“Do not be afraid to ask questions” is the first advice given by our Member Debora Marrocchino on how to adapt to different working cultures. Based on her experience as Marketing Consultant, read this interview for insider advice on developing a signature brand and having a reputable work ethic!
You have a career background with over 15 years of experience in marketing, global brand development, licensing, and special events. What sparked your career path in marketing and what are some of the goals you have set for yourself?
An important goal I set for myself early on in my career was to achieve a diverse range of experiences that would expose me to different professional environments, cultures, places and people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
I started out my career in New York in Media, working in international brand management within the magazine industry, which was a perfect combination for someone like me who seeks creative professional business environments.
After working for several years in magazines, I was hungry for online and digital experience, as well as, TV and was certain I wanted to continue on the international track. These were essential for me in order to obtain a more well-rounded professional background in marketing.
Could you tell us about some of the developments you have witnessed in corporate marketing, branding, and messaging?
Intense competition and constant technological development, coupled with exponential innovation, has changed the concept of branding as we know it. Today, it reaches far beyond just visual differentiation or unique positioning. Marketing encompasses a whole new set of elements – social consciousness, authentic customer relationships and community-centered communication.
I think what is most important today, is delivering a very personalized brand experience. If customers can relate to your brand in a more personalized way, they are more likely to trust it. Therefore, it is critical to build authentic relationships with customers rather than just trying to sell to them.
To me, storytelling is one of the important components of brand success in order to achieve a more personalized brand experience.
Marketing encompasses a whole new set of elements
– social consciousness, authentic customer relationships and
You have worked in Madrid for five years as Marketing Director of Men’s Health Magazine. How do you develop a signature brand like Men’s Health Magazine?
Luckily Men’s Health Magazine has a a very strong brand identity and brand philosophy to begin with, so it was a question of ensuring that we were adapting and “translating” that philosophy to all the local markets where we published Men’s Health. I relied heavily on strong content, as content provides meaning for both readers and advertisers alike. A well-developed signature brand identity should connect with the lives and motivations of customers, as well as those who are likely to become customers.
A well-developed signature brand identity
should connect with the lives and motivations of customers,
as well as those who are likely to become customers.
Furthermore, you have experience working for global software companies in both the USA and in Europe. How did you adapt to the different working cultures?
In my experience working in both the US and European Markets over many years, I learned a lot about how to best manage working in different cultures, especially when it comes to very different work styles and ethics. The three most valuable “lessons learned” for me are:
- Do not be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes you simply cannot cull everything you need to know from observation alone. Thus, when needed do not be afraid to ask coworkers or bosses for more details. Better that you ask for clarification ahead of time than try to puzzle your way through and mess things up.
- Try to withhold judgment, be flexible and curious. Every workplace, no matter where in the world, have their quirks and differences. Dismissing these quirks outright or complaining about them, does not foster good working relationships.
- Do not constantly compare country cultures. It is more important to appreciate and respect the differences between various markets as far as work culture, processes, ethics, and style.
You have a reputation as a dynamic, resourceful, and results-driven leader. How do you promote this work style on a daily basis?
Goal setting with clear action items and deliverables in an incredibly powerful tool for achieving results. By setting clearly defined, written goals, our ability to take the proper actions to create the results are vastly improved.
When I am working with my clients, I try to have them focus on their specific short-term goals on a daily basis. Both for my own personal work ethic and for my clients, I encourage daily “baby step” activities that lead to achieving their bigger milestone objectives.
You have joined WIL Europe as a member this year. What advantages do you see to being a Member in a women’s network?
I believe a major advantage to becoming a Member or participating in a women’s network is for the inspiration it provides.
Hearing the amazing stories of challenges overcome and lessons learned from other successful female leaders, executives, entrepreneurs is a huge motivator. These examples can really help especially the younger generation of women leaders to set goals and take their businesses to the next level.
Hearing the amazing stories of challenges overcome
and lessons learned from other successful female leaders,
executives, entrepreneurs is a huge motivator.
Lastly, we like to conclude our interview with a question from the Proust questionnaire: What is the quality you most like in female leaders?
Based on my experience working with and for successful women leaders, women typically possess a strong willingness for flexibility in the workplace and willingness to question the status quo.
Strong female leaders frequently feel the need to challenge “the way business has always been done.” They do not always necessarily accept a traditional approach to strategy and can be more willing to push back against convention when they feel strongly about finding a more effective solution.
Find out more about Debora here!