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11 October 2019

How I ended up in marketing consultancy by accident

Once upon a time, I was probably the most firmly rooted marketer you could find in Belgium. For the first 12 years of my career, I climbed the ladder from Junior Brand Manager for Fristi and Nutroma to Marketing Manager for the value brands portfolio and OOH with Friesland Campina, handling projects in different countries in Europe.

Looking back

Actually, I started out at Nutricia Drinks and, after negotiating a road lined with mergers and takeovers at every turn, I ended up with the world’s fourth largest dairy company. Needless to say, they were interesting times. There’s no doubt that my loyalty was reinforced by the culture and “let’s do this together”-mentality. The end of my Friesland Campina chapter came when the company decided to streamline its operations.

At that point, I wanted to explore marketing in a different area, or broaden my scope beyond brand marketing. What I was looking for were companies and brands with a story, opportunities to create experiences and broaden my knowledge. And, as a true Libra, it had to be in balance with my 2 favorite “projects”: Ryan and Zoe, our 2 children.

What was next?

I returned to my old love, FMCG, and broadened my scope by turning to channel and category management at a Heineken company in Belgium, namely Alken Maes.  First for the on-trade channel, or better said bars, drink centers, … and later for the top 3 retailers Colruyt, Carrefour and Delhaize. Again, I learned a lot, had interesting discussion with those retailers, but, at the end of the day, I missed the strategic impact, building a brand or in short: marketing.

So, there I was, 16 years of experience, determined not to return to FMCG this time and looking for marketing opportunities at a certain level in different sectors.  I applied for positions with very different companies, ranging from the travel sector to automotive, from telco to chemical.  Looking for a job with a unique combination of strategy development and implementation.

An opportunity that came along 

At that point, one of my former contacts, with the House of Marketing, called me: are you still looking for a new job? Would you be interested in filling in temporarily for the marketing director at Veritas?  Would I??? Marketing: check, experience relevant: check, no FMCG: check! Did it bother me that it was not a permanent opportunity? Not at all. I was very eager to start and apply my broad marketing knowledge in this new non-FMCG environment.

In the meantime, the idea grew of embarking on a longer adventure with The House of Marketing, which brought me after Veritas, to Cevora and Telenet. I’ve been with the client for two years now, wrapping up my third project within the company and eagerly looking forward to my next opportunities with one of the interesting clients of The House of Marketing. 

And so, I can honestly say that my search is over. I have a challenging job, with plenty of opportunities to grow. Opportunities that go hand in hand with the job at the client: discovering new sectors, focusing on different assignments, but what really gives me energy is to be part of organizational changes at the client, new ways of working, dynamics within departments on a consulting level. It feeds my drive to coach people and teams.

Want to join me at The House of Marketing?

DISCOVER NEW JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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