Staff Interview with Leena Tähti, the Marketing Manager of Elinar
In September 2019, Leena Tähti returned to work from her maternity leave. Meanwhile, her career at Elinar turned 10 years. Leena has accomplished a lot at Elinar, even if her journey to becoming the Marketing Manager wasn’t the most typical one. But maybe that exactly is the secret of her success.
Leap in the dark
Leena Tähti had already had time to study and get some working experience from a logistic industry in Southern Finland, but she was still looking for her own career. The young woman ended up back to her home region when she started studying information technology at the Tampere University of Technology in the University Consortium of Pori. At first, she didn’t have any expectations for the new field but soon found herself enjoying the studies. “This is totally my thing”, she says happily.
Leena studied software engineering, but she started at Elinar in 2009 as a summer employee working in administration. After the summer, she continued working at Elinar as a Software Designer among with studying. Later she started to do also some marketing tasks to ease the work of Elinar’s CEO Elina Juntunen, one of the founders of the company, at the time. In addition to administration and finance, Elina was responsible also for communications and marketing.
As her Master’s thesis for Elinar, Leena Tähti made the software company’s marketing plan for a new business area. After her graduation, Leena started to work full-time as Elinar’s Marketing Manager. “We started to create the whole marketing palet from the beginning. The journey has been long – we’ve learned a lot the hard way”, Leena describes. “The marketing world has also changed so much while I’ve been here… When I started working at Elinar, we printed brochures and our websites were in its infancy”, she laughs. “The most rewarding in this work has been that I’ve had a possibility to implement my visions and when I succeed, I get thanks for that”. Leena praises the work community.
Multi-tasking and great experiences
The Marketing Manager’s job description is wide. Leena organizes events and seminars in Finland and abroad – some of them are Elinar’s own and some are arranged together with partners. Typical tasks are for example campaigns, budgeting, digital marketing, development projects, content marketing, and internal as well as external communication. After all, she plans and implements Elinar’s marketing strategy together with management and sales. A long-term partnership with IBM guarantees interesting possibilities around the World. It asks a lot of project management skills from the Marketing Manager because she’s the one who must be aware of big lines.
The job isn’t still too stressful for Leena, but instead, she is thankful for her employer. “In Elinar, I have been able to combine working flexibly to the demands of family life. For example, children getting sick has never been a problem, because I can work remotely from home when needed. Also, our superiors trust operative workers to do their job even then we’re not working under the same roof”, she thanks.
As an ambitious worker, Leena enjoys her challenging work. In her opinion, the best moments at work have been completing large projects successfully. One of the greatest experiences was Elinar’s selection for IBM’s Watson Build Challenge with its own AI-product. A long story short, this little company from Pori was elected from European finalists as a judges’ wild card choice to a worldwide finale to New York. In the end, Elinar was placed in the top three! “In my work, it’s helping that I’m following all the time the technologies and trends. I also test our new demos to get a clear overview of the product or service from a marketing and sales perspective”, the Marketing Manager describes.
Planning the conquest of the World
As an international company, it’s unusual that Elinar’s headquarter is in Pori because employees need to travel a lot around Finland and abroad. For a while, Elinar had a branch office not only in Sweden and Norway but also in Helsinki. It’s the city where all this started. But Elina and Ari Juntunen, the founders of the company, decided to move Elinar’s headquarter from the capital city to Pori in the ’90s because of the values. Leena understands it very well. “When we had the branch office in Helsinki, I asked for a transfer there, because as a Marketing Manager, most of my contacts were there”, she explains the history. The work went efficiently at the office rented from IBM’s office building, but Leena moved back to Pori in a few years. “I started to expecting my firstborn, so I decided to return again my home region”, she smiles.
At the moment, most of Elinar’s employees are working in Pori at the office located in Expertise Center BEPOP. Leena thinks there are many good sides in this situation: “Here we see almost all the colleagues face-to-face, which of course easies working a lot. Our working community is definitely one of the best things in Elinar”, she lists.
There is not even fear that Elinar would stay away from an international business because of its location. The company has partnerships of nearly 25 years, that is to say. “Elinar is trusted around the World. We have such a strong experience that is not always founded in even large software houses”, Leena praises. She’s counting on the continuous growth of Elinar in the future because she really knows, what kind of products and knowhow the success of the company is really based on.