This text first appeared in the German original on LinkedIn.
Summer 2020, a warm summer evening, Corona seemed far away for a few weeks, a fun group of young people, delicious pizza and beer: the perfect setting to present my marketing plan. An ambitious presentation, after all, I had only started my position in communication and marketing at HD Vision Systems, a young industrial start-up in Heidelberg, two weeks before.
Can a job transfer go well in the Corona crisis?
Strictly speaking, my job change had been a gamble altogether: Just in time for the Corona crisis, I had received an exciting offer in my hometown region. After a short hesitation, however, it was clear – this is a twist of fate. Consequently, my husband and I organised a move back to the metropolitan region during the first lockdown.
I was curious about what to expect at HD Vision Systems. All I knew in advance was – industrial machine vision with a new type of light field technology. My understanding was not yet much more concrete. My knowledge of physics was also not yet above average, but I was sure that I could easily learn everything I needed to know.
And that’s exactly what I did: my first weeks as the person responsible for communication and marketing were intense. Before me, there had been no structure for this area. Therefore, my first actions consisted of thoroughly analysing the company situation, the market and the target group. At the same time, I learned everything important about our solutions, about the light field technology and became an AI expert, so to speak (or at least that’s what I wish).
Let’s record where I’m working on the first day.
Weeks of onboarding or waiting for new explanations? No way! After a few initial introductions, I was able to turn to anyone at any time for further questions, and so I was able to show my first work results within a very short time.
Learning on the job is definitely a reality at HD Vision Systems.
At the same time, it was always my own responsibility to independently determine what knowledge I was still lacking and how best to acquire it. Accordingly, I am particularly proud of my progress in terms of video content: last year I taught myself all the basics to implement my own content as part of my marketing planning. For a text and book geek like me, that’s definitely something new.
Diverse tasks, lots of freedom
But back to the marketing concept – after looking for a direction, different goals and metrics, I went for it. I started to place our so far only moderately known start-up brand in a critical industry environment:
I got to know the editors (actually all men) of our most important industry magazines and wrote my first PR texts.
Together with our ERP manager and the sales team, we adapted the CRM.
Also with the sales team, I iterated countless versions and variants of presentations for the most diverse occasions.
On social media, LinkedIn became my playground – it was the quickest way to place our messages.
Along the way, I initiated some changes in internal communication by talking to colleagues and my superiors. We adapted our meetings, created new agendas and finally I introduced an internal newsletter. Also and especially with our number of employees.
Of course, a mammoth project was not to be missed: For the first six months in particular, I was also busy building a new website single-handedly. Since its launch, it has been continuously adapted and updated.
Then there was my actual background: content marketing. Of course, its spirit hovered over all other activities, but I really wanted to deliver content with added value to our tech-savvy target group. In close cooperation with our software engineers, machine vision specialists and image processing experts, some great content was created.
Working in a start-up is intensive
I had a lot of fun thinking up and implementing all these different marketing measures. My colleagues were always very helpful and without their expertise I would not have been able to do a lot of things. Compared to 2020, the HD Vision Systems brand is very different today – internally and externally there have been many changes typical of a start-up, we have become noticeably more professional and developed further.
Summer 2021 – Partially back in the office, now also with bus stop directly in front of the building!
At the same time, of course, it would be a lie to say it wasn’t exhausting or didn’t exceed my personal limits now and then. But that was also a valuable (if not the most valuable) learning for me: you really can’t do everything at once. Looking back now, I am surprised myself at how much has changed in 12 months. Professionally and personally, I have learned an enormous amount.
So with this knowledge in my pocket, I am now embarking on my second year at HD Vision Systems. Based on our experiences and results, my focus for our communication and marketing has shifted. We will not continue all channels in the same quality, but intensify others. I am already excited to see how our insights and measures from last year will develop. One thing is certain:
We are getting better and better.