Catherine, what’s your thing with air cargo?
It’s where my career in travel started. I have worked in air freight for 13 years. It never seized to amaze me what kind of stuff gets flown around the world every day and every night. Circus animals, we shipped those one time. Oh, and we spent a few hours in quarantine after a bug-infected shipment. True stories.
Now that I think of it, it sums up pretty much what the world of travel is all about for me. Never-ending movement and change. Especially in communications and marketing.
How did you end up in Marketing Communications at Amadeus Benelux in the first place?
By accident. Laughs. I was applying for an opportunity in product management through a consultant. But they said I was much more suited for Communications, which was true, and that’s how I my career at Amadeus took off. And I’m still in the air after more than 13 years.
Is there a division more likely to undergo change than marketing?
Probably not, and travel IT in itself never ceases to transform. It changes all the time. It’s a matter of staying ahead and surfing the right wave. R&D plays a major role, naturally.
But things can change so quickly in communications too.
You’re referring to the recent change in Marketing Communications.
We have a new Marketing Director for the Benelux now, Christine Van den Winckel, since June 1. Sara Van de Pontseele becomes our new Marketing Manager Business and Ana Dias e Seixas is Marketing Manager Online & Leisure Travel now.
Not to mentions the changes in the sector itself.
Take social media, for example. Your classic marketing department from a couple of years ago would not work anymore. It involves close cooperation with lots of different divisions: product management, sales, just to name two. Marketing has to reinvent itself with every shift.
That’s why I always say:
Is that a Catherine Dubois thing?
Could be. I don’t know who said that, really. Wait, Stephanie said that too. Maybe it’s an IT thing.
How do you keep up?
A great team. Otherwise we would not be where we are today. That’s probably what I am most proud of. Maintaining our corporate identity throughout those many changes across all media, like brochures, manuals, websites, events, emails… Mind you, we have seen our fair share of branding overhauls too.
So, not losing track of our core message – shaping the future of travel – throughout that multitude of channels, facing all those changes, we handled that quite well together. Smiles.
So, how do you unwind?
I love cooking for other people. And I don’t always mean the multi-dish, fancy, complex kind. Just being home with my family, my children, and enjoying a fine meal I made. You can say important things with an honest dish. It’s so important not to lose track of what really matters.
Your personal hero reflects that beautifully.
Ah, Le Petit Prince.
He may be an atypical hero in the sense that he’s innocent, and that he doesn’t like big words or gestures; yet, he really stands for what I never want to lose track of as a person in these hectic lives of ours.
Plus, de Saint-Exupéry’s writing – he was a pilot, by the way – is so layered that it contains lots of hidden meanings and remains relevant up to this very day. That’s probably why Lapland is on my to-visit list. There’s so much peace in those endless landscapes covered in snow.
What kind of a traveller are you?
I have travelled and still travel a lot, but I never go very far. France, that’s where my heart is. Still, my first encounter with Africa was when I travelled to Kenya, and that totally blew my mind. It’s a memory I’m very fond of. It was so new to me in every sense, its landscape, its people, its colors. So completely different. It felt like a dream.
Yet, your picture for this interview was taken in Italy.
That’s Tuscany for you. Once you have seen the light there, you’re in love with it. It’s like a painting, really. There are no words for it.
Who would you like to see next in this seat?
High time we visited our Dutch colleagues! This seat is for Hubert Van Velden, Account Manager Online & Leisure Travel. He is an endless source of insight, you’ll see.
Care to link up?Find Catherine Dubois on LinkedIn here.
Marketing Communications Executive