We sat down with our new Chief Marketing Officer, Maria Hudson, to discuss why she joined Sensat, the challenges and opportunities presented by the current pandemic, and how she envisions marketing in the organisation.
Why have you joined Sensat?
Having worked in larger, well-established tech or telecoms companies most of my career - companies that had once been at the forefront of their industry but had to transform because products or solutions had become commoditised - I wanted to join a company that is still early on in its journey but has big ambitions to change the digital playing field.
Digital development continues to shape the world we live in, and that has never before been more important than it is today, particularly following the restrictions put in place during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Technological advancements translate into a huge range of opportunities and disruptions across every industry, and I wanted to be part of a company where we can shape that digital, establish a global footprint, challenge the status quo and help our customers adapt, transform and embrace digital intelligence in a new way.
Sensat has all the right ingredients to do this, and make its mark by helping create a sustainable infrastructure ecosystem driven by digital decisions. I am excited about what we can achieve and it is an absolute privilege to join such a talented team and be part of that journey and change.
How did you get into what you do?
Starting out as a PR and communications specialist, working in one of London’s biggest tech agencies, I soon moved into marketing roles within the telecoms and tech space, helping companies transform to be relevant in the fast-changing digital space. Heading up global marketing teams for some of these companies, helped me realise the importance of not just being relevant today, but staying relevant tomorrow.
No company or industry can afford to become complacent in our tech-savvy world where the latest innovation can completely change our digital landscape. Today companies have to embrace ambiguity by anticipating change, and literally be ready for anything. Those that adapt, and not only embrace change but drive change will thrive, and being part of helping companies with that mindset go to market is what I love doing. Being part of what’s next, and taking it out to market is where my passion lies and how I ended up doing what I am doing today.
What do you think can be achieved at Sensat?
The opportunities at Sensat are endless. Given the technology at play, the industries at stake and where the world is heading post-COVID-19, we can really make a difference in how technology is embraced to build a better, more sustainable world.
How does working at Sensat compare to larger organisations, what are the positives and challenges?
While larger organisations are more established and (sometimes) more stable, they also carry weight in terms of people and process. This means getting results and outcomes can take longer and there are sometimes many hoops to jump through before decisions can be made.
Sensat is still at a stage where it is agile, can make quick decisions and adapt to the market forces, and this is a positive when adopting a position, influencing that market and driving change. The world is Sensat's oyster, and while there will always be challenges in being smaller, there are bigger opportunities ahead.
How do you envision marketing at Sensat?
As a marketing team, we will be responsible for facilitating growth and creating market demand for our solutions and services. The opportunity today is far and wide, and we need to grab this, embrace it and create a market which we not only dominate and own but continue to influence so we can survive and drive the change we want.
What kind of people and skills do you want to bring to Sensat?
I want to bring in passionate people that aren’t afraid of driving change, and aren't afraid to take the lead. These people are adaptable, which means they have the versatility, skills and mindset to take the shots when needed, and not be afraid to learn and grow to help build a new digital future.
What challenges and opportunities do marketing teams face during the current crisis?
Marketing teams tend to be creative and benefit from being together and bouncing ideas off each other. Getting on a video call is fine, but we generally work better in environments where we can whiteboard and brainstorm and put those ideas into action without restrictions. Remote working can make this a challenge and puts the barriers up to being together.
On the flip side, being at home means less travel and more time to think, feel and do. The teams I have worked with during the COVID-19 crisis have generally been more productive, and are achieving more by taking advantage of the digital tools we have in place to engage and interact with each other and our audiences - even new audiences we would not have had the time to interact with before. Digital has provided many new opportunities, above what we can imagine, and we probably only used 20% of its capability before as we were distracted by other things.
How has working remotely changed the way you work?
I think for all of us that have had to adapt to remote working, having largely been office based before, we have had to be much more reliant on digital connections, communication and collaboration tools to stay productive and effective. Without digital technology, and the tools we now have at our fingertips - where we can literally sign up and get going at the touch of the button - we have been able to try new things, engage in new ways, and understand each other better.
Mostly, remote working has made us be more understanding and imaginative as we think about each other from afar and our current situation. This is only a good thing. We need to keep these values and take them forward in the ways we work in the future. Kindness, understanding, imagination and appreciation for what we have makes for a better working environment.