Video Chat: What Siemens is Seeing on the Front Lines of Digital Marketing

April 7, 2020

Table of Contents:

  1. Where are some of the challenges you’re seeing from sales and marketing teams? (0:10)
  2. What shifts have you seen in agenda/priority items? (1:57)
  3. What kind of pressures are you and your partners seeing on the medical supply side? (2:50)
  4. Do your sales and development departments work closely with agencies? (4:00)

Dave Currie: Hey, Dan. Good afternoon.

Dan Simmons: Hey, Dave. Good day to you.

Currie: Good to see you. For those of you who are going to be watching these videos, this is a Dan Simmons, he’s the Head of Digital Marketing Transformation at Siemens, and I just wanted to ask a couple of questions about your role there and a little bit about what you’re seeing on the front lines being on the digital marketing side and certainly on the transformation side, probably the core of exactly where some of the challenges are coming in from both sales and marketing teams.

Simmons: I like the idea that I’m on the front lines. No, maybe a slightly different perspective than what others might see. But you know, it’s all internal to Siemens, what I have experienced with. The digital marketing transformation, what that ends up meaning for us is that we’re software developers and consultants who build digital marketing and sales enablement tools for the people within Siemens. And so we get this interesting perspective I think that is potentially different for a number of reasons.

Simmons: One, we get to see the inner workings of a real corporate behemoth and the way that they’re moving their attention as now things are changing, and we get to see also individuals, which I’m sure is the same rolled around, is that we see how individuals are reacting, which is probably the same thing that everyone sees, but writ large across a large organization.

Simmons: I’m seeing now in my regular phone calls with customers who had formerly been really amped up about building this sales enablement tool, and something that they said was mission-critical and going to change their lives. And now suddenly it’s, “Oh no, all of our money has been moved into PR.”

Currie: Right. Yeah, a pretty big shift.

Simmons: Yeah, right? So that we can communicate health information to people. Sometimes money just gets pulled away and you see what’s really important. Fortunately, because its people are really important.

Currie: Right. Has that also being true in some of the shifts that you’ve seen from the internal marketing teams there that you also work with? You’re working with sales and marketing. How have some of the agenda items shifted on that end?

Simmons: Yeah, it’s been really philanthropic, I have to say. You see people, I see on Twitter and I see just around people talk about like, “Oh, you imagine an apocalyptic scenario to be so different. You imagine people fighting and stuff.” But really, it’s been a lot of kindness. You know, I see a lot of on the marketing side, money being taken out of promoting goods and services to public health initiatives and stuff like this.

Simmons: On the one hand, it’s tough if you’re in a sales position where you need to make money, and these are your customers, but on the other hand, this is the reality, is that that money’s being taken out and put into these campaigns.

Currie: Absolutely, and certainly you have a great exposure to the healthcare category as a whole. Are you seeing that with your partners in the space as well? I mean, there’s obviously a wider pressure to produce and manufacture medical components and assets getting distributed through the world, not only here in the US. Any perspective on that?

Simmons: Yeah. So, we have a major partner that we work within Siemens Healthineers, who do medical device manufacture. We do a lot of actual supply chain work for them. We built a pretty significant tool in their tool belt that manages, let’s just say part of the flow of their goods to their supply chain, and I know that they have been slammed because I haven’t heard from them. I haven’t had any contact with these guys for about a week, and normally we talk every other day, and it’s because their supply chain is just completely slammed.

Simmons: Once again, we’re there to support these people, but if we’re going to bring it back to the subject of how this is impacting us and our business and in the marketing world and in the sales world, it still has an impact, although for a different reason.

Currie: Absolutely. Dan, do you still work with agency partners on specialist projects, taking the development pieces you’re working on with the marketing sales organizations and moving that into different types of agency relationships on projects or a retained basis?

Simmons: We do. My organization, not so much. Our German partners deal heavily with agencies and we have a counterpart in the United States that does more marketing specific services that deal with contractors in the United States. So yeah, this is part of our business.

Currie: Well, really quick interview here. I really appreciate the time. As I said, just a few minutes to just pick your brain on a couple of key questions, as so many of our customers have an interest in what’s happening on the front lines. You’re truly at the front of, and at the intersection between that sales and marketing division of Siemens. So, thank you so much for your time.

Simmons: Sure. My pleasure. Thanks, Dave.

Currie: Thanks. Talk to you soon.

Simmons: Bye.

Currie: Bye now.

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