these pages of content before I bought a product?

Make sure to ask yourself the key questions such as why do I want to buy this? What are the key features and benefits? What is the most impactful content that will help my customer? Make sure to meta-tag your content. Research the keywords/search terms that are applicable to your industry and apply them to your content.

What role does paid advertising play in your whole strategy?
We have multiple ways that we advertise: print, digital and radio. Digital is an area where we continue to see opportunities. We can see how well our ads do in our industry because they’re trackable and our analytics show us the details. We have our traditional industry publications that allow us to by place digital ad placements and we are starting to use social more and more. Social is really cost effective and allows us to use geotargeting (location based targeting) and allows us to target the specific audience we want to talk to.

Was there ever a time when you and your team had to create a campaign on a tight budget?
Sometimes campaigns can be just as effective when you don’t have a big budget, it’s just a matter of how you position what you’re trying to accomplish. We have had a few where we had to do a more cost effective approach to it and I’d say social media played a big role in it.

Do you have any other tools that you’d recommend to better digital marketing efforts?
One of the tools I use is Perfect Video Cutter. Video is growing on social significantly and Perfect Video Cutter allows me to quickly cut and piece together content for social.”

What do you think is the most effective way to drive traffic to a site?
I think Facebook advertising is a huge element that helps you drive traffic. Call-to-actions are another important way of driving traffic.

Where ever you push out a piece of information; a brochure, an advertisement, a direct mail piece, a hat, a piece of clothing or material…having a call-to-action on them so that more eyes see it is always an important and an impactful way to drive more traffic to your site.

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