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How Panasonic Became a Marketing Powerhouse with Brian Rowley, Vice President Marketing, Panasonic

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Being in a leadership role isn’t easy. One recurring theme I hear about being an executive at a company is that you need to listen to your team. It’s simple – not easy – but simple. That doesn’t always mean listening with your ears, sometimes listening is seeing people’s habits.

Brian Rowley, Vice President Marketing, Panasonic spoke with me today about how important it is to make sure your team is finding a proper balance and watching for their needs.

“I’m a big person for balance. Because there used to be a time when we used to push people to the extreme where they break and then okay, take a couple of days and sort of come back and, whatever. There’s so many people who you hear over the course of time that say, oh, this person’s in the office from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM and what a great employee. And I always look at that and say, really like that job really only requires seven or eight hours. Why is it taking that person 12 or 13?”

In addition to teamwork, we also dove into why and how Panasonic made a shift to a B2B focus, and what it’s like to work with so many different divisions and shareholders across such a diverse company. Really, they make everything from computers and tablets, to manufacturing and food processing, to professional video equipment. Be sure to stay tuned, this is an episode of Marketing Trends you don’t want to miss.

Main Takeaways

  • Importance of listening. It’s easy to get caught up in just paying attention to stakeholders. Be sure to listen to your team, and their insights. You need to make sure you find balance, but be sure to trust in your team.
  • Make sure people understand the impact of your ask. When you approach someone with a task, it’s incredibly powerful to explain why you are asking this of them, and what the impact will be. For example, instead of just asking for a change to the site make sure you say it’s because the result will be people spending x amount of time on the site.
  • Everyone is a consumer. Whether you are in a B2B or B2C environment, remember that you are dealing with people. People want to hear a good story, and have their problem solved – so don’t focus too much on B2B or B2C. Focus on listening to the needs of the end consumer.

Key Quotes

“I wanted to be the type of leader that I wanted to be led by. So for me, I sort of focused on the skills that were important to me and made sure that those have always come through in the teams that are reporting and working for myself today.”

“[Leadership is] the ability to be able to listen to what people have to say, make sure that you’re acting with the best interest of the organization, but also trying to balance the needs of all those stakeholders.”

“I’m a big, big person for balance. Um, because you know, there used to be a time when we used to push people to, you know, to the extreme where they break and then okay, take a couple of days and sort of come back and, and whatever. Um, for me it’s really about, that’s not as important. Um, you know, I always look at, you know, there’s so many people who you hear over the course of time that say, oh, this person’s in the office from, you know, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM and what a great employee. And I always look at that and say, really like that job really only requires seven or eight hours. Why is it taking that person 12 or 13?”

“At the end of the day, we’re all consumers. How you tell your story again, it goes back to that relevant piece. What is it that you’re trying to solve for? Because I might be in a business environment, but I’m gonna go home tonight and put on my consumer hat and through the age of digital, I’m gonna be served a variety of different content on my device. I don’t know, necessarily, that the conversation is as much about B to C as it is B to B, but really being able to understand the needs of the customer and then be able to tell the story of our offerings.”

Bio

Brian Rowley is the Vice President of Marketing for Panasonic Systems Solutions Company of North America and has extensive experience across partner relationship management, digital marketing, lead generation, and product management. As one of your hosts, he focuses on digital transformation and encourages discussion on what businesses need to be successful and how to deliver on the human experience to create a more meaningful connection, a sense of community, and to foster loyalty.

Marketing Trends podcast is brought to you by Salesforce. Discover marketing built on the world’s number one CRM: Salesforce. Put your customer at the center of every interaction. Automate engagement with each customer. And build your marketing strategy around the entire customer journey. Salesforce. We bring marketing and engagement together. Learn more at salesforce.com/marketing.

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Episode 284