In our recent webinar, “Make Marketing Magic at Siemens with Wrike,” CMO Esther Flammer was joined by two Siemens marketers.

In this blog post, we’ll share the insights offered by digital marketing transformation manager Virginia Foriarini and head of new product introduction Tony Drews, who spoke about:

  • The rapidly shifting business landscape and how it has impacted their marketing campaigns
  • What challenges marketers have to overcome in the change management process
  • How important it is to digitize workflows and centralize processes 

… and so much more.

Watch the webinar

Marketing at Siemens

Let’s start with an overview of the marketing landscape at Siemens and the working environments of both Tony and Virginia.

Tony works in a 35-40 person marketing department that’s made up of three different teams, focusing on:

  • Product marketing 
  • New product introduction 
  • Sustainability 

With different marketing goals in each team, Tony has to create alignment so that individual deadlines are met and people can make meaningful progress toward overall strategic goals.

Virginia has both global and local marketing teams to think about. The global team works with stakeholders and agencies across 14 countries and is consistently producing assets, creating content, and coordinating marketing efforts. 

Meanwhile, the local team promotes and drives business in the US with social media campaigns, trade shows, and other marketing activities.

The main challenge for Virginia and the digital marketing transformation team she is part of is to both align and optimize key processes between the sales and marketing teams while also digitizing many marketing operations.

Change management in turbulent times

To understand the reasons why the marketing department at Siemens turned to Wrike as the primary work management solution, it’s important to outline the work landscape of the past few years and how it has drastically changed.

With an increasing number of hybrid and fully remote teams based all over the world, there’s extra pressure on marketing teams to do more with less

More constraints, budget limitations, and fewer resources have forced many marketing teams to get creative with their day-to-day operations.

From Virginia’s perspective, Siemens’ transition from mostly traditional marketing to predominantly digital marketing was greatly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. From face-to-face office working and events to remote work setups, employees had to embrace an always-online work environment that relied on 100% digital communication.

While traditional marketing is still an important part of the Siemens marketing strategy, it’s taken a back seat role to digital marketing. Plus, Virginia points out that the overall company focus has pivoted from product to a customer-centric approach.

From Tony’s point of view, projects came thick and fast in the last few years, and there was a need to adapt much faster to meet expectations. This introduced key questions such as:

  • How do you share resources across projects and teams?
  • How do you align different teams and learn from one another to streamline marketing processes?
  • How do you speed up the decision making process to keep pace with the constant ups and downs from the changing market?

Wrike’s Dark Matter of Work report revealed that just 37% of marketing leaders have visibility into what their teams are doing. As such, it’s incredibly challenging to evaluate whether teams are hitting their goals in line with the metrics they set.

Watch the webinar

Lengthy tech stacks that overcomplicate things

Not only have the last few years forced companies like Siemens to rethink how they work, but they have also rendered many tech stacks redundant as there’s an increasing need for a single source of truth.

Across the marketing team Tony works in, there were six or seven tools they would turn to for various work solutions. The trouble was, it was difficult to get the full picture as information was coming in different forms and from various sources.

Likewise, Virginia was used to working with a loaded tech stack, but ultimately it felt to her like there was too much of a disconnect between the tools.

As highlighted in our Dark Matter of Work report, employees use 14 different apps a day on average. This explains why there’s a strong demand for centralized solutions such as Wrike.

The lengthy tech stacks that both Tony and Virginia relied on for so long were beginning to become a burden, which is what led them to seek a single solution — and their search brought them to Wrike.

Connecting core marketing processes

“Our process before was too many spreadsheets”

Working with different marketing teams around the world, Virginia found that she spent a lot of time in meetings to get status updates but there wasn’t a clear overview stemming from a unified platform.

“We were looking for a platform to help manage projects more efficiently”

The digital marketing transformation team needed a solution that: 

  • Enabled easy collaboration
  • Was easy to use
  • Provided different perspectives on project plans

Wrike was ticking all of those boxes in Virginia’s mind and, following the positive feedback from more than 14,000 existing Wrike users at Siemens, the implementation began. 

