Toma Chiritescu is a data-driven Freelance Senior Marketing Consultant with 14 years of market research and marketing experience and over 5 years of experience in IT-B2B international marketing strategy & execution coordination. He has been coordinating multi-cultural teams, worked both with corporations and startups and is passionate about SF literature.
Why did you choose a career in marketing, how did you start?
I have to say for me marketing was a natural career trajectory. I always had a passion for communication and human sciences mixed with a keen interest for data and results.
Two quotes have guided me from the beginning in the practice of communication and I still go back to them today. Both are by Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and for me they are a test that any communication should first pass, even more so marketing communications.
The first one says “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”. I really took this to heart in seeing language as the key element for defining reality for each one of us. The true reality around us is that part we can communicate about.
The second quote states that “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence’’. The advice given here is not that to be silent about one particular thing or another, but rather to manifest diligence and carefulness when communicating.
Tell us a bit about your professional path until now.
I’ll start by mentioning my academic background focused on all aspects related to communication, the power of the word, the crafting of messages and the art of persuasion in all its forms.
I graduated university studies in Communication & Public Relations, and then decided to follow a masters in Political and Electoral Management. Both at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA) in Bucharest. The masters landed me my first job. It had less to do with communication and was more about sociology and market research. Two subjects I was already very familiar with and loved.
The experience gathered in “the front lines” so to say is one that benefits any and all marketing professionals, as it gives you an audience-first and data-driven approach, invaluable to a professional in this line of work.
The progression to full-fledged marketing came naturally after that as I moved on to cover the marketing practice from positions like brand management, marketing management, corporate marketing and freelance marketing consultancy.
After a total of 14 years dedicated to various marketing sub-disciplines I can say that except direct mailing (if anyone reading this still remembers the practice) there’s no marketing tactic I haven’t interacted with or included as part of a strategy.
What advice do you wish you got when you started your career in marketing?
Start sooner and work harder! Have a clear plan, always use quantifiable objectives in your endeavors (both for yourself and for your clients) and think at least 3 years in advance.
Also, for someone starting today, I would tell them to always have an early-adopter mindset and try to gain as much experience as you can in the shortest time possible. Be flexible, be open and be positive. You’ve made a great career choice. Own it!
Top 3 learnings in your marketing career that brought the most value?
Always start with an audience-first approach. Know your public like you would know a friend.
Always go about marketing like you and your audience are in this together. There are no sides here, just a common interest that needs to be discovered and communicated and the need for generating as many win-win situations as possible.
Own your tactics inside-out! Get to know as many approaches as possible, implement, test and iterate on everything, from the “so last decade” to the “I can’t believe we’re actually doing this”.
One result you are really proud of as a marketeer
I would say that my entire marketing experience up until now and how that has formed me would be the thing I’m most proud of. And also being able to see marketing from so many different perspectives.
What’s one important B2B marketing trend that will gain popularity in 2021, in your opinion?
After what we’ve seen in 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemics on businesses of all types and the full move to digital as the main communication medium for both people and business. The main trend in 2021 digital marketing will be for businesses to further improve on (and leverage) their MarTech stack., continue to introduce AI and automation to take marketing tactics to their full potential and take advantage of all types of emerging tech to include in marketing campaigns, from Big Data to AR, VR and mixed reality.
Which is the strongest social media channel in 2021, and why?
I’m convinced that for B2B LinkedIn has the potential to remain the strongest social media channel for quality lead generation, together with Twitter (for those geographies where Twitter penetration and usage are high).
For B2C we have seen the rise of new platforms, like TikTok that managed to garner a huge following and massive consumption in a relatively short time interval.
What would you recommend to businesses that want to grow in 2021? What about the tactics they should avoid?
We will definitely see a boom in results for businesses that manage to intelligently and purposefully integrate emerging technologies with their tried and true marketing tactics.
Also, content will continue to dominate the marketing landscape as social distancing made it even more clear that people absolutely need quality digital content. The brands that can deliver on the quality content promise will thrive.
Can you name one digital marketing tactic that you find overrated?
I don’t think one particular tactic is overrated. It all depends on your marketing tactics mix and it’s diversity. If you emphasize too much on one particular tactic in the detriment of others, you will quickly find that results will start to drop.
Don’t be afraid to try “fad” tactics in your mix and definitely do not discard tactics as being too old and worn-out. We’ve all seen how email went from hero to zero and back to hero again. If the tactics mix is appropriately aligned to your marketing strategy, audience and product/service, then nothing is overrated.