Today we continue our latest blog series offering a peek into the daily lives of IQMS’ directors. From human resources to testing and training to development, meet the key department leaders who are molding our company’s future and continually advancing the EnterpriseIQ ERP and MES software.
Meet Daniele Fresca, Director of Marketing, who originally worked for an IQMS customer before joining the IQMS team 13 years ago.
Daniele, tell me about your department and its role in spreading the word about IQMS.
My department, marketing, is more than just advertisements. I like to tell people, especially when they interview, that anything that involves our brand basically involves my department. So the sign on the building, advertisements, anytime we talk to the media, social media, and making sure that we continue to put ourselves out there and be in front of as many people as possible. We also handle the website and lead generation in the form of trade shows, case studies and whitepapers, etc... We don’t really have one thing that we do every single day, we kind of just take whatever needs to be done that day and do it.
You have been with IQMS for nearly 13 years. Are there any memorable moments that come to mind when you think back?
Starting at IQMS was a memorable experience for me. I was working for a manufacturing company at the time and living in San Diego, Calif. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to just try something completely different. I knew people at IQMS because I was a client and one of my friends who worked here encouraged me to apply for the training position that was open in Chicago, basically running the Chicago office. I’d never been to Chicago. So I kind of just said, “You know what? I’m going to do it. What’s the harm of putting my resume in?” Within a span of three months, I had quit my job that I was at and moved to a different city. I didn’t know anybody there, so it was quite a shock, but it was a good shock and it was a good decision.
Are there any IQMS projects that you are especially passionate about?
Keeping User Group alive. With the onset of our customer collaboration portal, MyIQMS, and a lot of the social aspects and popularity of the Internet, you don’t have to be face-to-face to talk any more, but being face-to-face is still a very valid and worthy endeavor. I’m a sociology major and this idea reminds me of a paper I wrote in college about the beginning downfall of the American society where people no longer talk any more. The Internet had not really started, so my argument was the garage door opener, because when you get home, you drive in, you close your garage door behind you and you never come back out, so you no longer talk to your neighbors.
The Internet is kind of the same way. It puts this barrier in front of people where they don’t think they need to communicate, but a face-to-face interaction is so important and people really get a lot more out of it. The Internet is great and I use it daily, but we should want to make sure that we keep communication in person as a priority. User Group is our forum to do that. After our last event in October of 2012, every single person reiterated that it was a good event to continue.
Since your start in the Chicago office, you have experienced a lot of growth at IQMS. What is that like?
The growth at IQMS has been amazing and I am happy to see it. It’s one of those things where it is a great problem to have. We have a collaborative interview process here because somebody could be a skilled worker but it really does come down to the company culture. Does this person fit in? Is this person going to be a hard worker? I mean everyone is detail oriented on their resume. How does that person actually interact with a group of people?
When I came here, we were a much smaller company and I was sitting alone in the Chicago office and now I look at the list of employees and I don’t even know half of their names. I feel really bad about that, but at the same time it’s really great. One of the things that I think that has kept us going is that Randy [Flamm, CEO] has always reinvested in the company. When the recession was going on and people were being laid off, we didn’t do layoffs. We could have easily done that. It was nice that Randy said: “That is my last, last resort.” Instead, he reinvested money in the company and that’s how we have grown.
As the former head of training at IQMS, you are very familiar with our complex software solution. Can you offer a tip?
I think that CRM is an underutilized module by a lot of people. For a lot of manufacturers, marketing is not their first priority, so they don’t consider the CRM module, but CRM is also a great customer service tool. So the tip that I have involves the usage of CRM. There is a great tool that allows the merging of records. Oftentimes we go to trade shows or events and we get lists of names of people interested in IQMS. We can scrub that and import it, but sometimes we run across duplicates after the fact or companies merge, so we use the CRM Merge Record tool. It walks the user through a wizard that allows for historical records of a prospect to be merged, keeping everyone in one record and eliminating the need to make notes to refer back and forth between multiple companies.
Are there any trends you see in the marketing world that manufacturers should consider adopting?
I’d like to see the idea of social media as a viable business tool become more than just an eye roll. Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are moving away from being just recreational toward a professional opportunity. For example, when I began using LinkedIn, I would get asked all the time: “What are you doing on this “LinkedIn” with air quotes.” It was when LinkedIn first was growing and some people thought it was just a fad and a time waster. It is now considered a great networking tool!
Another tool, Facebook, can really show your company culture and I think every company should have a Facebook page. But if you are going to have it, you should man it – post pictures, news and announcements, but not just the blogs and sales pitches. Show who you are as a company. We mix the professional (blogs, sales, news) with the fun (new babies, party pictures). Most importantly, don’t just set up these accounts and let them go. You must keep them active.