Interview with Dorico Marketing Manager Anastasia Nikolaou

By Anne Reis

We released Dorico 4 a few days ago. To celebrate the occasion, we talked to a member of the Dorico team who has been involved during the whole development process of the latest version of our notation software. In our interview, Dorico’s marketing manager Anastasia Nikolaou left none of our questions unanswered.

Hi Anastasia! Thanks for taking the time for this interview! How are you doing today? What tasks do you currently work on for Dorico?

Hi Anne! It's nice to talk to you! I'm very well, thank you.

Working as a marketing manager for Dorico includes many different responsibilities such as deploying new marketing campaigns, developing strategies and tactics to raise our brand awareness, creating our digital marketing plan, producing interesting new content for Dorico, and much more.

With Dorico 4 just released, the tasks I was mainly involved with lately had to do with preparing the new release from a marketing point of view. However, before a new release, my responsibilities also include planning and organizing the photoshoot and video production, when needed, for our latest campaign. It includes liaising with the photographer, selecting the face of the campaign, and most importantly, ensuring that the photoshoot runs smoothly and that we get the right deliverables in time. In addition, before a new Dorico release, I collaborate a lot with many colleagues from different departments within the company on advertising, preparing the new pages for our website and necessary assets, liaising internally about our newsletter campaigns, and more.

How long have you been working with the Dorico team? What brought you there?

I joined the Dorico team two and a half years ago. The opportunity to work for Steinberg and, more specifically, for Dorico was ideal for me. The concept of technology driving artistic progress and creativity was very appealing. Although I'm not a professional musician, I have a passion and love for music, so I instantly felt this was a great fit.

"My role at Dorico is ideal for me"

When I joined the team, Dorico was a relatively new product. It was an exciting challenge for me. I  was very tempted to join a team that created such a powerful product. My role would involve helping increase brand awareness, establish the product's positioning within a niche market, and increase Dorico's market share. Before I joined Steinberg, I had a marketing role at a  software company within the entertainment industry, and before that, I  used to work in the TV industry.

The fact that I could combine the marketing experience from my previous roles, my studies, and the video production skills I had gained in the past was very tempting. In addition, the position would also involve working on video and photoshoots, which is something I thoroughly enjoy. For all these reasons, I feel grateful and fortunate that I am part of Steinberg and the incredible team of Dorico.

What does an average working day look like for you?

My daily tasks include various things, from planning and executing our campaigns, creating and scheduling the content for the Dorico social media channels, taking care of new and existing partnerships and sponsorships, and so on. Finding ways to bring the product closer to the end-user and increase our product's brand awareness is significant and requires continuous work and daily effort. In addition, I'm monitoring our campaigns' performance and our sales performance regularly, checking our Analytics platforms to extract valuable insights and learnings to improve our future campaigns.

"We want to bring Dorico closer to the users"

An average day for me starts with checking my emails and then planning for the rest of my day. After that, I join the Dorico daily stand-up meeting. This meeting lets us get to know what everyone on the Dorico team is working on, which is really useful and brings us together every day as a team. Especially during the pandemic, having this daily contact has been even more important to me and everyone on the team, I think.

How many members does the Dorico team have? Do you all work together in one office?

We are 18 team members in total. And yes, we all work in one open-plan office in the City of London. However, this hasn't been the case for the last two years. Everyone has been working from home due to COVID since March 2020—just like the colleagues at Steinberg Headquarters.

The Dorico team works quite closely with the other Steinberg teams. How do you like that? Would you like to describe it a little bit?

As Dorico is a smaller sub-team within Steinberg, it is great to collaborate with our colleagues in Hamburg and leverage the additional resources and expertise of everyone in the company. We are all part of the same Steinberg family. Our company culture values collaboration and teamwork, which is evident daily.

"We are part of the Steinberg family"

I work very closely with many colleagues from various departments. For example, the people from the communications team about advertising, from the digital unit to prepare the website's new pages or upcoming sales promotion, prepare our digital ads for our online campaigns, and email marketing. I enjoy collaborating with different people as I strongly believe in teamwork, and nothing would be possible without the hard work of everyone at Steinberg.

Is the fact that Steinberg headquarters is located in Hamburg while you're in London a challenge for your day-to-day business? Or doesn't it matter if you and your colleagues work in different places?

Well, one could say that this might be a challenge, but to be honest, I don't see it as one. Significantly since everything has shifted online lately due to the pandemic, and everyone at Steinberg and the Dorico team has been working remotely anyway. As such, meeting online is now the new standard for everyone, isn't it? Technology has been a great tool, and I think it has helped us overcome many obstacles, such as the distance we had to face. But of course, online will never fully replace in-person contact, which is crucial to all human beings. Thankfully, when I first joined the company, I had the opportunity to visit our headquarters in Hamburg twice, so I had the pleasure to meet many of my colleagues in person, which was great!

You already mentioned it before: You and your team just released a new version of Dorico. Congratulations on that! That must feel amazing! How does Dorico 4 distinguish itself from its predecessor? I am pretty sure that there’s been significant progress!

Thank you! It feels great to be part of this major release, which results from hard work from our developers and everyone within the Dorico team. The new version focuses mainly on improving and refreshing the users' workflow to go from inspiration to finished product quickly and easily. There are many new features, including Key Editor in Write mode, a powerful new MIDI import workflow that accelerates the import process, interprets incoming tracks, remembers your choices for future imports, and many more.

"Being part of Dorico is great"

In general, every release of a new Dorico version focuses on making the process of music composition easier so that one forgets they're using software and focuses mainly on creativity and making music. What I admire about our team is how much the team listens to our users' community and constantly tries to take that feedback to improve the product in the following release or maintenance update. For me, this is what makes a product a success. I think that Dorico has managed to lean into its users' needs, which is why I am proud to be part of this team!

As development is a living thing and there is always something to improve, I'm sure you're already working on new improvements shortly after the release. Would you like to tell me something about it?

That's correct. Development is a living thing indeed and requires continuous work daily. As such, right after a release, the development team starts immediately working on improvements and new features that will be included in the following Dorico release.

Since Dorico is a notation software: Are you playing any instruments, and do you read and write notes? Are you part of a band or orchestra?

Well, I'm not a musician, but I'm playing the keyboard and the piano. I've taken keyboard lessons for about nine years, and piano lessons for two, when I was at school. So yes, I can read and write notes, but unfortunately, this isn't something I've been practicing lately.

"The keyboard and the piano are my instruments"

However, this has been on my mind for a while now, and I plan to begin piano lessons soon to refresh my memory and start playing piano more frequently, as this is something I love.

Are there any other hobbies you like to mention?

I've always liked to paint in my free time, which I have done more regularly as a hobby in the past six years. Not only is it very creative. It is also stress-relieving, and it helps me relax. I also play tennis twice a week, which I very much enjoy and won't miss for a thing! I love tennis as it involves physical exercise and a lot of running, which is very important to me as I spend many hours sitting in front of the laptop every day.

You said that you love music. I think we have a lot in common here. How would you describe your taste in music? Are there any artists or bands you like to mention in particular?

For me, music is a form of expression, but it also undoubtedly evokes emotions in the listener. Therefore, I listen to various genres of music based on my mood and my feelings at a specific time: from jazz to rock, as well as pop and electronic music. Among the artists, I like are Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Edith Piaf, but I also like Nicolas Jaar. I also enjoy listening to bands like Pink Floyd, Portishead, Queen, and Nirvana—to name a few.

Thanks for the lovely interview! It was a great pleasure to get to know you even better! Have a great day! We will talk soon!

Likewise, thank you, Anne! It was nice talking to you!

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