Marketing maestro of the month: Sanna Melin’s top tips for success


If you’re anything like we are, you love to hear the opinions, views, and strategies of other marketers. In an industry that is constantly evolving, there’s always something new to learn – and there’s no better way to sharpen your skills than hearing it straight from the marketing maestros themselves.

Sanna Melin, from the Tekla marketing team over at Trimble, was happy to share a few of her top marketing tips.sannamelin Tekla Building Information Modeling software, which enables information sharing, collaboration, and 3D modeling in construction projects, is used around the world for structural design, project erection and more.

Read on to find out what she had to say about strategy, tools, and the future of marketing.


How long have you been in marketing and what do you currently do?

I’ll share a secret with you: I’m a communicator in a marketer’s clothes. After doing a Masters in communication, working in public relations and digital communications in the world of research and universities, I got curious and hopped over the tiny fence between the two neighbors, marketing and communications. I landed in the global marketing team at Trimble. I drive production of global marketing communications materials for the Tekla brand, and take care of the brand in social media. Our software for construction and engineering is used to create 3D models full of information for building the longest bridges, highest skyscrapers and your kids’ new school, too.

Isoisänsilta ("Grandfather's bridge") connects residential Kalasatama to the recreational island of Mustikkamaa in Helsinki. This is how it looks as a Tekla model.

Isoisänsilta (“Grandfather’s bridge”) connects residential Kalasatama to the recreational island of Mustikkamaa in Helsinki. This is how it looks as a Tekla model.


What is your all-time favorite marketing strategy and why?

My favorite strategy is pretty integrated: Marketing message and style matches the brand, communications and products so well you have a hard time figuring out if this is marketing or if you are just, say, using an online service that is beneficial for you. This approach requires a marketing message that is closely bound to the realities.

Clever, persuasive content marketing can be one example of this approach: you may feel you are just reading a very interesting article, but it’s actually a piece of marketing communication that is meaningful to you.

But being result driven, I always value successful approaches. One size does not fit all.


What is the most difficult aspect of working in marketing and how do you overcome it?

Understanding exactly who your target group is and what’s going on inside their heads. You need to meet people, listen to them and then figure out how you can tell an appealing story. After you know it, it’s about practicalities and repetition – and living up to your promises and keeping the understanding up to date.

Supertrees at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, created using Tekla software.

Supertrees at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, created using Tekla software.

What five qualities do you look for in marketing partners?

  1. Their skill. It’s a pleasure to work with people who know their business, just like those at Ink Tank Media.
  2. Good references help convince you (and your boss) when evaluating partners. In communications and marketing, how a company markets and sells itself makes a reference, too.
  3. Ability to listen to feedback and communicate even when we don’t agree on everything. Because that day will come…
  4. …since I prefer working with long term partners in a growing relationship.
  5. Understanding that their clients are different. A fundraising NGO has to do different campaigns than a soft drink company targeting cool twentysomethings.


What’s the biggest marketing mistake a company can make?

Not seeing marketing as an investment, but as an expense. In my opinion, communications and marketing should compare to functions like product development, something that is seen as necessary for ensuring a bright future for the organization.


Which three tools should every marketer be using?

  1. Social media. Professional groups on both Facebook and LinkedIn offer a great way to discuss marketing and communications with other professionals and get fresh opinions. And I love Twitter, it shows you what the world is talking about today.
  2. Tools of choice for A/B testing and web analytics, as they give you great insight into how it is going on your (likely) main channel.
  3. Pen and paper are awesome! A fuzz-free user interface with unrivaled flexibility for idea blasting and taking notes, moving effortlessly from visual to verbal. Works reliably everywhere, available in numerous pleasant designs, and completely unrestrictive.


How do you think marketing will evolve in the next 5 years?

Marketing will probably experience the same as media and communication: Audiences and media usage are already becoming increasingly fragmented, which will cause hard times for everything general and monolithic. To catch the attention of everyone in their target group, marketers may need to be present and communicative on twelve different channels instead of broadcasting through four channels.

During the past five years, we have seen a wealth of new technologies and digital channels, but in the coming years, marketing is maturing when it comes to digitalization. Digital is the new normal. However, print may well have a glossy, well-designed and specialized future when it starts to stand out amidst of the ubiquitous digital marketing.


Big thanks to Sanna for sharing some of her secrets with us! More of her thoughts can be found on Twitter.  Stay tuned for next month’s marketing maestro, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to be featured as well.


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