They say that a year is a long time in business. Martina Flink has been with Avinode Group for almost nine years, so it’s no surprise that she’s seen a few changes along the way. As Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Martina tells us about her role, the true meaning of growth and how she has something special to thank Avinode for.
Hi Martina. You’ve been with the business for a few years now. A lot must have changed in that time.
I have, yes. The year I joined we were celebrating our tenth anniversary and now we’re getting close to twenty years. I arrived during a real transition period. We’d just finished a huge amount of integration work after having merged Avinode with CharterX, and welcomed a lot of new customers in the US market.
Over the years there’s been incredible development on the product side, as we’ve expanded our offering in line with what our customers need. And we’ve grown into the Avinode Group and become a lot more professional in terms of our internal systems and processes, such as established a CRM where there previously wasn’t one.
So, you’ve seen Avinode really grow up.
I think so. It started out as a bunch of friends building this company from scratch while having a lot of fun, and success meant having to become a little more corporate. Maybe there was a little turbulence at that point, which is when I arrived, but I think those growing pains are part of any successful company.
It’s still a really fun place to work. For example, before COVID we used to have great parties and I’ve almost forgotten all about those. What was that like again?
But I have to say that we’ve been very successful at recruiting new colleagues who match our culture; very knowledgeable and driven people who thrive on having a lot of owned responsibility.
Tell us a little about your role.
As Senior Growth Marketing Manager my focus right now is on brand. I look after the overall Avinode Group brand, and those of our products. It’s my job to look at the messaging and communications for each.
All the comms we produce are with a view to growing our revenue, our customer base and the value that existing customers get from us. That’s growth as we see it. This year we carried out a survey to see how our products are used. The findings are shaping how we talk to customers about the value our suite of products can deliver.
And you’re part of the wider marketing team.
Yes. There are six of us in total and we’ve joined a new department that’s been created called Customer Experience, where we work alongside the onboarding and data teams. That’s been really eye-opening because we can now see how our customers are behaving; what they’re using and not using, and how they’re engaging with us. We also have that full picture from the data and from qualitative feedback of what we’re hearing from customers each day.
How has that changed how you work?
It’s made us all smarter, that’s for sure. We can now produce more data-driven marketing based on concretes. We know what customers are doing and saying, so we can adapt our messaging to them.
And what do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your role?
Well, these are tough times for everyone, and our customers are suffering more than we are. From a communications point of view, the big question is how do we engage our members and keep the conversation going when we can’t meet them in person or attend shows?
That’s something we’re all learning as we go, and we need to find new habits and solutions to keep customers close. When you go to shows you get to meet customers, hear their views and listen to what’s happening in the industry. They come into the booth and you can see their reaction to your brands and answer their questions. That’s so valuable to be part of and we must find different ways to replicate that.
And you’ve got a lot to thank life at Avinode for, I believe.
I have, yes. My time at Avinode has been very defining in a personal sense too, as that’s where I met my partner. We now have three boys which means that life outside of work is hectic. But when we find time – and when there’s snow – I love being outdoors skiing and snowboarding.
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