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Marketing is a key to the development of any company, especially in the challenging world of composites.
(Published on September 2007 – JEC Magazine #35)
AN INTERVIEW WITH PETER GEORGE, GLOBAL MARKETING MANAGER, GURIT
JEC Composites Magazine: What is your role as global marketing manager?
Peter GEORGE: I am responsible for assisting different parts of the Gurit Group to formulate our long-term strategy and for managing projects that emerge from these plans. These include long-term investments, alliances and marketing activities. I am very fortunate that our marketing communications team, led by Samantha Keen, has a great deal of expertise in this area.
JCM: What are the biggest challenges you face in your job, and how do you deal with them?
P.G.: Gurit is presented with a lot of opportunities for developing future business within various industries. It is important for us to choose which opportunities we pursue according to our strengths, so we can focus sufficient time and resources on resolving our customers’ problems. Another challenge is that we are growing rapidly into many new areas, all of which demand an increasing customer awareness of what we do.
JCM: Can you tell us what specific training, degrees, and/or experience led you to your current position in the composite industry?
P.G.: I have a degree in materials sciences and an MBA. It is so important to understand not only the technology of the products you produce, but also how they fit into the business picture. Much of my career before composites was with adhesives of various types.
International experience is also very valuable and many of our employees have worked abroad. During my career, I have lived in the Middle East, managed a European sales network, and I have also learnt to speak some French, which has proved to be a very useful tool. A background in sales is important for my role too – we must not forget that all our research, manufacturing and promotional activity has a point:
that a customer is eventually going to buy something because it makes its business work better.
JCM: What is the current market like for a marketing manager in the industry, and where do you see this market heading?
P.G.: The key trend is, of course, growth. Composites are strongly penetrating many markets as these lighter, stronger and more processable materials are increasingly substituted for traditional ones. The possibilities for using new materials are often unknown to designers and manufacturers, so the role of the composite marketeer is vital to increase the awareness of composites in general, as well as an awareness of Gurit’s capabilities. This growth of novelty in composites will continue and so there will always be a big role for marketing new ideas.
JCM: What is your advice to anyone who wants enter this industry?
P.G.: In a dynamic and international market such as this, you have to be prepared to travel. It is important to choose the right employer. If you are going to learn, you need to surround yourself with talented and enthusiastic people in a company addressing challenging issues. Gurit is growing and often seeking bright individuals to join us. It can often start with someone sending in a speculative CV, as this demonstrates they have initiative and drive. In dynamic times, you never know what can come from an e-mail.