In this episode, François Martin, Senior Marketing and Communication Manager for BOBST, shares his thoughts on how the packaging industry is transforming, his ideal agency setup, and what he thinks is the most important factor in client-agency relationships.
With over 30 years’ experience in roles such as Head of Global Marketing at HP and Messe Dusseldorf, François is now a key figure at BOBST, the world’s leading supplier of substrate processing, printing and converting equipment and services for the packaging industry. His successful career has seen him work with many global agency partnerships and he shares these key insights with us in this episode.
The importance of listening to customers
“It is all about orchestrating communication and (…) bringing about clarity.”
Originally from France, François has worked all over Europe, utilising his foreign language skills across truly global roles. He emphasises the importance of bringing different cultures together when working with others: “It is all about orchestrating communication, and it is all about bringing clarity, to make sure that everyone understands what has to be done, to communicate well the value proposition to clients.”
How does François achieve this at BOBST? The key is listening to and understanding customers. “We have experience and credibility, but we are also listening to the customers very well, because the world is changing daily. We are listening to their needs.”
How is the packaging industry changing?
“We need to make sure that we use plastic only when there is nothing else to be used.”
Businesses and consumers around the world are starting to move away from plastic use due to its environmental impact. As the marketing manager of a leading packaging business, François suggests that more needs to be done. “Today, we need really to have brand owners, and consumers to a certain extent, to take their responsibilities. We need to make sure that we use plastic only when there is nothing else to be used.”
Creating a strong client-agency relationship
“The proximity between the agency and the client has to be very strong”
Working with global agencies has taught François many crucial lessons. Notably, he says there is no such thing as a bad agency, but that sometimes human relationships between client and agency aren’t quite the right fit. “The proximity between the agency and the client has to be very strong, and we need to be, on both sides, very humble, and we need to really tell what’s going on.” For François, yearly agency reviews are not enough; qualitative exchanges should happen all the time.
François ’s success at BOBST comes from his sharp knowledge of client-agency relationships, his focus on the human values of business and his passion for innovative and sustainable packaging.