Cristina-Gabriela Damian says about herself that she is curious, creative, determined and pro-active. She’s been working in marketing and project management for over 6 years and is currently in charge with marketing at NEW DELTA Europe B.V., while still working as a freelancer too.
You can find her on LinkedIn here.
Why did you choose a career in marketing, how did you start?
It might sound silly, but I really think I chose to be in this industry when I was my 4th grade and I was the only volunteering to be the Editor-in-Chief of the school magazine (it went great :D).
Fast-forwarding 9 years ahead, in 2013, I become an Economic Informatics student by day and a Marketing Representative by night, in one of the biggest student NGOs in Bucharest, where I participated in full-cycle Social Media campaigns of projects in different domains (journalism, marketing, IT, finance etc.). Just kidding, I was a full-time Marketing enthusiastic and I dropped out from that boring informatic stuff. After all, my heart pounded with adrenaline when I was hitting the ”Post now!” button.
Tell us a bit about your professional path until now.
After the afore-mentioned Marketing year, I was a travel blogger for a short period in Ukraine and, when returning, I started my mandate as the Project Manager of a narrative-journalism project, which was a blessing for me.
This led me to my first job as a journalist, with the aim of reducing the stereotypes about Roma students in Romania. Due to my depression, in 2015 I took a break from most marketing-related jobs, but in 2018 I fell in love again with it when I co-founded the first Formula Student team based in Bucharest that ever participated in an international FSAE competition.
In 2019 I officially became a mechanical engineer, specialized in Industrial Design, and I moved in The Netherlands. Right before the pandemic started, I joined a start-up team within ING Labs Amsterdam, as a B2B Marketing & Design intern. After that, I had joined another start-up, this time a Romanian one, activating in the HR Tech industry, dealing with both B2B and B2C customers.
Since 2019, I had worked as a freelancer and had individual clients, for whom I created LinkedIn strategies (and implementing them), print materials, logos, websites and other marketing materials. Currently, I’m the Marketing Officer at NEW DELTA Europe B.V. and, giving the products’ large portfolio, every day is different. Through all marketing actions, I aim to answer the question ”How can I be more human in online interactions with these creative professionals that I’m working with?”.
What advice do you wish you got when you started your career in marketing?
A bit cliché, but never settle for less than you deserve, have a limit of how many free written/design tests you offer and be careful of your copyrights. The entire marketing industry can be a tricky and harsh playground, but it has its hidden gems. Don’t stop until you find yours.
Top 3 learnings in your marketing career that brought the most value?
1. Nobody cares about your product.
They care what it can do for them. – This one was such a relief! When you can start focusing on the real and meaningful benefits that your service or product is offering to the world, the pressure of creating content just for the sake of it disappears (or, at least, it should).
2. Not even the best marketing can help a shitty product/service.
Get your priorities in order. 🙂
3. People do have time, they’re just not that into you (aka your content is just not that interesting, nor engaging).
When you find out what doesn’t work, you have the freedom to go a bit crazy (the old test and adapt). So listen actively to what your audience is saying between lines or use surveys to find out how you can help them.
One result you are really proud of as a marketeer
The biggest impact I appreciate having is regarding the NGO I co-founded. UPB Drive created quite a big online and offline hype and managed to partner with big automotive and engineering names. In ten months the team built a Formula Student car truly from scratch and this would have not been possible without the passionate marketers. In the corporate world, my e-mail marketing “game” always receives not only very good feedback and praise, but it makes people want to collaborate. The right words close (big) deals.
What’s one important B2B marketing trend that will gain popularity in 2021, in your opinion?
Digital H2H engagement. Using the old-fashioned plastic language won’t get you anywhere from now on. The pandemic transformed us into loners, and it’s not in our nature. We are social beings and we are craving real human connections, and B2B companies need to lose the “Oh, how can we, such a serious company with big clients, use TikTok?” stereotypes and start giving to their audience what it wants.
Which is the strongest social media channel in 2021, and why?
The one where your audience is. There’s no point in trying to sell ice-cream high in the mountains or hot tea on a beach. I mean, of course you can try, and of course you can be successful – everything depends on your business goals. The strongest social media channel in 2021 and in every year is the one that helps you reach your business goals.
What would you recommend to businesses that want to grow in 2021? What about the tactics they should avoid?
Step up your customer experience and personal branding games! CX and customer service are often seen as non-marketing things, but really, everything is marketing and, in the end, people are buying from people, not from legal entities.
I strongly recommend businesses to avoid using ads. They can seem they work – and they are, in the short term -, but they won’t pay off in the long term. They will also damage your organic reach and mostly will just annoy 90% of the people that they are targeted.
Last, but not least, grow your team. The work never finishes in marketing, and more human power will assure you of staying up on your game.
Can you name one digital marketing tactic that you find overrated?
Remarketing through Facebook Ads. Although e-mail remarketing works very well.