Marion Span: An enthusiastic marketer who leads by example
From knocking on people’s doors and selling to hiding in their social media handles, marketing methods have changed dramatically. Today, companies are looking for marketers who excel in marketing, change the game every day with innovation and creativity, rise to the challenge and help their business stay ahead of the curve.
Conference Marian ChipsChief Business Officer at Siegfried, who was and is responsible for business development, sales and marketing. Siegfried Group For 18 years. Since his joining, Marianne has been instrumental in driving Siegfried’s growth in the pharmaceutical industry. He has taken the company to new heights through his skills, deep knowledge and marketing skills.
We at Insights Success learn more about his journey with Marian and how he is helping the Siegfried Group achieve its business goals.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader up to your current position on Siegfried. What challenges did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?
I have been at the forefront of the pharmaceutical and chemical industry for over 25 years, with a global network as well as a deep understanding and extensive knowledge of the chemical and pharmaceutical market along the entire value chain, including P&L and finance. Experience
I joined the Siegfried Group in 2004 as Head of the Classical Generics Business Unit, headed the Siegfried Generics division from 2008 to 2010 and was the Global Head of Business Development and Sales, Marketing and Regulatory Affairs – today called Chief Business Officer – as well as March 2010. Member of the Global Strategy and Executive Committee. Prior to joining Siegfried, I worked as a logistics, business development and site manager in Boucheron’s cosmetics department. I then moved into the pharmaceutical industry as head of sales and marketing at Schweizerhall and American Aceto to develop Europe expansion strategies. About my academic background: I have a diploma in finance, economics and marketing from the Kaufmännische Führungsschule KFS in Basel and the MBSZ School of Marketing and Business in Zurich.
As you can see, my journey in the pharmaceutical industry was not straightforward, and I changed lanes more often than others. But based on the experience, knowledge and network I have built. I have faced many challenges as a leader, as a woman in a leadership position, and in a very regulated industry. My positive outlook here has helped me: I always see challenges and difficult situations as a way to grow my problem-solving muscle or develop training and perseverance. Today, we talked more than twenty years ago about what a leader can do to help work-life-mix, mental health, and teams perform, and I think it’s very helpful to have these exchanges and come up with new ideas. Because there were always some challenges that weren’t on anyone’s agenda, it was forbidden to discuss them, such as being the only woman at the bar at night on a business trip with a group of colleagues and clients, or networking events as the only woman. I would like to mention that we are finding the solution more easily than in the past because it is now more openly discussed, also thanks to the social media platform and the communities there.
Tell us more about Siegfried’s mission and vision.
I once read that includes a good mission and vision that forces you to get out of bed every morning. Taking this as a guideline, our goals and vision are exactly the same: Based on our current portfolio, Siegfried serves more than 300 million patients annually, so we at Siegfried know what we do. We aim for industry leadership and be the most trusted partner in the pharmaceutical industry and the global leader in the CDMO space because we are the strongest team operating the most competitive network. With science and technology expertise, we bring the valuable innovations of our pharmaceutical customers to an industrial scale and create safe medicines for patients worldwide. I feel compelled to do so, and even more so at the present time where the coronavirus has shown us so clearly how important the pharmaceutical industry is to the well-being of all of us.
Enlighten us on how you have impacted the pharmaceutical niche through your expertise in the market.
As I said: I joined Sigfried from a different background, and I brought these experiences and routines into my daily work in the pharmaceutical industry. My perspective on the industry was very different from one that has always been marketing and selling for pharmaceutical companies. I think my vision was and still is very hands-on, open and direct. That way, I can often find ways to do things – projects, discussions – when things get tough and don’t give up easily. It is important to be open to change and new developments and to be creative solution providers and team builders. This is especially true for us because we operate the CDMO business as a service provider in a B2B industry without directly linking our customers to the brand. One project where we as a team can really make an impact is to implement a new filling line for the vaccine at our site in Hamelon. It was here that we first realized what it means to actively contribute to the fight against the epidemic.
Describe in detail the values and work culture that drives your organization.
When we talk about our values, the response I always get is how real and deeply rooted the five core values of our daily work are: from excellence to “we excel in everything we do”, passion “deeply to what we do” Careful and how we do it “, honesty” We work responsibly, reliably, with dignity and live up to our own standards “and quality” We do it for the first time “Sustainability” We don’t just think about tomorrow but much more “.
We know that in order to be successful, we need the best team in the industry and the most competitive network. So, based on our values and Siegfried’s leadership principles, we have clear guidelines and general understanding of how we want to work together. This is something that our employees value and we constantly re-evaluate to keep it up-to-date.
Undoubtedly, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you using technological advances to enrich your solutions?
For us as a global manufacturing supplier, technology and technological innovation are key to being able to provide the best possible solutions for our customers.
And I would like to mention that our teams work so closely together that we can provide an integrated service and establish a link between active ingredients from pharmaceutical formulations, oral or disinfected or inhalative dosage forms. We combine all expert knowledge to find the ideal offer for our customers.
In the marketing and sales department and also in business development, we are quite hands-on: to reach our customers and ensure that our offer is known in the market, we are using online and offline channels depending on the target group. Regarding new channels like TikTok, we are working together with an agency and thus getting new impetus. In our internal communication, the epidemic has accelerated development and the use of team, skype and zoom is now as self-evident as many organizations.
Where do you want to be in the long run and what are your future goals?
I am glad that I have had the opportunity to learn not only the different cultures but also the different roles from development to supply chain, operations and finally, business development. I have the advantage of being able to look back on a long and successful career today. So now my vision for myself is my long experience and open contribution to change in Siegfried’s growth, preparing the organization for the future, improving cross-selling cross-thinking with more creative business models, making a difference and adapting. For the future and further growth.
For a long time, I could imagine bringing in many roles and my experience from different industries and now in Sigfried as a member of the executive committee in an advisory role to help other businesses succeed. I am and always are very passionate about my work and continue to learn and open new fields, so in addition to what I do every day I will enjoy it very much. Companies are facing multiple challenges these days, and I want to contribute to their successful further development by bringing my financial background, business development knowledge and global network.
What would be your advice to emerging entrepreneurs who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs in the marketing sector?
If you are passionate about your work, willing to work hard and want to make an impact, you are in for a very rewarding experience. The field allows for many different paths and offers a lot of possibilities to integrate technology with people, build relationships, learn about different cultures and use your financial knowledge. You can make a difference for a company if you take care of people and are always ready to go the extra mile.
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