Catherine Delteil

director of marketing, Great Brands of Europe (Evian, Kronenbourg, Tourtel)- Spearheading the change in Evian's approach from an entrepreneurial focus to a more strategic oneCatherine Delteil graduated from Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Lyon in 1986 with an mba in marketing.Wasting...

director of marketing, Great Brands of Europe (Evian, Kronenbourg, Tourtel)

- Spearheading the change in Evian’s approach from an entrepreneurial focus to a more strategic one

Catherine Delteil graduated from Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Lyon in 1986 with an mba in marketing.

Wasting no time in putting her degree to work, Delteil took a position as international marketing co-ordinator on ski equipment for Solomon, the ski and golf equipment manufacturer.

Her job was to supervise the company’s $3 million worth of advertising and promotion activity in Japan, the Scandinavian countries and Canada.

In 1988, Delteil switched to the golf side of the business. In her new role, she supervised Solomon’s advertising and sales training in the u.s.

In 1990, she joined Europe’s leading baby food marketer, Diepal, which is a division of bsn, the largest food and beverage marketer in France.

In her position as marketing manager for the Belinda baby food line, Delteil was responsible for a $4-million budget.

Last year, bsn asked her to assume her current position as director of marketing for Evian Source de France (since renamed Great Brands of Europe.)

In addition to Evian, she is also responsible for Kronenbourg beer and the 0.5% beer Tourtel.

we asked:

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

A. ‘While I was the international marketing co-ordinator at Solomon, I was exposed to the international scene. I had to deal with different cultures and languages, but, most importantly, I had to adapt to the different ways of doing business. For example, I had both a Japanese boss and an American one in four years working in France.’

‘With the move to bsn, I learned that the company is a truly sophisticated marketing-based organization. The level of the operation in marketing is highly complex, with a tremendous amount of research conducted in order to maximize every dollar (or French franc) invested. This is probably why they are the European leader, since competition over there is extremely intense.’

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

A. ‘The European Woolmark campaign based upon the ‘pure virgin wool’ logo and recreating the logo with sheep. This campaign ran as billboards and magazine ads. It was a simple, clean campaign that was directly targetted to wool products. It generated tremendous recall at the consumer level.’

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

A. ‘The very first United Colors of Benetton ad with all the different races and cultures in the collage.’

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. ‘I enjoy listening to classical music, since I studied piano at the conservatory level for 10 years. Unfortunately, I don’t have a piano here, so I can’t play as much as I used to. I also enjoy going to the opera, and I’m really excited about the amount of theatre and music that exists here in Toronto. Of course, having worked for Solomon, skiing and travel are also favorite pastimes that I enjoy.’

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

A. ‘Most of the literature I’ve read recently has been in French, so I don’t think you’ll recognize any of the titles. I’ve just started reading an English [-language] classic, East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.’

Q. What book influenced you the most?

A. ‘Saint Exupery’s Citadelle.’

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

A. ‘Creativity. In this line of work, you start from scratch, create ad campaigns, promotions, then arrive at a finished product, all through the efforts of creativity.

‘Team work. In marketing, you must work with all departments in an organization. You play several roles: cheerleader, negotiator, motivator, informer. Just to name a few.’

creative/strategic sense

‘Evian’s marketing has been based on creative, education and humor. Catherine agrees with that approach, and she will continue it.’

‘Catherine has taken a very traditional stance with Evian. Before she arrived, Evian’s marketing was run on gut emotion and intuition. It has now matured to the point where it needs a more strategic approach to marketing.’

‘As a traditional marketer, she puts a lot of emphasis on research. There is more research being done on the brands now than in the past.’

‘It is very difficult to change her mind. She considers other points of view, but very much follows her own creative vision.’

‘Catherine has caused Evian’s advertising to become less image-oriented and more reality-based. It shows real people in real situations having a need for Evian in their lifestyle.’

‘Her goal is to educate people on the importance of hydration, and on the consumer benefits of Evian. Almost everything we do now has that message.’

management skills

‘She always makes you feel your ideas are good, whether she uses them or not.’

‘Catherine is always open to new ideas, and her final decision will often incorporate part of her idea and part of yours.’

‘There are two ways a manager can go: they can be holier than thou, or they can be a team player. Catherine is definitely a team player. She knows she can’t do it alone, and we know we can’t do it without her.’

‘She has a very definite view on how she wants to work. Sometimes that is frustrating for us because we feel we have a better understanding of the Canadian market.’

‘When we’re developing new campaigns, Catherine is there at the beginning of every meeting. But once the job is under way, she leaves it up to the brand manager.’

business sense

‘She’s a tough negotiator. I pity some of the suppliers. She’s tough but she’s also fair.’

‘Catherine is soft in the way she speaks. She listens to people and doesn’t try to impose her opinions. But she is rigorous in her thinking and she is a tough negotiator.’

competitive sense

‘She’s a fighter. She has worked hard to get where she is and she’s not going to let it slide away.’

Next issue: Richard Benfield, vice-president of marketing and sales, Whistler Resort, b.c.