Ambitious objectives key to Citroën's Claire Cardosi's success #NxtGen

Marketing reveals its list of 10 Nxt Gen marketers. Here, Citroën's Claire Cardosi and her mentor discuss how her ambitions targets and her ability to deliver have set her above her peers.

Cardosi (left): motivated, conscientious, determined
Cardosi (left): motivated, conscientious, determined

Claire Cardosi, 26, Citroën

Marketing manager, CRM

Describe yourself in three words.

Motivated, conscientious, determined.

What attracted you to marketing?

My degree was in business and psychology, and I loved the fact that marketing combined the two. Influencing behaviour is a key part of marketing, which relies on psychological principles. I also love the way the marketing landscape is constantly evolving and influenced by changes in society and technology.

Are there any trends or media platforms you believe are overrated?

I feel that the smooth transition between print and online has not yet been achieved. The development of QR codes and watermarks has tried to create a link between the two, but at the moment I believe there are too many steps and hurdles involved. Providing the consumer with a smooth transition from a print communication, such as a press ad or direct-mail piece, into an online environment could prove very valuable.

What are your biggest marketing challenges?

At present, providing an experience tailored to the consumer and adapting our approach based on the information we hold. Businesses are collecting more and more data from a variety of sources; deciphering which parts of this are most useful and integrating them into a usable format can be very challenging.

What are the biggest trends affecting your business?

The number of consumer visits to a dealership during the buying process has decreased over the past few years, mainly due to the amount of information available online. There is a fragmented customer approach to buying a car, as some want the traditional experience with a dealership but others are more comfortable doing all their research online. We have to manage the balance between a full online and face-to-face dealership experience.

You can achieve much more working collabora­tively than you can on your own.

What are the traits that make your boss Jules Tilstone such an inspiration?

Jules always has time for his team, no matter how busy he is. He focuses his attention on your conversation, with no sign of the workload or pressures on him. This creates a culture where we all juggle the working demands while making time for our teams and colleagues. In turn, this breeds a positive environment where everyone in the department supports each other and dedicates time to things that may sit outside their area of responsibility.

How has he most helped you in relation to your job?

I’ve worked with Jules during my past three roles at Citroën. In each, he has supported me to try to expand my role and responsibilities. Having someone as a mentor who knows my ambitions and desire to continuously learn has meant that I’ve always had a person I can turn to for career advice and support. It’s hugely beneficial to have someone you trust to bounce ideas off and talk things through with when they don’t go to plan.

What is the best piece of advice he has given you?

To focus my energy on the areas I can control and influence. This doesn’t mean avoiding big thinking, but accepting when you are not able to change something and stop wasting your energy.

Any other secret to your success?

You can achieve much more working collaboratively than you can on your own.

Jules Tilstone, mentor

Head of marketing – DS, Citroën

What was the first thing you noticed about Claire?

I first recall meeting Claire when she joined Citroën – she was spending time in the fleet marketing team in her placement year. I was impressed by her genuine energy and confidence, in what must have been a very daunting environment to enter.

What made Claire stand out among the young marketers you work with?

Her energy, "can-do" attitude and aptitude for delivering robust marketing campaigns from inception to post-campaign analysis.

What could others, wanting to get on in marketing today, learn from Claire?

Claire’s a perfect example of how to get on in marketing. I would say her attitude, focus and willingness to learn, combined with a balanced approach and understated confidence, have been important parts of her success.

What attributes does she have that mean she deserves her place in the Power 100 Next Generation?

Claire has demonstrated her ability to analyse, plan and deliver across multiple areas and via different marketing channels. She possesses the right balance of skills for the modern marketing landscape; an analytical approach with a customer-centric perspective, a creative eye with vision for the longer term, and the ability to see the bigger picture and motivate others to deliver against her well-structured plan. She sets herself ambitious objectives and delivers every time.

What would be your advice to any young marketers wanting to get to the top?

To understand sales and stay close to the business commercials. Marketing is all about selling; building consumer desire for products, building desire for the brand and, of course, selling-in your strategy and ideas to internal stakeholders. By staying close to the business commercials you can keep marketing actions relevant and lead the business, ensuring you deliver against both short- and long-term ambitions.

What’s the secret to getting the best out of staff?

For me, there’s no secret: motivation is critical to getting the best out of anyone, and understanding what motivates different individuals is key. With young, talented individuals I’ve worked with, I’ve found their motivation often lies in being challenged and given room to develop and take on responsibility. Providing an environment that balances clear objectives and empowerment with new experiences and the appropriate support programmes (mentorship, open dialogue and so on) seems to work.