Crunching the Numbers with Iulia and Claudia
A big part of a company’s success is directly tied to the effectiveness of its marketing efforts. Some companies have their own marketing teams, other outsource marketing efforts to an agency. Yardi Systems has its own team, counting over 50 members in Cluj. We’ve sat down with Claudia Santa & Iulia Nagy to get some insight on their careers and maybe have them share a few tips and even forecasts.
Let’s start by presenting yourselves a bit. You both have been with the company for a few years now. When did you start and what kept you here?
Iulia Nagy: I started working at Yardi in June 2011. Two things kept me here: the work itself and my colleagues. I like projects to be interesting and challenging and working in the Marketing team has really exposed me to projects that always keep me moving, growing. During the last six years at Yardi, I’ve been a Marketing Analyst, Team Lead for the Neighborhood Research team, Team Lead for the PropertyShark Marketing team and now I am an SEO specialist for the CommercialCafe.com project. I made some really good friends here and I’ve learned a lot, including how to paint the inside walls of a house during our volunteering project in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity; so if this career doesn’t work out, I have a backup plan.
Claudia Santa: My journey at Yardi started in the summer of 2011, when I joined the marketing team as an analyst. It was definitely interesting and challenging as the tasks and projects from my previous job as an analyst had almost nothing in common with the projects that I was given at Yardi. I really learned a lot during the first few months, from new technical skills (like SQL) to local market insights and other business KPIs that I was not familiar with. And the fun part was that no day resembled another. The projects were different and challenging, we were encouraged to come up with new ideas and initiatives and we could track the results of our own work and see if our decisions actually made a difference. I guess that this is what kept me here for so long.
What first attracted you to the field of marketing?
Iulia: I applied because I saw an opening for a Business Analyst position, I didn’t know it was in the marketing department. The test was incredibly complex and they said that it was a real analysis that they were doing in the marketing department. That was the first thing that attracted me to this field.
Claudia: That’s a tricky one! My college degree is a combination of statistics and computer science, but I never could have pictured myself as a developer or a statistician. The field of marketing seemed a more creative area, with less strict rules and many challenges. My first job after graduating was as a research analyst in a marketing department, thus completing a Master’s Degree in Marketing seemed like the next logical step. And things just evolved on this path. The great part is that I don’t regret a thing.
What are your daily tasks and which are the most rewarding? What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Iulia: As an SEO specialist, you have to optimize the website so that it ranks higher on Google and other search engines in order to maximize traffic. SEO is a very interesting and challenging field. There are guidelines, recommendations and case studies, but you always have to test what works for you. From how Google reads your code to how users interact with your site, there are a lot of interesting projects. We are working on websites with millions of visitors so almost every project is a challenging one.
Claudia: For almost four years now I have been a marketing team leader, so my daily tasks imply less analytics and a lot more planning, reviewing projects and results, building up a strategy and ensuring that we’re on track and working closely with the/our team members. Although I do admit that from time to time I miss exporting data from Oracle and crunching the numbers in Excel, so I assign analytical projects to myself ?
For me the best part of being a team leader is watching people grow and knowing that I helped with a small part in that process. As for the challenges, the team covers all online marketing specialties, an ever-changing domain and the product that we work on targets a very competitive market. So sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with all the changes and updates.
Marketing managers are seen as vision creators; how much of this occupation is creativity and how much is strict analysis?
Iulia: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday analysis and Thursday and Friday creativity.
Claudia: Another tough question! As an analyst, I would like to be able to give you exact percentages as an answer, but that’s not really possible. I would lean more toward the analytical parts because of the nature of the product that we’re marketing. In our industry, it’s crucial to know the clients and predict their behavior, to be the market experts and make informed decisions on whether to pursue a campaign. That can be done by closely analyzing data—and we’re nothing short on that!
But we definitely cannot ignore creativity—the marketing field and the real estate market are very competitive and we need to keep coming with new, great ideas!
One way or another, marketing has been around for thousands of years. How did it evolve since the tech boom? How do you keep up to date with marketing’s progression?
Iulia: There have always been great ideas (for example, check out how Michelin guides were initially created), but nowadays our message can reach a much wider audience and it can be more personalized because we have more information about our audience and we are also able to create a better-fitting design for our campaigns.
There is a lot of information on the internet, you just have to choose a few websites and make a habit of checking them constantly. We also attend several marketing conferences, which gives us the opportunity to speak with the best in the domain and that’s really helpful.
Claudia: Read, read and read some more. During coffee, on the bus or whenever you have five minutes to spare. From established blogs and publications in the marketing field to following marketing gurus. My advice would be to take everything you read with a grain of salt; also, whenever possible, do your own testing especially when the change that you want to push is important. Remember that different industries or geographies imply different behaviors.
What qualities should a future marketing specialist have?
Iulia: First of all, be curios and passionate about what they are doing. Creativity is also a must in my opinion, along with the courage to make your voice heard.
Claudia: Be curious, ambitious and brave. The rest will follow.
Inspired to find your passion at Yardi Romania? Check out our current opportunities.