The ability to see projects on both a granular and macro level was hugely helpful in visualizing the work that needs to be done more clearly.

“We could have that holistic view but also drill down into the details”

Tony was also keen to connect the dots between core marketing processes in his teams, and the need for change was most clear during a meeting with the whole marketing team one day. 

Coming together to plan out quarterly goals, Tony and the marketing team filled an entire wall-size whiteboard with information about resources, tasks, and projects.

When he started using Wrike, Tony loved the transparency as he could finally see actions across the marketing teams in one place. 

“The most interesting [thing] was to see transparency across all teams in one nice overview”

This transparency expanded to other departments, too, as now the finance department would be able to draw numbers directly from the marketing team by simply logging into Wrike.

Immediately, Tony was able to see at a glance how resources were being used across marketing teams for effective workload planning. He could visualize all the most pressing timelines in one overview and, most importantly, see what the top priorities were at any moment.

Some teams even used Wrike to add meeting minutes directly to the tasks and projects to replace email follow-ups and lengthy documents.

With full top-down visibility, a single source of truth, and automation of core processes, there was no reason to rely on six different procedures, as Tony stated. 

Even away from the top-down perspective, Tony suggested that when each team member can see what their colleagues are working on in Wrike, it helps create individual accountability and opens up the possibility for meaningful discussions to take place.

Advice for teams implementing Wrike

To conclude the webinar, Esther asked both Tony and Virginia what advice they have for teams looking to get started with Wrike.

Let’s start with Virginia.

Still in the early stages of their learning journey with Wrike, Virginia’s team implemented the work management platform at the beginning of the year.

Virginia recommends that teams looking to get started with Wrike should first carry out an initial assessment of their needs, asking questions such as:

  • What can this tool help us to do as a team?
  • What processes do we want to refine with Wrike?
  • How can we set up effective workflows for each individual team?

From there, Virginia suggests selecting just two or three specific use cases to focus on.

“If you start too broad, it might be too much”

The more comfortable your team starts to get using Wrike, the more features you can present to them. It’s also important to have everyone on board, from team members to management, so you can all move in the same direction with alignment from top to bottom.

Virginia knew that habits are created through repetition and, though change can be difficult for team members, gradual introduction to this new work management platform could lead to major breakthroughs. That’s where she came up with the idea of running a 21-day challenge whereby team members would complete a small exercise each day.

“It takes 21 days to change your routine so we did a 21-day challenge”

Key takeaways: Start with clear objectives and take small steps to ease your team into a new way of working. Gamify the learning process with a 21-day challenge, completing small exercises in Wrike each day.

Now over to Tony, who is still in the setup process with Wrike but has a clear three-step plan to successfully implement the platform across the marketing teams.

Step 1: Create transparency for high-level activities

“We use Wrike to have that overview and map all our activities”

First, create an overview in Wrike that will enable you and your team to get full visibility into one another’s task responsibilities. From this high-level overview, you can drag and drop tasks based on priority level and other factors, and create a custom workflow for your team.

Step 2: Assign tasks and resources

Now, to get the full picture, assign all your tasks and corresponding resources. With this all mapped out, you can see which deadlines are approaching and how your workload distribution looks.

Step 3: Allocate budget

Finally, allocate your budget and make sure you don’t exceed your estimates. 

Tony also recommends asking your Wrike account manager as many questions as possible before you begin to anticipate any potential roadblocks preventing you from getting the most out of the platform from day one.

Key takeaways: Use a clear three-step plan to hit the ground running when you start using Wrike for the first time in your team.

As you can see, Wrike was the perfect marketing solution for Siemens. 

From planning and ideation with custom request forms and Adobe Creative Cloud integration, to reviewing and reporting with streamlined approval and data-rich dashboards, you too can streamline your marketing with Wrike. Find out more with a free two-week trial today.