Q&A with Kolja Eikelmann, CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries

MEDIA 7 | June 20, 2019

CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries
Kolja Eikelmann, CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries is a forward thinking and result-driven Marketing expert with 20 years of experience in the FMCG marketing industry. 

In this Q&A, Kolja shares his unique marketing experiences and gives us interesting insights about PPG Industries, a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, and specialty materials which is driving innovation, sustainability and color in the industry.

MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into Marketing?
KOLJA EIKELMANN:
I wouldn’t be able to say when I first realised marketing was the path for me, but I think it’s been evident my whole life that I’m interested in the diversity that marketing allows. Since childhood, I have always been so fascinated with the details of a product, no matter what it is. I have an endless sense of curiosity and I think that was the major driving factor for me to enter the world of marketing.

I realised marketing might be for me when I discovered the unique opportunity it offers to be involved in all spectrums of the business; not just advertising, but also in creating solutions and analysing outcomes. The overarching goal is always to make a real difference and help people in their daily lives, and marketing allows you to both be a part of the solution as well as a witness to the outcomes.

My job with PPG is very colourful – just like my company! Within my one job title I get to explore innovation, creativity and analysis. This variety has always been appealing to me.

M7: You have an exemplary marketing experience of more than 20 years in the FMCG industry. How have the marketing dynamics changed over these years and what tactics do you feel modern marketers should adopt, to survive in this competitive world?
KE: 
As you would expect of any industry in the 21st century, marketing is constantly changing and increasing in complexity in this digital age. The increasing presence of digital media and the growing demand for ease-of-access online services, has resulted in the field growing broader than ever before. The possibilities now are numerous, but they are fragmented; you must be truly dedicated to the field to build the knowledge base of marketing tools required to thrive in such a climate. Ultimately, PPG wants to produce work that has the greatest impact on businesses, this was arguably easier in the past when you had a traditional, simple media mix, as opposed to now when success depends on mastering traditional media and online outlets, social media and digital advertising tools.

For example, it can be easy to spend a lot of money on Google ads that are expected to be high value, but instead, organizations might see greater return on sales if the money had been allocated to a faster and more agile response to SEO.

In marketing, it can be easy to get caught up in the creativity of the work – as that is most often our strength – but not fully immersing yourself in the analytical side of things is a mistake that is often reflected in outcomes. I would recommend that every marketer should always make sure to know their KPIs inside and out and try to get as familiar with Excel spreadsheets and analysis as they are with the creative work.

In this constantly changing modern landscape, marketing has become even more important than ever before. Specifically, in the paints and coatings industry, marketing was a late bloomer as it has been driven by shelf sales for so long. However, as an industry we are refocusing on innovation and purpose; and pushing the boundaries on what is expected from paints and coatings and what they can do. PPG aims to improve and protect the world through our products – but none of this is possible without proper marketing to support the business.


"A focus on our customers, our innovation, our people and our entrepreneurial way of working – are all elements that inspired the One PPG vision, and what most accurately represents the key to our successful way of working."

M7: Your work experience spans across highly complex matrix organizations to entrepreneurial and start-up businesses. What do you believe is your driving force behind your proven track records and achievements?
KE: 
I am very proud to say I have left behind a strong track record of positive differences within the companies in which I am working. Although I have worked in many different, seemingly unrelated industries, the knowledge and tools that I learnt at each step along the way continue to prove invaluable for each new challenge I face. From paints, to dairy, to cosmetics – your collective marketing knowledge spans across whichever business you are a part of. Once you’ve built up this knowledge base, the true challenge is not having the tools but knowing which tools to use and when.

I have always been most drawn to companies that challenge me to make a difference. This is how I’ve shaped my career and how I made my decisions on where to work.

