Interviews

Charlotte Cheeseman

Senior Marketing Manager, National Campaigns for Thomson & First Choice

Ben Somerset-How

Client Director

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creativebrief: How has your career path led you to marketing at TUI?

Charlotte Cheeseman: I started my career as a Media Planner/Buyer at a small independent agency called Matters Media working on Carphone Warehouse. I stayed agency side for 7 years as a comms planner working at MEC, Nexus/H and M2M on an array of clients from Danone to Suzuki Cars and Motorbikes and with luxury clients in the Estee Lauder Group. My big plan was always to come and work client side for a travel brand and for the last 2 years have been at TUI UK & Ireland. In this time I have had three different roles working across brand management and now looking after media and creative strategy & implementation on all national advertising for Thomson, First Choice, Thomson Cruises and Thomson Weddings.

creativebrief: Why did you choose a career in marketing?

Charlotte Cheeseman: I have always been interested in advertising and how brands can build a relationship with the customer. Advertising will always be needed, however the platforms are ever changing, so you are constantly learning and this is what I love about marketing. With the fast paced environment you have no time to sit still!

creativebrief: What do you think makes a successful career in marketing?

Charlotte Cheeseman: I think you have to be a great people person, It’s all about influencing and relationship building. Being passionate about what you are working on and engaging with colleagues and stakeholders to take them on the journey with you and listening beyond the word. Also being able to navigate the difficult times and learn from them.

creativebrief: And who is a great example of this?

Charlotte Cheeseman: Our Marketing Director at TUI is a great example of this. With the recent merger with TUI Group, he has kept his team updated along each step. Sharing the wider strategy and leading the team. His passion for what the future holds is infectious.

creativebrief: What do you think are the main challenges facing marketers today?

Charlotte Cheeseman: The changing media landscape. There are more channels than ever and consumer’s consumption habits are constantly changing. Although technology is now allowing us to be more targeted the content has to work harder than ever.

creativebrief: How do you keep up with constant stream of innovation in marketing comms?

Charlotte Cheeseman: This is where a great relationship with your agencies really helps. We run quarterly inspiration sessions where our agencies present the latest innovations and trends within their respective environments, both from the travel sector and further afield. Social media always helps, I try and follow as many brands as possible and especially those that I think are great in this space, such as Paddy Power. Also using my network, this has been one of the best things to have come out of the Marketing Academy.

creativebrief: How does this impact your relationship with agencies?

Charlotte Cheeseman: We now need our agencies to act as an extension of our own marketing team more so than ever. We need to be able to rely on them to share their knowledge & expertise to keep us on top of new ideas and innovations and really challenge us to not play it safe!

creativebrief: How do you know if you’re getting the best from your agencies?

Charlotte Cheeseman: When it feels like they are an extension of our team and when you walk away from meetings feeling excited!

creativebrief: Of your recent work, what makes you particularly proud and why?

Charlotte Cheeseman: I would have to say our latest national advertising campaign for Thomson. Our Miles the Bear campaign launching our new strapline Discover Your Smile, for me this has been our most integrated campaign yet! As part of the campaign we produced 20,000 bears which have been sold across our retail network and our online SmileZone, this enabled our campaign to reach consumers at every step of their journey.

creativebrief: How do you think marketers can raise the profile of marketing within their organisations?

Charlotte Cheeseman: Ensure we are presenting at team meetings from other areas of the business so you can get them excited about the work we are doing. Also every time a campaign goes live, share it. Make sure it goes onto all shared areas such as the intranet.

creativebrief: Do you see yourself as a generalist or a specialist, does it matter?

Charlotte Cheeseman: Given my role I would probably say a specialist. I focus very much on the media & creative strategies, although I do work across all channels. For me you can’t know it all, the best teams are made up of individuals who can not only help you with your weak areas but also who can complement your strengths.

creativebrief partner the Marketing Academy is a non-profit organisation which provides a unique forum for industry leaders, marketing gurus, entrepreneurs and inspirational people volunteer their time to inspire, develop and coach the next generation of future leaders. The Marketing Academy gift a maximum of 30 ‘Scholarships’ each year to the fastest rising stars in the marketing, advertising and communications industries. A team of high profile mentors and coaches develop these stars through a process of mentoring, coaching, networking and personalised learning. 86 mentors, 30 Coaches, 20 Judges, 36 companies and an owl called Merlin all provide their time, resources and knowledge to assist in shaping the minds of our future leaders. Furthermore as a vital part of their curriculum all Scholars volunteer at least one day per year through our Donate28 initiative to work with charities who need bright young marketing minds. For a full list of the individuals involved, see the Sherilyn Shackell interview.