Marie Mouton, Director of Communications, Events and Digital Marketing Europe, CNH Industrial
Marie Mouton did not grow up in agriculture, but always felt a special bond with farming. Today, she is the Director of Communications, Events and Digital Marketing for Europe at CNH Industrial. Women in Ag asked her about CNH Industrial’s return to the European tradeshows after Covid-19.
It’s been a long and difficult eighteen months for trade shows, but at last it seems that things can slowly get back to normal. Trade shows and fairs are picking up where they left off, and attendees finally dare to plan their presence. Case IH and New Holland are among of the manufacturers who will return to the trade shows this autumn.
Marie, introduce yourself!
I am a French citizen based in Italy, and did not exactly grow up in agriculture but I always had a special link with farming since my childhood. My grandparents used to manage a dairy farm in Normandy and I did spend a lot of time there growing up.
I specialized in international marketing during my studies and I graduated a Master of Arts of Communication Management in Germany. After these studies, I went on to become the Director of Communications, Events and Digital Marketing for Europe at CNH Industrial.
CNH Industrial Agricultural brands are returning to trade shows this autumn. How important are these shows for CNH Industrial?
Like many other companies, CNH Industrial have focused very much on digital marketing during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was a trend we had embraced already before the pandemic, but we intensified our efforts to remain visible. During this crisis, we have proposed many digital events to keep the conversation going with our employees, dealers, customers, the press,… and even organised the digital fair Youniverse. One thing was clear from the very beginning, however: digital will never replace, but rather complement, analogue.
We believe face to face contact is key, in particular in our industry. Our clients are not merely looking for a machine for their farm: they want a full solution. We believe in being present at trade shows in order to accompany our clients in finding the solution that works for them, and in their purchasing decisions. Trade shows are an excellent way for our company to introduce its brands and solutions to farmers who do not own any of their machines yet.
The role of women in agriculture changed drastically the past years. Do you notice this at trade shows?
I notice that women take on an increasing number of roles and that their importance in our sector is growing. It’s more and more frequent to meet up with female executives in charge of an organisation, for instance. We even start to see women in charge of stands building and I think this will only increase further over the next years.
More and more often, we see a mix (men/women) of people we have to deal with and that is a good thing. Diversity, in genders and in many other aspects, is a great incubator when it comes to creative projects.
Does CNH Industrial keep women in mind when it comes down to trade shows and fairs?
That diversity is precisely one of CNH Industrial’s guiding principles and we apply it to many different levels. Communications, for example, is one of the branches where there are more women than men, but women are also involved in stand building, hospitality services, marketing and demos.
Do you keep track of the visitors on the different branded stands of CNH Industrial? Any idea how many women visit the stands?
We do not keep track of the visitors at our stand with that level of accuracy, but my assessment is that only 10 to maximum 20% of the visitors are women. That’s not a lot yet, but I am noticing a gradual shift.
Do you notice differences in perception between men and women in our sector and at the fair? Is there room for improvement in your opinion?
Traditionally, men and women cover very different roles at fairs, but we notice an evolution there. Women are now more often in representative or engineering roles then before. There is obviously still room for improvement, and I believe that women also need to become more confident that they are capable to take on any challenges!
Did the Covid-19 pandemic change the way CNH Industrial thinks about trade shows?
The pandemic accelerated the shift to digital communications. We have created projects such as the digital fair Youniverse which we would perhaps not have developed otherwise. And while we will go back to analogue fairs, we will most likely leverage on our digital tools and Youniverse platform to broaden our reach to all those who do not travel to the physical fair. In other words, we will implement hybrid formats to some of our key shows.
How do you see the trade shows evolve in the future?
I believe the sector will evolve toward a more capillary approach and the line between major international shows and local fairs will move. Major shows will keep being key milestones for brands to launch their products at international level.
The physical reach of the fairs will probably be reduced since less people will likely travel to visit them compared to the past. As a result, we will need to organize ourselves differently and leverage on digital channels to also reach an international audience. In parallel, as we cannot miss the chance to show products in action in the field, we will rely more on local shows, in particular outdoor ones, where it is possible to organize demos and driving sessions.
Where can we expect to see CNH Industrial next?
New Holland will exhibit at EIMA, Bologna in October. Case IH, STEYR and New Holland will be present at Agribex (Belgium) in December, FIMA (Spain) and Agritechnica (Germany) in February 22.
Marie Mouton (40) grew up in Nancy, in the North East of France. She studied between the University of Nancy II, where she obtained her 1st degree in Marketing and Sales Techniques, Dijon, where she got a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Business Administration at the Burgundy School of Business, and Germany where she got her third degree: a Master of Arts in Communication Management at the FH Pforzheim. Marie gathered experiences at Daimler Chrysler in Stuttgart and in a Digital Communication Agency before joining CNH Industrial.
About CNH Industrial
CNH Industrial aims to be a global leader in all its business segments. The company is a pioneer in efficient machinery that enables other sectors of the global economy to operate at maximum potential, and it achieves this by harnessing new technologies and through its vast market reach and solid enterprise culture.
Diversity is one of the company’s guiding principles, and the full engagement of all its people is one of its sustainability priorities. The number of women managers working at CNH Industrial has increased by 50 per cent compared to 2019.
With a wealth of globally respected brands, CNH Industrial has shaped the industriommercial & specialty
This article appeared in Women in Ag Mag #3. Click here to read the magazine.
Text: Kim Schoukens
Pictures & video: Cosimo Maffione