M7: How well do you believe that a service-oriented and data-driven leadership approach along with business strategy and operational execution can lead to company growth with an upsurge in revenue/sales?
KE: 
I strongly believe in a service-oriented and data-driven leadership approach, as well as incorporating social and ethical capabilities. Data-driven leadership is the key to the future – in many industries – but especially in marketing. The industry today is all about knowing your KPIs and business cases, which are data rich. Working in marketing is about being able to positively impact business outcomes, and that ultimately boils down to the ability to add value for your customers and consumers. Focussing on PPG work as a service-oriented industry highlights the need for data availability – both in that of the business and that of our customers – to be able to best consult and serve. Knowing your data is the key currency for success in the 21st century.

Data analysis can provide us with information such as click through rates and viewership. We are able to access tools now that, if used right, can prove invaluable to achieving successful outcomes. Being able to use this information to your advantage will allow you to instantly see whether your data retrieval is successful. Every business case and KPI that you set out to tackle can then be achieved using the data to measure sales growth.

M7: PPG Industries has been included in the list of American Fortune 500 companies. What do you think has made it possible to build a fortune for PPG industries?
KE: 
PPG has a strong culture of building the business across SBUs through investment, innovation and acquisition. We are one of the leading and largest paints and coatings companies in the world. This status is maintained by PPG’s culture of investing in R&D and constantly challenging the boundaries and expectations of the coatings world.

The opportunity to build our position as a market leader in many countries around the world is only possible through our global network and international approach. For example, our Alison Park facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a major hub of innovation for PPG – but work that is done there is often inspired by an idea from Europe, that itself was driven by a customer need from Asia. To stay on the frontlines we can’t sit still and be complacent. Our recent acquisition of Hemmelrath and a new plant in Tianjin, China is evidence of our strategy to expand our foothold, our abilities to deliver for customers and our capacity for innovation to maintain our position as a market leader.

PPG has many moving parts which all function in different areas of the world across different business units, but our central goal is to add customer value. A focus on our customers, our innovation, our people and our entrepreneurial way of working – are all elements that inspired the One PPG vision, and what most accurately represents the key to our successful way of working.


"Data-driven leadership is the key to the future – in many industries – but especially in marketing."


M7: How is PPG Industries’ tagline ‘WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD’ serving its purpose of enhancing the world through its paints and coating solutions?
KE: 
PPG is in every part of daily life – even if you don’t realise it. You touch and feel PPG in your living environment practically 24/7: from your car to an airplane, to your refrigerator, to your laptop or even your soda can. This tagline reflects how PPG’s paints and coatings cover every part of life. PPG products provide the expected functionality of adding a colour or coating to an object, but even more than that, PPG products enhance the longevity of an item and increase its appeal. Whether it is an electronics coating that makes a laptop feel smooth to the touch, or a coating that protects the body of an airplane from overheating in the sun. PPG’s mission is not to provide what is expected, but to offer innovative solutions to questions no one expected an answer for.

Environmental impact is one of the greatest concerns of the 21st century, for both our customers and us as manufacturers. As a business founded on mass production, it is our responsibility – and therefore our challenge – to be as positive a force as possible in the fight against climate change. This is why so many of our modern products are developed to align to both PPG’s mission of protecting the world and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals: boat coatings that reduce friction and therefore reduce fuel consumption, aircraft windows that don’t need frames to reduce plane weight to help minimise carbon emissions, electric vehicle battery coatings that enable cars to travel for significantly longer periods of time per charge, increasing the viability of electric vehicles on roads. We are innovating with purpose – for the public, for our customers, for consumers and for our own PPG people.
The world cannot function without paints and coatings in our everyday life, and that’s why PPG’s tagline is so powerful. If we are going to continue to be a worldwide presence, we want to be sure we are making the world a more beautiful place in the most long-term, stable way possible.

