De-LAB’s interviews: Patrizia Menchiari

Let’s see what November has brought around: this month our ” key people around” is Patrizia Menchiari, CEO Cardiomarketing  🙂

1) In your experience, what are the values that companies seem to be leaning towards the most in recent years?

I observe that small and large companies show a growing sensitivity towards the issue of sustainability and they are more careful to human relations and teamwork.

2) What do you think are the reasons that push companies to approach the issues of social and environmental responsibility?

The social media and the web have transformed the relationship with the market: the self-referential monologue of the past has necessarily had to be transformed into a dialogue. The reputation and credibility of a company until ten years ago depended mainly on PR and media relations skills. Today, there is much more transparency and the company must be publicly accountable for any behavior that may attract public criticism and, in extreme cases, boycott campaigns. In addition to opportunistic motivations (image protection), there is, little by little, a more substantial awareness: the future lies with companies that pay attention at the consequences of their actions.

3) What actions can be taken to make the companies understand that “you can do business while making customers, suppliers and employees happy, and don’t forget to have a positive impact on the planet and the society?”

Maximizing profits at the expense of customers, suppliers or employees no longer works. Companies that can simultaneously meet the needs of multiple stakeholders are less fragile in times of crisis and have a better chance of thriving. The most successful companies know that to generate profits, it is not enough to cut costs; they need to become irreplaceable and valuable to their stakeholders, generating more value than their competitors.

4) What impact do you think the COVID-19 and the pandemic will have on the corporate’s mission statement and its strategies?

The pandemic has accelerated the digitization processes and highlighted how you don’t need an office or the tag in order to produce good results, but a team motivated to find solutions. Service companies – from restaurants to insurance companies – have updated the way they provide their services. It was necessary to dematerialize, speed up, lighten. Production companies with international markets are equipping themselves to find alternatives to foreign fairs and missions in presence. In perspective, after a strong collective trauma it is foreseeable a selection in the business relations. More importance will be given to the conduct, the reliability and the human relationship beyond buying and selling.

5) The final O of the word Cardiomarketing refers to the verb “to guide” (Orienta in Italian) and the concept of “inspiring and motivating people by demonstrating the values, corporate culture and vision that make companies unique and respected”. In this sense, what are the actions that socially responsible companies can take towards employees and potential customers?

“Love-brands” arouse respect, love and irrational loyalty because they do not just make products but try to improve people’s lives: external and internal customers. Social responsibility and transparency are increasingly appreciated by those who are willing to invest in rewarding values and different ideas: in my book I tell several examples ranging from organic farm to hi-tech company. The potential customer must be made to fall in love giving him a surprising experience and putting his needs at the center: many people say so but few do so. In the most successful companies, employees are the first customers and the most credible corporate ambassadors. People who are satisfied, emotionally involved and aware of their importance produce better results. But, speaking of actions, to achieve a good level of organizational welfare is not enough individual welfare initiatives, you need a shared culture.

6) How can a socially responsible company always communicate in a trustable way with its clients to make them understand that it is not a pure marketing strategy?

With facts. Today there is more marketing in a prompt and well-organized customer care than in the more expensive communication campaigns. If the behaviors are not consistent with the promises in the eyes of the customer, the communication is only hot hair.

….See you next month! 



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