Carole J. Salomon

Senior Vice-President, Marketing,Purolator CourierCarole Salomon entered the marketing world in 1968 as a marketing analyst for Canadian Industries.In 1971, Salomon moved to Montreal Trust, where she spent four years in marketing research and two years as marketing manager on pension funds.In...

Senior Vice-President, Marketing,

Purolator Courier

Carole Salomon entered the marketing world in 1968 as a marketing analyst for Canadian Industries.

In 1971, Salomon moved to Montreal Trust, where she spent four years in marketing research and two years as marketing manager on pension funds.

In 1977, she joined Nabisco Brands (then known as Standard Brands), assuming the position of manager of marketing research, Lowney/Moirs division.

Salomon, who has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master in Business Administration from McGill University and sits on several corporate boards, rose rapidly through the ranks at Nabisco.

She became manager of marketing services in 1978, director of marketing and business development in 1980 and vice-president of marketing and business development, Lowney/ Moirs division in 1982.

In 1984, Nabisco named her vice-president of marketing, confectionery group.

Ronalds Printing hired her away three years later to assume the post of vice-president of marketing and national sales.

In June 1989, Salomon took on her current role as senior vice-president, marketing for Purolator Courier.

- Spearheaded the development of Purolator’s current ad campaign which has galvanized the field force and won industry praise.

- Launched two successful Nabisco Brands products, Ovation sticks and Oh Henry Ice Cream Bar.

We asked:

Q. Are you a believer in marketing by science or by gut feel?

A. ‘Both. My research background has taught me that rigorous analysis and planning are fundamental to marketing success. However, timing often dictates the need for the intuitive decision in order to gain a competitive edge.’

Q. Was there a significant turning point in your career?

A. ‘Yes – when I went from a staff role to a line function role with full p&l responsibility.’

Q. Who or what influenced you the most in your marketing career?

A. ‘My husband, David, has had the greatest influence in my career. In addition to providing encouragement and support, his dry sense of humor helps me avoid taking myself too seriously.’

Q. What is your favorite marketing campaign (not including campaigns with which you have been involved)?

A. ‘The campaign that is my all-time favorite is the development of `Mr. Christie’ and the signature `Mr. Christie – you make good cookies.’ On trucks, signage and in tv advertising, it communicates quality in a warm, believable manner that has to be as motivating for Christie employees as it is for consumers. It also works as well in French as it does in English.’

Q. What is your favorite ad (not including ads with which you have been involved)?

A. ‘I have many favorites, but the one that comes to mind is the outdoor board for Evian, created by Harrod & Mirlin. It’s called `Wanda’ and shows a fish jumping from a goldfish bowl into a glass of Evian. Instant, simple communication with a single word of copy.’

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. ‘Skiing in the winter and golf in the summer. I enjoy spending my free time with my family.’

Q. What is the most recent book you’ve read?

A. ‘`The Popcorn Report,’ by Faith Popcorn.’

Q. What book influenced you the most?

A. ‘`Gallic Wars,’ by Julius Caesar.’

Q. What do you love most about the marketing business?

A. ‘The excitement for me lies in leveraging all parts of the organization to build brand equity. Seeing the results in terms of volume, revenue and share gains is what motivates me the most.’

creative/strategic sense

‘She is a bright, astute, capable individual, someone who is capable of entertaining a wide variety of strategies.’

‘Carole’s strength is strategic consistency across all the marketing vehicles.’

‘Carole can be extremely rational and precise, yet she will still be open to the emotional ingredient.’

‘She has helped move Purolator into having products that manifest a sense of promise, rather than being simply fluffy and corporate.’

‘Carole is fixated on service. She has to be because people will change courier companies tomorrow if the service is poor.’

management skills

‘Carole puts a lot of emphasis on staff communications. She is very keen that they be involved in the marketing, that they be aware of what is coming down the pipe. She sees them as salespeople, as part of the marketing force.’

‘Meetings with Carole are disciplined, but there are lots of opportunities for different points of view to be discussed. They aren’t free-for-alls, but they aren’t gagged either.’

‘The last thing Carole wants around her is a bunch of `Yes’ people.’

‘When people put a lot of time in a project, she lets them know she appreciates it.’

‘She knows how to handle herself in the executive suite. She understands the way things get done in the corporate culture.’

competitive instincts

‘Carole has the absolutely singular purpose of developing high-quality, sound strategies.’

‘She’s a scrapper. She will push and push and push until she gets the very best results. She is certainly not a nine-to-five marketer.’

‘She’s very bright, very astute and she’s not afraid to jump right in. She’s a very progressive person both in marketing and in her career.’

corporate vision

‘Carole’s packaged-goods background brought disciplined marketing to Purolator’s formerly operations-oriented business.’

‘Carole has the capacity to be a chief operating officer or a chief executive officer. Whether that will be the case with Purolator, I don’t know.’

‘I think Carole’s next step is to a presidency. I don’t know where that will be, but I could see her in a smaller organization that needs a good strong marketing thrust.’

Next issue: Drew Dority, product manager, microwaves, Sharp Electronics of Canada).