M7: You have taken transformational business initiatives to foster incremental business changes and drive cultural change throughout the organization especially in dynamic business sectors. What are some of the advantages of taking such timely measures?
KE: 
As part of the global shift towards greater digitization, businesses have the opportunity to drive cultural change. Digital transformation is a key component, especially as peoples' buying habits are evolving and changing how they purchase products. This is acutely felt in Europe, with its variety of different countries, cultures and languages. From a marketing standpoint, the industry is offering incremental business changes in this new culture of on-demand. In the age of Amazon and digital transformation, people want easier and faster solutions from the paints and coatings industry. Customers want to get the job done as quickly and as easily as possible with support from the supplier. As a result, PPG is innovating to be more agile and fast, by developing architectural paints that take less time to dry or offering customers a more on-demand paint matching experience.


"A successful campaign is one tailored to the needs, style and audience of the customer."

M7: You have an amazing experience of working with top leading companies like Nestle, L’Oreal and currently PPG Industries, how influential was your role in transforming marketing tactics for these organizations?
KE: 
My roles in these organizations were really diverse. For L’Oréal, I was more into sales and worked within category management. This later proved very influential for my future marketing career as it introduced me to the integration between marketing and sales in helping to serve customers in the best way possible. Integrated communication between marketing and sales is an essential tool in connecting both ends with the business purpose while still staying customer focused. You need to drive your campaigns forward and also sell your products in a much more complex way that is completely focused on the customer’s view. In order to do this, you need to know what is best for the customer when you place your products within a category role. This requires a lot of analytical skills to convince a customer what is best for them. You need to oversee the whole thing and act almost as both an internal and external consultant for your company. This whole picture view of the marketing process really influenced my journey and helped me strengthen my skillset for my future roles, such as when I was head of digital for Nestle.

When it comes to marketing, you can’t just pick the most creative, 360 media campaign available and offer it to the client. A successful campaign is one tailored to the needs, style and audience of the customer. To be best at what we do, it is essential to build an in-depth understanding of your customer’s view and what is best for them. This experience came with me into my work for PPG in using this knowledge to establish myself in a more leading role. At PPG I am also the communicator in the company and need to understand everyone’s view and connect with all the different departments. I am not only the marketer in my department but I’m also responsible for looking at the whole value chain within this digital leading role. PPG has experienced double-digit growth in the past two years in both B2B and B2C and this success is down to how closely we collaborate here.

M7: Kolja, what is your super power?
KE:
I would say my super power is a combination of my visual and analytical skills, articulated through my courageous and enthusiastic mindset. Being able to both develop a specialized skill set and confidently acknowledge my areas of expertise and strength makes for a very beneficial cocktail to drive progress. Having empathy and other social skills are important to exert a positive influence within my team at PPG. However, these qualities should also be backed by facts – knowledge, experience and history -- which is a combination I have not seen in many people. Being self-confident and believing in my strengths is a powerful tool in business, and something that has greatly helped me along the way.

M7: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
KE:
I’m really driven by being up to date and well informed in as many areas as possible, and I would advise my younger self to do the exact same. I’ve always been a very curious person, but I would tell my younger self to be even more so and to take in as much information as possible. In this fast-moving world, that is just getting faster as we become more digital, there is always something new to learn or discover. If you remain stuck in one point of view or one way of thinking, you are already behind the curve. Stay flexible, stay interested and always remain in a constant state of learning.

ABOUT PPG INDUSTRIES

PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™
At PPG (NYSE:PPG)
, we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $15.4 billion in 2018. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.

