Let me introduce my guest
My today’s caller, unlike previous interlocutors, operates in the SAP industry in a non-technical way. He works as a Head of Marketing at Int4, creating, and executing a relationship-based marketing strategy, designed to bring value to the SAP community. He’s an inspirational public speaker, traveler who visited over 20 countries and personal development lover as well.
About the “Growth Hacking” in the SAP world, the marketing point of view of the technical matters, new formats for delivering useful content to the SAP community and the life of Digital Nomad – Wiktor Bogdanowicz is interviewed by Jarosław JZ Ziółkowski.
Reading time: 7 minutes
1. You write “Growth Hacker” about yourself on LikedIn. What exactly do you do?
As stated in the title, I ensure growth. I’m focused on finding smarter, low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing activities. Int4’s marketing team only consists of 4 people, and our competition is much bigger than us, which means that they also have more significant resources such as time, money, people, than Int4. We have to find out smart ways to stand out in the crowd. As an example of these actions, I can focus on personal brands that we create or relationship marketing approach, which revolves around creating meaningful relationships throughout the SAP community.
2. From the perspective of your work experience, how do you compare “Growth Hacking” in SAP to e.g. e-commerce? What are the most significant differences, and where do they come from in your opinion?
Imagine driving an F1 bolid and driving the cartwheel in the shopping centre. In this metaphor, SAP is the F1 bolid and e-commerce is a child’s play. SAP is an incomparably more difficult industry than any e-commerce. There are many factors behind it: it’s unpredictable, there are lots of people on different levels involved in the buying process, there are diverse SAP landscapes and systems at every end client, and there are no simple, already known and proven solutions – you have to find out what works by yourself. No SAP marketing gurus are sharing ready-to-share and ready-to-use templates. It means that you have to test, analyse, adjust, repeat.
3. But you have been dealing with the SAP industry for a relatively short time. How do you try to understand it, and what learning methods are the most effective ones for you?
First and foremost: openSAP – it is a fantastic initiative made by SAP, and I’m grateful that this platform exists. These courses have taught me a lot, and I believe that participating in them is the best way to get into the SAP environment and add some fancy badges to your LinkedIn profile 🙂
I also have to point out my onboarding process at Int4. During my first two weeks at the company, I had around 8-10 hours of 1on1 classes with great professionals and also SAP Press book authors. Here I have met many people who have introduced me to the world of SAP. Among them Michał Kowalczewski – Int4 IFTT Product Manager and Board member, Michał Krawczyk – SAP Mentor and my endless source of inspiration or Korneliusz Kordus – Managing Director, who guides me and helps me improve my managing skills. This process gave me a great kickstart and drastically accelerated my learning process.
I believe that the best way to learn something is a synthesis of two components: asking questions and being humble. From my experience, the SAP community stands out with its kindness and support. I talk to many SAP professionals on LinkedIn, I ask them many questions, and I seldom encounter rejection or any other negative feedback. People around here are kind and helpful. They are eager to share their insights, which I find unique. Thus, I believe that asking is the best way to learn about the SAP industry, but only when you stay humble. Humility is another critical factor, and I think that asking without humility is just “being pushy”, which no one likes. My advice is: ask for help and be humble, respect people’s time, expertise and differences. If you do that – no one will reject you, and you will learn a lot.
4. Generally speaking, you are a non-technical person in a very technological world. Thus, tell me more about the following: Is technical knowledge necessary for choosing marketing activities? Or maybe it can be separated?
I firmly believe that the only technical knowledge you have to know in this world is how to use Google. We often forget that our pockets hide these small, fancy devices called smartphones and that, apart from scrolling Instagram feed, we can use them as a limitless source of knowledge. I know that I lack much knowledge, but I’m not worried about it, because I can use Google, find great resources and learn. I know, it takes a lot of time and effort, but you have to sacrifice something to achieve something meaningful.
5. Continuing this matter, I have also prepared a question straight from my readers. Which IT topics are challenging to understand for a marketing person? Are you struggling with SAP specific topics?
Let me start with the greatest and the universal marketing statement: “It depends” – on the person, of course.
