Brand Communications Manager Mari Primetta
Hi! I’m Mari, and I work at Genelec as Brand Communications Manager.
I started here in 2006 after my friend got me interested in joining up. Whenever I saw that friend, I asked if they were still working for Genelec, and they always were, which made me think they must be happy in their work. They’re still here today! Back then, while I was on maternity leave, my employer moved their office to another town and moving with them wasn’t an option for me. So, thinking of my friend, I picked up the phone and asked for work at Genelec, and I started the very next week as a Sales Secretary, then soon got asked to take care of export tasks and assist occasionally with marketing.
Then in 2011, our Managing Director, Siamäk Naghian, asked if I would like to focus entirely on marketing. Since that moment, I’ve been on a path that’s fascinating, rewarding and full of learning opportunities, and I’ve been in a great position to follow Genelec’s story over the years. During that time, I’ve grown immensely as a marketing professional, both according to the company’s needs and my own conditions, interests and strengths with support from the team. I still feel there’s a lot to learn and I’m excited about the future here. It’s wonderful to share many of the same values with the business, like sustainable development, which is close to my heart. I’m happy to say that Genelec places great importance on this subject and actively invests in reducing its footprint.
I want to tell you that I’m a shy person by nature, and I’ve generally tried to avoid being the centre of attention during my life. Sometimes I’ve wondered if my shyness will limit my success in the tasks I do at work, but I believe that I’ve succeeded. My strength is my ability to listen and observe, which gives me a good sense of people and environments. For many years I used a lot of energy to cover up my shyness, but inspired by our founder Ilpo Martikainen, I decided to share it with people and consider it a feature like he did. That’s helped me to be more courageous and overcome challenges with greater ease. Writing down these things about myself has been hard for me, but I’ve encouraged myself to do it, partly because I’ve been instrumental in creating this series of short biographies. After all, if one asks another to do something, one must be prepared to do it too. So here it is!
My work is to make sure that our marketing actions fit well with our strategies, so everything pushes us towards our goals. I create an annual clock that allows our team to plan their resources throughout the coming year, and I make sure our communications are consistent while providing the best possible customer experience at every brand touchpoint. I work on a wide range of things, including the design, execution and monitoring of marketing concepts, campaigns and content. My personal goal is to be someone with a good overview of everything that others can turn to for guidance. Alongside my work, I’m studying for an Executive MBA at the University of Eastern Finland.
Though our team is spread out geographically, we work very closely together, and that teamwork and transparency is something I feel is important for any company. I’m involved in projects right from the development stage, and I start to create marketing concepts with people from other teams when the product is mature enough. For me it’s vital that we stick to our method of using fact-based messaging in our marketing, which avoids meaningless hype. If my marketing mind ever starts to oversell something or take focus away from important features, my colleagues in product development will quickly bring me back down to Earth. They’ll explain when a product works differently than I thought or when another aspect of it is more important for the customer experience. In this way, our marketing works a lot like our audio; we don’t add or take away anything, we simply present the truth.
Genelec has a family-like atmosphere, one that’s especially clear when I get morning coffee at the factory. Many different people might stop and sit at the same table, including my colleagues from any department, management, or even our business owners. A visitor might have no idea who is who, but if they listen, they’ll soon notice a healthy mix of uniquely skilled individuals, all with a keen sense of respect and value for each other. The discussions are open, and everyone’s thoughts are equally weighted. Those daily coffee breaks at the factory are what I’ve missed most since the pandemic started. Nowadays, almost all our communication is via email and video meetings. My team consists of people with many different backgrounds who belong to a range of age groups and nationalities, and I feel that’s a huge asset. Every one of these colleagues, partners and customers has contributed something to the incredible over-forty-year story of Genelec, and I feel so proud of this when I see our loudspeakers installed anywhere. We are humbled by the huge amount of trust we receive from our customers, and we always feed that energy back into our development.
One of my most memorable workdays was when we made a mannequin challenge video, for which we even got the company board members to join in. Alongside that, the Genelec Brand Identity project was a very rewarding experience. We created music that’s become a very natural and important part of our identity and messaging, and we’ve had extremely positive feedback about it. One of my absolute highlights of 2021 was collecting the Sonic Identity Award for Genelec at the Stratégies Design Awards in Paris. It was given in front of an audience at the historic Théâtre Marigny, and I was delighted to be joined by the company that produced the music with us, Sixième Son.
I must mention the unforgettable launch of The Ones series in 2017. Launches are always notable, because they’re the culmination of uncompromising work from many people, often over many years, but this one was even more special. After a long development, we were getting to the point of planning the marketing campaign and writing the storyboard for a special product video, when we received news that our valued founder, Ilpo Martikainen, had passed away. It was a crippling moment, and without the need for words we all joined forces during our grief and gave it our everything. We delivered a fantastic launch that really did The Ones series justice, and we completed the product video with a huge charge of emotion. It’s still impossible for me to watch the video with dry eyes.
I live in a house I built with my husband in the small Finnish town of Iisalmi. Our family consists of my recently adult son, our daughter who’ll start school this year, my husband’s grown-up son, and our beloved dog, Ransu. I can see lake Porovesi from our windows, which is the same lake that the Genelec factory is next to. In the warmer months, it’s even possible for me to go to work by boat, and in the winter I can ski there. My husband and I often have construction projects, and when building our house eight years ago, we gave it a home-theatre, because I love to listen to music, and watch TV series and movies. I especially appreciate great sound, which in my opinion is at least half of a great movie experience. I got expert from colleagues about our choice of Genelec loudspeakers, their placement and fitting acoustic treatment. It sounds amazing, and I’ve started to dream of going immersive now. Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of Spanish TV series in the hope that I’d learn more of the language to impress my colleague from Colombia. I have to say that I’ve improved my vocabulary, but I think her Finnish is still better than my Spanish!
During the summer I grow vegetables in our greenhouse at home, but I also spend a lot of time at our forest cabin. On my way there, I sometimes see wild animals like bears and elk, and every now and then I might even see another person. The cabin is small and doesn’t have any luxuries, but perhaps that’s the reason why it’s so dear to me. It’s going back to basics that allows me to free up my mind, and that often leads to me having my best work ideas. I could stare at the lake and forest landscape all day, but the reality is that you also need to take care of practical things. Jobs like making firewood, which is needed for cooking food, washing in the sauna and heating the cabin. This involves taking care of the forest and then cutting, moving, and storing the wood, which can only be achieved through hard work. Even the water needs to be carried from the well, but all these things bring me closer to nature and that is where I’m happiest.
I always take one last glance at my rearview mirror as I leave that place with my batteries recharged, and then I’m ready to do my other jobs again. Both rest and work have their place in life, after all, a good job well done brings its own kind of energy and wellbeing.
Greetings from a colleague
Mari took me under her wing from the moment I started working at Genelec’s Iisalmi office. Six or seven years later, she’s still that person that I know will always provide help when I need it. I hope that these days it works the other way around too.
Mari is the most optimistic person I know, her perseverance has helped our team pull through challenging situations, time after time. I feel like Mari has at least one great idea every day, and that has amazed me year after year.
Mari, thank you for being just the way you are. I hope to be your workmate for a long time to come.
Your colleague, Karoliina