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SpectrumX Confirms Next Step in Clinical Development of Respiratory Drug Candidate SPX-001 After MHRA Meeting

SpectrumX | November 25, 2022

SpectrumX, a UK-based healthcare and pharmaceutical company announces that following a constructive scientific advice meeting with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on Monday, 14th November, the Company is prepared to move forward with the next stage in clinical development of its respiratory drug candidate SPX-001. Per regulatory guidelines, SpectrumX will submit a combined Clinical Trial and Ethics Committee application for a placebo-controlled phase Ib influenza viral challenge study of SPX-001 in healthy volunteers to the MHRA in December 2022. SPX-001 is SpectrumX’s nebulised respiratory infection drug candidate, based on the Company’s licensed hypochlorous acid based SPC-069 drug substance, which is believed to have broad-spectrum antipathogenic properties. “We believe SPX-001 could be a significant new weapon in the fight against viral respiratory infections, and this is a critical milestone in progressing our drug candidate toward targeted market authorisation approval. We would like to thank the MHRA for their helpful guidance and responses to our initial proposal to begin human clinical trials, and we hope this brings us another step closer to trialling what we believe is a revolutionary treatment for respiratory infections.” Commenting, Damien Hancox, CEO of SpectrumX Dr Donna Lockhart, Consulting Head of Medicines at SpectrumX, said: “After productive discussions at a scientific advice meeting with the MHRA, during which we presented our lab-driven data, supporting evidence from existing literature, and key features of our novel solution, SPX-001, supporting its potential effects in combating respiratory infections, as well as our proposed clinical study protocol, I am pleased that we are one step closer to starting our clinical trial programme and the subsequent processes that are essential to market authorisation.” If approved, this will the first in-human trial to deliver SPX-001 via a nebulizer to test its efficacy and safety versus a placebo treatment in healthy subjects infected with influenza. Following successful completion of the planned trial, SpectrumX will move forward with further trials in patients with respiratory infections to gather the additional necessary data for a market authorisation approval. As previously announced, SpectrumX has already begun the production process for SPX-001, working with a GMP-certified partner, which will accelerate trial-readiness once requisite approvals have been received. About SpectrumX SpectrumX is a UK-based healthcare and pharmaceuticals company focused on bringing to market an innovative respiratory infection therapy and the roll-out of the most powerful hand sanitiser in the world to the NHS and other healthcare clients. Both products utilise unique, patent-pending HOCl formulations. HOCl is naturally occurring in human white blood cells and is a key contributor in the immune response to infection. HOCl also has direct killing activity against bacteria, viruses and fungi. It is well-tolerated in humans while also being the most effective known disinfectant when used on surfaces.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Xilio Therapeutics to Host Live Virtual Program Spotlighting XTX301, a Tumor-Activated IL-12

