Alexandra Gaillard

VP Global Brand & Marketing Communication
"Your capability to react fast, to come up with the right content and fast after you have collected this insight is critical."
In this episode of CMOtalk Klaas and Adam talk to Alexandra Gaillard, VP Global Brand & Marketing at Signify, formerly known as Philips Lighting. Prior to Signify she headed up the global digital marketing team at Philip Morris and she was awarded by DMN as ‘Marketing Woman to Watch’. What does a personalized and digital content marketing approach mean for a business-to-business company such as Signify? What do you really need to produce the best content fast?
What's your favorite content? Which brand or company?
'I think there are many. What drives the evolution lately is a company who have been courageous enough to move into more immersive type of content. So if you look at B2C, I think Heineken did an amazing job lately with the Silver introduction. But if I look at the B2B world, I think companies who are doing great in creating edumarketing type of content are very much changing the relationship. I have one company in mind, Schneider Electric. What they do is great on social media, especially on LinkedIn, then doing live webcast, innovative talks. And it's very relevant because today 65% of B2B buyers want less sales oriented type of content. So while you're educating, you are also placing your products, your solutions, but you're still fulfilling a deep need of education.'

And does that serve for inspiration in your role, that company?
'Big time! Because I mean, in the in the role of Signify, we're working for specifier lighting, architect installers, the innovative products you always need to be educated as basic on how to, but also what is the value added to this product. Because you have a client in front of you that you need to explain why this product would have a superior quality.'

What are the main products of Signify?
'Signify is a leader in the LED and connected lighting industry. The company was born after Philips Lighting as a spinoff, and is also a leader in sustainability within the lighting industry. Everyone at Signify is proud of our accomplishments. Our operations have been carbon neutral since 2020, and sustainability is at the core of our strategy. We truly walk the talk at Signify.'
The Internet of Things is at the very core of Signify's strategy. How does that work and what is the purpose?
'Well, data could fly through lighting, making lighting a new language. This is how the Internet of Things can be used to manage buildings and energy efficiency, with infinite possibilities. For example, when people enter a room, the lighting can be analyzed to determine how the space is being used, and automation can be used to switch off unnecessary energy usage. Cities struggling with turning off lights at certain times for safety reasons could benefit from connected lighting that can turn on and off based on traffic. This is what can be done with connected lighting, and the possibilities are endless.'

What is your experience in advanced, personalized content marketing that focuses on sustainability and the broader benefits of your proposition?
'I think it's important for consumers to be well-educated to make a difference, especially since there is a lot of greenwashing happening in communication, and many companies are trying to enter the sustainability space. However, not all consumers are concerned with sustainability due to differences in living conditions and location. Sustainability is just one aspect of a product, with others including cost savings and security, such as the safety that lighting can provide for individuals traveling late at night, especially in faraway cities.'

How to best target the right person at the right time with the right message? How do you how do you get your head around that for a global company with that skill?
'It's a very challenging question, and it's difficult for any company to get it right. Many of us have experienced incorrect personalized proposals reaching us. Acknowledging the role of technology is critical. The race for the best technological environment is essential for creating a unified customer profile and connecting data. However, it's important to keep in mind that data have a lifetime value, so the ability to react quickly and provide the right content after collecting insights is critical. It's a combination of agility in execution and technology that enables capturing and distributing content at the right time and through the right channels.'
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