Jobs. Tasks. Learnings. Knowledge. Competences.

Marketing at Unilever’s Ola in Belgium

A great company to start a career. Highly advanced in marketing. Great internal communication and processes. An excellent learning environment and a fun place to work at on top of it. Weirdly I had no marketing knowledge at all when starting at Unilever, but they believed in me.

Main learnings:

  • working with advertising agencies
  • branding
  • maintaining good relations with the sales department
  • taking charge of more than your own job
  • the importance of a good internal communications flow
  • package design management
  • advertising management
  • if you think you’re working hard, think again and work even harder

What do I miss most about it? The great interactions between high level hyper motivated managers all sincerely committed to a common goal… and the fresh of the production line gourmet ice creams (duh!)

Marketing & Spokesperson at Pelsland

A family business active in a fashion niche. A lot of opposition from animal rights activists (don’t get me started!). Gradual warming of the climate. The sometimes mysterious world of fashion. The high expectations of consumers buying an exceptional coat.

Main learnings:

What do I miss most about it? The opportunity to truly and directly help out homeless people during wintertime (we donated more than 10.000 winter coats over a period of 10 years).

Digital Marketing at Clixreclame

A purely digital agency that started as a hobby. I’m an avid listener of marketing podcasts (that’s actually all you’ll find on my iPod – nerdy, I know). There had been talk about AdWords since late 2000, but it didn’t exist in Europe. When, in March 2003, Google launched AdWords in the Benelux I jumped on the opportunity and starting working with it. That makes me the oldest AdWords user in the Benelux.

Main learnings:

  • the true meaning of relevance
  • digital experience
  • creativity within very strict rules and limitations
  • getting to know Google a little bit thanks to visits to the Brussels and Dublin offices
  • the importance of attention, of being there where your consumers eyes are pointed at

What do I miss most about it? The freedom to freely experiment as I see fit. The huge difference I could make in customers’ results. The interactions at Googles European Headquarters.

Merged Marketing™ at X8 Agency

An agency that is more than a pure digital agency. The result of almost 35 years of marketing – traditional and digital – and sales experience resulting in a true 360° consultancy. It still involves me in digital communication of course, but also in marketing strategy, graphic design, business development, advertising and even good old human sales management.

Main learnings (ongoing experience):

  • weighing different options within the context of a business (and communication) strategy
  • even more social media marketing
  • managing b2b sales teams
  • retail marketing (how to activate end distributors)
  • general business consultancy

Senior Consultant at Yconik

A marketing consultancy for grownups, by grownups. I.e. we focus on consumers over 55. A group that is much too often ignored by brands, or worse, communicated to in a condescending (and sometimes insulting) manner. Why is this demographic relevant? well, very simply because they represent almost 40% of the Belgian population and have a discretionary income that is way beyond average (and quite specifically about 65% higher than is the case for the 18 – 34 demographic)

Main learnings (ongoing experience):

  • the marketing community romanticizes the past
  • brands underestimate the digital literacy of adults over 55
  • big companies often still underestimate the importance of digital
  • there’s a lot of accumulated knowledge and experience in consultants over 55
  • strategic consultancy
  • it’s very hard, I dare even write ‘almost impossible’, for millennials to create authentic content for adults over 55

What’s next?

It’s Difficult to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future…

To be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It’s not about winning and losing; it’s about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge.

At my age – I assume you’ve been able to deduce from about 35 years of professional experience that I’m over 55 by now – you know that experience matters. You’ve seen a lot and learned a lot. I’m lucky to be blessed with an excellent learning ability and great memory. Accordingly I can invoke a lot of learnings.
Care for a chat? Get in touch with me now.