Digital marketing is becoming more and more “technical”. Thus, many marketers have to acquire basic IT knowledge. As for me, “technicals” were one of the most challenging aspects of my job. I’m a person with a psychological background, and I always considered myself instead as more creative than a technical marketer. When I started my marketing career, my job was mainly based on creating compelling social media posts, writing catchy articles, working with influencers or doing funny videos: pure content marketing. I wasn’t satisfied with that – I found it too easy and I was hungry for more. This desire pushed me to learn other, more technical aspects of marketing, like basics of SEO, analytics and data-driven marketing, email marketing, advertising, growth hacking. The broad scope of marketing knowledge lets me do what I’m best at – marketing strategy.
Regarding the SAP specific topics, I’m just a humble student. I’m striving to learn as much as I can, to understand the wonderful SAP community and its needs better.
6. So you should have no problem answering the next question. What was the most challenging project that you have ever participated in, and of course, why?
Int4’s marketing strategy was the most challenging project in my career. SAP integration testing is a narrow and challenging industry – it’s incomparably more difficult than any other I encountered in my marketing career. What’s worth mentioning, my role at Int4 was to create the whole strategy from scratch. I came in here as someone who had no clue about the SAP and its community, and now I had to plan the marketing for this fantastic company. That moment, I was overwhelmed, pretty petrified, but also excited. You know me, I love challenges and more significant they are – better I perform. I spent countless sleepless nights on research and preparation, and this effort is starting to pay off. Even though we are just getting started, I’m proud of what we achieved here already.
7. Ok, speaking of achievements, let’s focus on your Record of Achievement regarding SAP certificates. You have already got nine openSAP RoA’s. How do you use the knowledge gained in them for everyday work?
This knowledge gives me a better understanding of the SAP community. I mean, knowledge of its pains, needs, characteristics and even the language and industry terms that people use. I know that I will never be an SAP consultant, but I want to understand what is the reality of an SAP consultant. Once I heard that there is no Business 2 Business, it’s always Human 2 Human, and I can’t agree more. There are still real people behind the businesses, and I believe that understanding is the core of building meaningful relationships with them.
I also took the next step in my journey of discovering the SAP industry. This fall, I begin a new field of study: IT Project Management, which will not only enrich my skills, but also it will give me a better understanding of the characteristics of IT projects and its methods. It’s all for you – my dearest SAP community *smile*.
8. Well, during the pre-interview research, I found out that you have made over 300 videos. So tell me, do you want to add this format to the Int4 content soon?
For sure! We are going to create more and more videos with the Int4 team. I can see that the SAP community appreciates the videos that we made and, as I mentioned before, we want to create meaningful relationships, also by providing valuable video content that responds to the SAP community’s needs. Right now, we are building our internal professional video & streaming studio, which will help us produce much more high-quality videos.
Apart from Int4’s videos, I also plan my own video content. Shortly I’m going to start my personal YouTube channel where I’ll share many marketing insights which could be helpful for SAP professionals. I’m also preparing a personal branding video course for SAP professionals, which should be available by the end of this year. I see that personal branding is an essential factor in SAP consulting. Thus, I want to share my knowledge and experience and show what SAP consultants have proven and experience-based methods on how to work on personal branding.
9. On another subject, to the displeasure of many of us, COVID-19 has been a prevalent topic recently. In one of your posts, you once wrote about becoming a “Digital Nomad”. So I wonder whether you would consider moving to another country to live and work there?
Of course, I do! I’m in love in Spain, its people, culture, food, weather and language. I know it’s not an ideal country to live in, but for me, it is a much better option than Poland. I’m probably going to move there soon (when thisCOVID insanity ends), for a few months first – to see how it is to live there for more than a couple of weeks.
I’m also considering South America. It was one of my dreams to visit this part of the Globe. This year brought me the first opportunity to fly there, and I planned to visit Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia at the end of this year. Now I know why they say: “you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”.
10. Last but not least, let’s talk a little bit about the future. How do you think SAP may change in the next five years? Will you plan to change with this industry in parallel? What direction do you want to take?
I don’t think that even the CEO of SAP – Christian Klein could predict it accurately. If I had to, I would place my bet on the growing role of AI, as it is the hot topic these days. Nothing is inevitable in the SAP industry, and this uncertainty keeps me excited. I can’t wait to meet the future!
As for me, I’m going to focus on personal and business development for the next five years. I am dedicated to discovering the SAP community and learning more. I want to bring Int4’s marketing to the top international level and personally, complete an MBA degree, and learn the 4th foreign language.
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1. No pain, no gain! So, the financial stuff in the SAP world