Xilio Therapeutics, Inc. | November 28, 2022

Xilio Therapeutics, Inc. a biotechnology company developing tumor-activated immuno-oncology therapies for people living with cancer, announced that the company will host a live virtual program on Thursday, December 1, 2022, at 12:30 p.m. ET spotlighting Xilio’s clinical-stage molecule XTX301, a tumor-activated, engineered IL-12. The event will feature Diwakar Davar, MBBS, M.Sc., a key opinion leader and assistant professor of medicine and a medical oncologist/hematologist from UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Dr. Davar will discuss the unmet medical need in treating patients with immunologically “cold” advanced solid tumors and the differences between “cold” and “hot” tumors in the tumor microenvironment as well as the potential for IL-12 as a compelling immunotherapy target across tumor types due to its ability to activate both the innate and adaptive immune system. Xilio executives René Russo, Pharm.D., chief executive officer, Marty Huber, M.D., president and head of R&D, and Uli Bialucha, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, will discuss the company’s clinical-stage molecule, XTX301, a unique tumor-activated, engineered IL-12 designed to potently stimulate anti-tumor immunity and reprogram the TME of poorly immunogenic “cold” tumors towards an inflamed state, while limiting systemic toxicity. The Xilio team will also cover the adaptive design for the planned Phase 1 trial for XTX301 and anticipated clinical development timeline. Webcast Information To register in advance for the webcast, please click here. A live webcast of the event will also be available under “Events and Presentations” in the Investors & Media section of Xilio’s. Diwakar Davar, MBBS, M.Sc. Dr. Davar is an assistant professor of medicine and a medical oncologist/hematologist at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. He specializes in the management of advanced melanoma and the development of early phase studies to test novel immunotherapeutic approaches to treat advanced cancers. Dr. Davar is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He received his medical degree from National University of Singapore, and he completed both his residency and fellowship at UPMC. Dr. Davar is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Allegheny County Medical Society, American College of Physicians, and Singapore Medical Association. About XTX301, a Tumor-Activated, Engineered IL-12 XTX301 is an investigational tumor-activated, engineered IL-12 molecule designed to potently stimulate anti-tumor immunity and reprogram the TME of poorly immunogenic “cold” tumors towards an inflamed state. IL-12 plays a key role in bridging innate and adaptive cellular immunity, making it a compelling target for immunotherapy. However, life-threatening toxicity observed with systemically active IL-12, including severe liver toxicity, have limited the therapeutic potential of IL-12 agents. In November 2022, Xilio announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the company’s investigational new drug application for the evaluation of XTX301 as a potential treatment for patients with advanced solid tumors. About the Planned Phase 1 Clinical Trial for XTX301 The planned Phase 1 clinical trial for XTX301 is a first-in-human, multi-center, open-label trial designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of XTX301 as a monotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors. About Xilio Therapeutics Xilio Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing tumor-activated immuno-oncology therapies with the goal of significantly improving outcomes for people living with cancer without the systemic side effects of current I-O treatments. The company is using its proprietary platform to build a pipeline of novel, tumor-activated molecules, including cytokines and other biologics, which are designed to optimize their therapeutic index and localize anti-tumor activity within the tumor microenvironment. Xilio is currently advancing multiple programs for tumor-activated I-O treatments in clinical development, as well as programs in preclinical development.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Biocytogen Enters into Antibody Agreement with ADC Therapeutics

Biocytogen | November 28, 2022

Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. announced that it has entered into an evaluation and option agreement with ADC Therapeutics SA. Biocytogen will grant ADC Therapeutics a license to evaluate Biocytogen’s proprietary antibodies against three tumor targets, with an option to license selected antibodies at a later date for global ADC development and commercialization. Biocytogen reserves all global rights for these antibodies beyond ADC development. Biocytogen will receive an upfront payment. For each option exercised, Biocytogen will be entitled to an option-exercise fee, and development and commercial milestone payments, which potentially total tens of millions of US dollars, as well as single-digit royalties on net sales. Under the agreement, Biocytogen will provide ADC Therapeutics with monoclonal and/or biparatopic antibodies directed against three tumor targets, generated through Biocytogen’s Project Integrum. ADC Therapeutics will carry out feasibility studies and be responsible for further development and commercialization of the ADC products if the company exercises an option. “ADC Therapeutics is a leader in the development and commercialization of ADCs. We believe this collaboration with ADC Therapeutics will underscore the value of Biocytogen’s proprietary antibody discovery and screening platforms. We’ve been dedicated to expanding the possibilities of antibody-based therapeutics in disease treatment, through the exploration of new types of targets and modalities through Project Integrum. The combination of Biocytogen’s strength in antibody development with ADC Therapeutics’ expertise and track record in payload and linker technology may lead to the generation of novel ADC medicines for unmet medical needs in the future.” Dr. Yuelei Shen, President and CEO of Biocytogen “We are pleased to enter this collaboration with Biocytogen as we continue expanding our toolbox to realize the full potential of our ADC platform,” said Patrick van Berkel, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of ADC Therapeutics. “We look forward to evaluating the fully human antibodies from Biocytogen’s proprietary discovery platform, which have the potential to accelerate the development of our novel ADCs.” About Biocytogen Biocytogen is a global biotechnology company that drives the research and development of novel antibody-based drugs with innovative technologies. Using its proprietary RenMabTM /RenLite® mice platforms for fully human monoclonal and bispecific antibody development, Biocytogen has integrated its in vivo drug efficacy screening platforms and strong clinical development expertise to streamline the entire drug development process. Biocytogen is undertaking a large-scale project to develop first-in-class and/or best-in-class antibody drugs for more than 1000 targets, known as Project Integrum. This project has resulted in 28 drug co-development agreements and 16 RenMiceTM licensing agreements with companies around the world, including several partnerships with multinational pharmaceutical companies (MNCs). The company's pipeline includes 12 core products, among which two products are in phase II multi-regional clinical trials and two products are in phase I. Headquartered in Beijing, Biocytogen has branches in Haimen Jiangsu, Shanghai, Boston, USA and Heidelberg, Germany. About ADC Therapeutics ADC Therapeutics is a commercial-stage biotechnology company improving the lives of those affected by cancer with its next-generation, targeted antibody drug conjugates. The Company is advancing its proprietary PBD-based ADC technology to transform the treatment paradigm for patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. ADC Therapeutics’ CD19-directed ADC ZYNLONTA is approved by the FDA for the treatment of relapsed or refractory diffuse large b-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy. ZYNLONTA is also in development in combination with other agents. In addition to ZYNLONTA, ADC Therapeutics has multiple ADCs in ongoing clinical and preclinical development.

