#MeetTheMember: Lena Baudo, Marketing Consultant, Starts Consulting

Member news | June 08, 2020

In our latest #MeetTheMember feature, we chatted with Lena Baudo, Marketing Consultant and Founder of Starts Consulting.

Lena's passion for developing successful marketing strategies has taken her on a journey at various technology companies including Google, Microsoft, and small to medium-sized businesses in the U.S., France, Spain, and the UK. She is also a mentor for startups in accelerators and a university lecturer setting up actionable marketing and go-to-market plans.

Keep reading to learn from Lena's marketing expertise in the international marketing sphere...

FACC: How are the unexpected events that have carried out in 2020 influencing your industry? Or how will they influence your industry for years to come?

The worldwide COVID-19 sanitary crisis definitely slowed down people's consumption due to stores closing, the lack of consumers' mobility, and lower-income with less purchasing power. Not only on the sales volume side, the psychological uncertainty factor also impacted consumption awareness and our way of purchasing (more people worked from home, became food home-made makers, etc.). This confirmed the need and my desire to switch marketing from over-consumption to a smart and sustainable consumption mode.

I initiated that approach in 2018 (More about "The Urge of Marketing Ethics") by advocating ethical marketing practices to my clients. The better-targeted marketing campaign for diligent consumption based on specific and long term needs. More concretely from a business perspective, it can be translated by stopping the use of polluting physical promoting goodies to setting up corporate new marketing promotional habits both in B2B and B2C through targeted digital campaigns (like Social Media, online freebies like software free trial coupons or product discounts) and reusable promotional materials (employees reusable wearables, eco-friendly goodies, etc.).

As a consequence of the economical situation, companies will invest less in marketing and efficient workarounds are necessary to better and smarter target customers. It's a win-win situation where companies keep up with their sales even in a challenging financial context and adopt sustainable practices helping, at the humble marketing level, the environment to breathe from there.

From a communications view, peer Marketers working with Tech industry clients survived during the lockdown and all became PRs of their own. The ways of marketing and communicating is a very touchy topic in such difficult times. How do we continue marketing products and services while the audience's psychological sensitivity is at its highest? This is also another turn that marketers have had to work on in 2020 (and beyond). I think it is an "opportunity" to rethink how we market products and services while respecting our audience and environment, looping back to the initial thought that the way we (as in consumers) buy has drastically changed in 2020.

FACC: If you could apply one adjective for each of the countries in which markets you predominately work in (U.S., France, Spain, and the UK) to describe their respective marketing cultures, what would they be? Feel free to share explain your reasoning for each descriptive word.

  • U.S. - Playful: Americans are natively marketing adopters, the best worldwide marketing principles and campaigns popped up in there so it allows Marketers to be imaginative and test innovative and fun ways of marketing and communicating.
  • France - Aware: The consumption mode is more and more analyzed by French consumers themselves and they are willing to get their voice heard by their way of purchasing. Marketing campaigns have to be designed in a subtle way yet answering the audience's desire to buy in a diligent and transparent way.
  • Spain - Creative: The Spanish are very close to their culture, rich history, and arts. Designing open-minded marketing campaigns is crucial there while even incorporating arts in them as a creative cultural touch and reference.
  • UK - Earnest: Marketing researches in the UK are very data-proven and demand-oriented. I taught marketing at a University in London to financial institutions' graduating employees and they were a bit skeptical at first about the marketing mission and impact. They want facts and I hope I changed their mind about it thanks to the data analysis aspect of marketing!

FACC: From your success in developing successful marketing strategies, can you explain the process of setting up actionable marketing and go-to-market plans?

It has been so much fun to reach out to customers beyond borders while working with companies in different countries. Taking the cultural context into account is one of the reasons I picked marketing as a career. I mix psychographics and, statistics, and creativity together to build the best out of a marketing vision and action plan.

Clients come to me to reach different objectives so each marketing plan is unique:

  1. Generate more opportunities
  2. Expand their business
  3. Increase their sales
  4. Solve a specific business challenge
  5. Launch a new product or service

I always start a go-to-market plan by analyzing the market and combining quantitative and qualitative elements that allow the development of sustained and sustainable recommendations. The advantage of this approach lies in the complementarity of the internal analytical data and external information data used in the formulation of strategic marketing recommendations. My motto is to begin with the end: no data analysis = no effective decision. Also, integrating a Corporate Social Responsible (CSR) strategy to the plans is part of my business print as it will make my clients' business sustainable as well.

FACC: What is your opinion on the use of technology in your field? What are the positive or negative implications?

For the past few months, companies have seen their digital interactions x3 more important with their customers than traditional sales interactions. This is when digital marketing gets even more efficient as the communications channel merges with online customer sales funnel. All the marketing customer touchpoints are connected thanks to online tools websites and Social Media communications directly leading to videoconferencing sales and support if needed. This is a whole connected online funnel that makes Marketers and Data Analysts' respective work aligned, efficient and fun to analyze.

FACC: Tell us why you decided to join the FACC-NY community!

I recently moved to NYC from Paris and I joined the FACC-NY community to meet with fellow entrepreneurs with both different and common cultural backgrounds. Participating in boosting the 2 countries' business relationships at my very humble level is very exciting.


Interested in connecting with Lena? Log into the FACC Member Directory to send her a message.