“Modern music making is much like modern marketing in that way. With digital marketing tools becoming better and more accessible, it is not enough for a marketing professional today to come up with creative campaigns or create good positioning strategies. They need to master the modern marketing tools to be effective at their job ”
Jesper E. Thomsen
Jesper Thomsen is a heavy hitter in the B2B world. Since finishing his business degree and starting at Maersk in 1994, he’s been around sales, marketing, HR and customer service. As Maersk Line VP of Customer Service and Sales 2012-2014, the largest container shipping company in the world, he headed the transformation of more than 10.000 people across the globe. One of these projects (CTWWS) was about changing the way sales is typically done in the container shipping industry. Moving from talking price and transit times with the customer to value and differentiators.
Moving from the idea that sales is an art, to the understanding that it’s about consistently doing the right things, in the right way at the right time.
Kvadrant sat down with him to learn more about his lessons learned from large scale sales development projects, his perspective on current commercial challenges in B2B and what musicians have in common with modern marketers.
Now that you’re not leading global large-scale transformations, how do you spend your time”
“I make music. I’ve always been interested in making music and have been doing it parallel to my work but obviously I have a little more time to dedicate to it now, than I did back then. I use it as a learning process to become better at the craft of innovation. Creating something out of nothing. So, I bought the right equipment and started producing and publishing”
How is it going?
“I’m no pro, but it’s amazing how accessible it has become to make -and publish high quality music. What would have run me multiple hundreds of thousands of euro in equipment just a few decades ago, you can now get for about 25k. Music production has become much more viable for the broad public, both from an economic perspective and from a user friendliness perspective. But the technological development has also meant that you need to be a good technician, to be a good music producer. Creativity gets you only a little way, you need technical craftsmanship to produce”
“Modern music making is much like modern marketing in that way. With digital marketing tools becoming better and more accessible, it is not enough for a marketing professional today to come up with creative campaigns or create good positioning strategies. They need to master the modern marketing tools to be effective at their job, in the same way as I need to master my equipment to be effective at making music. This has been true in B2C for a long time and it is increasingly becoming the case for B2B as well”
On the subject of large scale-transformations, what was purpose of launching the CTWWS?
“…Maersk Line is one of the leaders in reliability, but of course none of this matter if we can’t communicate what that means to our customers in dollars and cents”
“Well, the shipping industry has been -and still is characterised by commoditization and extreme price pressure. This is driven by the idea that we transport boxes from A-to-B, with transit times (how long it takes) and price as the only differentiating factors. But when you look at it from a customer cost perspective this isn’t true. As any operations or supply chain guy will tell you…”