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MEDTECH

SpectrumX Confirms Next Step in Clinical Development of Respiratory Drug Candidate SPX-001 After MHRA Meeting

SpectrumX | November 25, 2022

SpectrumX, a UK-based healthcare and pharmaceutical company announces that following a constructive scientific advice meeting with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on Monday, 14th November, the Company is prepared to move forward with the next stage in clinical development of its respiratory drug candidate SPX-001. Per regulatory guidelines, SpectrumX will submit a combined Clinical Trial and Ethics Committee application for a placebo-controlled phase Ib influenza viral challenge study of SPX-001 in healthy volunteers to the MHRA in December 2022. SPX-001 is SpectrumX’s nebulised respiratory infection drug candidate, based on the Company’s licensed hypochlorous acid based SPC-069 drug substance, which is believed to have broad-spectrum antipathogenic properties. “We believe SPX-001 could be a significant new weapon in the fight against viral respiratory infections, and this is a critical milestone in progressing our drug candidate toward targeted market authorisation approval. We would like to thank the MHRA for their helpful guidance and responses to our initial proposal to begin human clinical trials, and we hope this brings us another step closer to trialling what we believe is a revolutionary treatment for respiratory infections.” Commenting, Damien Hancox, CEO of SpectrumX Dr Donna Lockhart, Consulting Head of Medicines at SpectrumX, said: “After productive discussions at a scientific advice meeting with the MHRA, during which we presented our lab-driven data, supporting evidence from existing literature, and key features of our novel solution, SPX-001, supporting its potential effects in combating respiratory infections, as well as our proposed clinical study protocol, I am pleased that we are one step closer to starting our clinical trial programme and the subsequent processes that are essential to market authorisation.” If approved, this will the first in-human trial to deliver SPX-001 via a nebulizer to test its efficacy and safety versus a placebo treatment in healthy subjects infected with influenza. Following successful completion of the planned trial, SpectrumX will move forward with further trials in patients with respiratory infections to gather the additional necessary data for a market authorisation approval. As previously announced, SpectrumX has already begun the production process for SPX-001, working with a GMP-certified partner, which will accelerate trial-readiness once requisite approvals have been received. About SpectrumX SpectrumX is a UK-based healthcare and pharmaceuticals company focused on bringing to market an innovative respiratory infection therapy and the roll-out of the most powerful hand sanitiser in the world to the NHS and other healthcare clients. Both products utilise unique, patent-pending HOCl formulations. HOCl is naturally occurring in human white blood cells and is a key contributor in the immune response to infection. HOCl also has direct killing activity against bacteria, viruses and fungi. It is well-tolerated in humans while also being the most effective known disinfectant when used on surfaces.

Read More