For today’s Pro Interview we’re speaking with Delfin Vassallo. With over 20 years experience in marketing, Delfin is a true expert in the field. His experience spans from companies to continents. He understands where digital marketing has been, and where it’s headed.
Pagezii — Delfin, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Delfin — I started in advertising back in the early 90’s. Since then I’ve been surfing between advertising, marketing, and social-media. I have lived in five countries and two different continents. Working for many global brands and blue-chip companies like Nestle, Warner-Lambert, Walmart, Red Cross, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Chrysler, General Motors, Pepsi Co., Costa Cruise Lines, Unilever, Volkswagen and Barclays, to name a few.
The last seven years have been particularly exciting, participating in many social media initiatives, including the award-winning Social Customer Service practice at Nokia and Microsoft.
Pagezii — What interested you in the field of digital marketing?
Delfin — My first contact with digital marketing was in 1999 when I joined a digital agency in Barcelona. That’s when I realized the power of the new virtual world. I wondered what if every business could sell goods without needing a brick and mortar store? What if one day, we could have our personal space in the virtual world? I thought too loud, and very soon Second Life was born.
Pagezii — How have things developed in digital marketing over the last decade?
Data, data, data and more data
Delfin — Data, data, data, and more data – sometimes much more than what we’re able to digest. One thing that has definitely changed: in the old times decisions were taken following instincts, now marketers are in a much better position to understand customer behavior and base strategies on data-driven decisions.
Pagezii — What is the startup scene like in Helsinki?
Delfin — The startup scene is one of the most vibrant in Europe. We’ve a good mix of players, from the gaming industry powered by Rovio (Angry Birds) and Supercell (Clash of Clans), business software like Vainu, Kiosked, Smartly, B2C businesses like DealDash, and innovative IoT startups.
If your readers are interested, I recommend looking into Slush, Europe’s leading startup event this autumn.
Pagezii — From your experience, what digital marketing challenges do companies face?
Delfin — Digital marketers need a fresh mindset, and while individuals can keep up, organizations (mainly large ones) are struggling with change management.
Digital marketers need a fresh mindset
A growth mindset is the first quality to look for in your team, from interns to CMO’s.
Pagezii — What difference in digital marketing have you experienced internationally?
Delfin — Having worked in different countries with fundamentally diverse ways of doing business has been very enriching.
From pragmatic Northern-European style to more relaxed Latin ways of working, the former is now focusing more on hard data and predictive analytics, while the latter is more based on a combination of cultural perception and post-mortem data. It’s fascinating to see the differences in approach: before the purchase or after the purchase.
Pagezii — Your insights on the marketing challenges faced by companies and industry trends are invaluable. Thank you Delfin for sharing your experiences.