Doru Oraselu is currently studying for the Professional Diploma in Marketing with Oxford College of Marketing and Institutul de Marketing for the Diploma in Professional Marketing.
Why do you call yourself Product & Communication Composer? And Marketing Virtuoso? Isn’t this a bit too pretentious?
I wouldn’t say it’s pretentious, as classical music should not be pretentious, after all, it’s just music and we should simply enjoy it. Marketing and music have many aspects in common and marketing professionals are really composers of product, brand, communication and other market activity, while marketing management often feels like conducting an orchestra of many sections and instruments, playing together, for the users’ appreciation. You become “virtuoso” you when you do something really good and – this is something I discovered while studying violin – practice makes it better. :-)
What marketing areas do you like the most and why?
While as an interpreter you should be able to play any musical notes written for your instrument, you always have some preferred type of music and composers. In the same metaphor, I will always prefer the communication side of the marketing, given my advertising background and the opportunity to do marketing for some wonderful brands, such as Samsung, for which we implemented some truly creative and spectacular campaigns. Nevertheless, on the product development side, I also had the opportunity to work with some very innovative solutions, taking them from zero and growing them to become reliable and trustful tools for the customers.
What kind of experience do you have on foreign markets? How did you manage as a Romanian professional? That are the problems and the differences?
I had the opportunity to work with all major telecom operators and retailers from most of the European countries and, while implementing a B2B solution in their stores, to observe, interact and influence the end-user shopping and services experience. The differences, at the user level, are huge from market to market, as are both their expectation and the tools and attitudes of the retailers and services providers.
I discovered that our local history and experience, of a market avid for technology, which grew extremely fast, from zero to some of the most advanced telecom usage habits in Europe, makes us flexible and versatile enough to adapt and perform under all types of requirements and to understand and be able to provide support for all types of customers.
As for the business partnership, the telecom operators are truly global businesses, with operations across multiple markets in various stages of development and with partnerships at all levels and with all type of suppliers from all over the world. In this context, we had no problems in developing the deployment of our solution from Bucharest to more than 25 countries, working with customers from Ireland and Portugal to Poland and Ukraine and from Norway and Denmark to Turkey, Cyprus or Egypt.
How do you measure marketing performance? What’s your approach to ROI? Which are the challenges?
ROI for marketing activities is always a bit hard to evaluate, not because it wouldn’t be quantifying, but because there are many other elements influencing the outcome, elements which might not be at all related to or under control of marketing department.
Of course, the performance and results expected from a marketing activity will always be different depending on the type of the activity, the marketing objectives and the way and tools for implementing it. Consequently, the tools used to measure the results will be different from activity to activity: if for a promotion is simple to measure the reach and coverage of the target and ultimately the sales generated, for a new product or feature development, the measuring may include tools actually used by other functions/departments from the company, such as the support SLA, measuring how well the product performs and as a component of the customer experience with the product.
To continue this example, for the content transfer platform Save&GO which we marketed across almost all European markets, marketing was also responsible for the implementation and operational phase and deploying the software in over 8,000 stores across 25 countries and then supporting the day-to-day operation to an SLA of more than 95%, in the dynamic context of the mobile phones industry, is a project which makes me very proud of my whole team.
What are the best performing local marketing campaigns in your opinion?
Most of the visible marketing activities would refer to the advertising campaigns which we come to experience from user/consumer point of view. To this end, there are several local brands which developed wonderful and perform quite well, equal or even better than their international competitors. They might be in retail area, no matter the category of products sold, or in the production area, like electronics/telecom product, such as several gadgets assembled/marketed locally.
"Romania can provide a new generation of entrepreneurs and very creative ideas of business, to really contribute to the worldwide economy and progress of society."
But there are several local companies, especially in the IT domain, which are not so visible to the end-user, but perform quite extraordinary, being able to conquer not only the local market, but to fight on equal footing in the international arena – with offices and activity in some of the most advanced markets.
I am confident that Romania can provide a new generation of entrepreneurs and very creative ideas of business, to really contribute to the worldwide economy and progress of society.
Preferred marketing book?
I don’t have necessarily a single preferred marketing book, although Kotler will always remain one of the marketing thinkers I will appreciate most. But I read with pleasure books on history and society development (and Francis Fukuyama has some of the most comprehensive and complex works in this area), which help me better understand the human nature and the development of people and societies – and therefore how I can better address them through marketing.