All aspects of marketing, from advertising to events, are labours of love - but it's not all fun and games. VPCM's Head of Marketing Isabela Pascu talks inspirations and breaks down marketing misconceptions.
What sets Volkswagen marketing apart from the other automotive brands?
We have an emotional brand that people connect with, hence our campaigns are developed with the objective of resonating with our owners, and those who aspire to own a Volkswagen. The love our customers have for their Volkswagen and the generational stories we can be part of, is what we try every day to maintain and strengthen, it's what keeps us motivated and connected.
What gets you excited at work?
The brainstorming process, seeing how a tiny seed of thought can materialise into something great.
What marketing trend do you hope will make a comeback?
None, living in the past is not the best trait as a marketer. It is our job to constantly look at what is trending, what has the potential to attract attention and generate buzz, what's new and fresh. We try to be trailblazers, not followers.
The most underrated marketing tool?
Existing customers. Instead of living in their own "bubble", any brand should look at their owners, they really are the best ambassadors. Beyond any trends, it should be about what customers need, especially as they experience the product on a daily basis. This is what we are guided by.
Your favourite campaign?
The loveable Beetle represents everything fun and vibrant about the brand, so it has to be everything we've ever done for the Beetle. This includes our Beetle online sale on Lazada (12 units sold in less than 20 minutes!), the Bye-Bye Beetle party and of course, the Beetle Gathering at Putrajaya where we attempted to break the record of the biggest Beetle gathering in Malaysia. There was so much support from our owners, and there were Beetles for as far as the eye could see … it was truly a sight to remember.
What is your leadership style?
Anything goes for as long as you can back-up your thought process. If a team member comes up with an exciting proposal, they should be empowered and take the lead to see it through, regardless of position.
How do you keep your team inspired?
The pace by which we work is extremely fast, so it is important to provide a certain level of independence to my team members. I believe that we can only benefit from different point of views and ideas, and this is cultivated by giving them a voice, to recognise their strengths and work on their weaknesses. I try to encourage the team to explore their interests, regardless of their roles. Someone who manages digital marketing isn't conformed to just that scope, they are encouraged to also try out other areas of marketing.
What is the biggest misconception about marketing?
That it's one big party, all the time! There's a lot of groundwork and back-end tasks that needs to be completed before we launch a campaign or run an event, so we are looking at working after hours and even weekends.
What is the biggest challenge?
Speed. Whatever the project, the deadline was yesterday.
What advice would you give someone interested to pursue a career in marketing?
Dream BIG, and never stop asking questions.