HelloMasters Podcast Episode 005: Fiona Vanderbroeck – Former Travelbird & KLM, Now Bol.com

Fiona Vanderbroeck (Travelbird & KLM) about the central role of the customer and her transition from corporate to startup.

The chaos you have at a startup is far different than that of a corporate. It makes for a great environment, but it also means some things are just not there yet.” – Fiona Vanderbroeck

This episode, Louise Doorn and co-host Danne de Vries of BrandPit* interview Fiona Vanderbroeck, former Chief Marketing Officer at Travelbird and Head of Marketing-Communication at KLM. They spoke about her learning moments, her career path to CMO and the transition from working in a corporate environment to startup.

Fiona Vanderbroeck

Fiona holds a strong believe that the customer should always have the most central role, a thought that was empowered by Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness: “If you put the customer central to a maximum extent, then that is always a good business model.”

About the diversity of tasks and the pressure you can experience working in a fast-paced and growing company as Travelbird, she says:“The hardest to do, especially in a startup where you not only have so many possibilities but also points of improvement, is deciding what you are going to do first.”

Fiona emphasizes the importance of adaptation and self-reflection when it comes to this. “Constantly reflect on if what you do is the right thing and if it has the right effect. You can do this by looking at hard data, but also through knowledge sharing. Talk to others and learn from them.”

Danne De Vries

The transition from big corporate to startup is another subject that is discussed. Both Louise and Fiona have actively experienced this in switching companies. “Really realize what you get into. It has to be a fully conscious decision.The chaos you have at a startup is far different than that of a corporate. It makes for a great environment, but it also means some things are just not there yet. I personally experienced the transition as un-learning and re-learning.

Topics

[00:00:00]    Louise intro
[00:02:10]     Danne de Vries and Brandpit Intro
[00:03:50]     Fiona Vanderbroeck Intro
[00:05:40]     Fiona about her position at KLM and Travelbird, her work experience and meeting Tony Hsieh

“If you put the customer central to the maximum extent, then that always is a good business model.”

[00:08:30]     What would you advise your twenty-year old self?

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I was focusing too much on making sure everything was perfect. Mistakes make you bigger, as long as you bring it up for discussion and learn from them.”

[00:09:10]     Fiona about her average working week
[00:12:05]     About dealing with pressure and the variety of tasks

“The hardest to do, especially in a startup where you not only have so many possibilities but also points of improvement, is deciding what you are going to do first.”

“Rather do one thing great, than ten things half.”

[00:13:55]     Data versus intuition

“I believe good marketing is a combination of smart technology and human power.”

[00:15:50]     KLM’s Werelddeal weeks as campaign
[00:16:39]     Other campaigns and channels Fiona has used. E.g. customer team, A.I. and retention.
[00:18:35]     Building your team and a culture in a fast growing company.

“A customer moves over channels. We didn’t put their journeys next to each other, but through all our channels. We basically changed our organisation to have a growth culture..”

[00:21:28]    Adaptive organisations

“Constantly reflect on if what you do is the right thing and if it has the right effect. You can do this by looking at hard data, but also through knowledge sharing. Talk to others and learn from them.”     

[00:22:54]     Fiona about her role as CMO.

“Feedback is the only way I can really learn something. What is my status quo? I ask feedback, maintaining a 360 view and gaining knowledge through experts and colleagues.”

[00:24:29]     Fiona about Travelbird and setbacks
[00:26:36]     The role of CMO and other executive level roles
[00:28:49]     From Corporate to startup. Experiences of Louise and Fiona.

“Really realize what you get into. It has to be a fully conscious decision. Know why you do it.”

“Really try to understand the economic value of a customer and get the right data to determine this.”

[00:33:00]     Leadership in transition
[00:35:10]     Predictions for 2019

“It’s getting crowded.”

[00:37:45]     Predictions within the domain of marketing
[00:41:20]     Outro

——

Curious how you can build your marketing team on-demand? You can connect with freelancers directly on our platform. Go to www.hellomaas.com and learn more.

*BrandPit is involved as partner of HelloMaaS in providing on demand marketing specialists for our platform. BrandPit specializes in recruitment of digital specialists (online marketing and e-commerce) for both permanent and interim positions. They works closely together with well-known brands and delivers recruitment solutions to upscale digital knowledge and expertise throughout their entire organisation.

View All Podcasts