The 2017 Marketer of the Year awards ceremony was held on Wednesday 12 October in Brussels, Belgium. We are pleased to announce that David Favest, Marketing Director at STIB-MIVB, Brussels’ public transport operator, was named Marketer of the year!
We had the opportunity to ask Mr. Favest some questions about his newly achieved status and how he felt it could be beneficial for the public transport sector.
Congratulation on being named Marketer of the year! What does it mean to you?
It truly is an honour, especially being the only candidate coming from the public sector and representing mobility!
But beyond the personal joy of being in the final round, it's also a recognition for the marketing team and staff at STIB. What I want everyone to understand is that it's not a one-man show: there is a wonderful team behind this success, my work being merely to put them on track, inspire and motivate them.
There's a fine line between working for the car industry and the public transport sector and you've crossed it– why?
Even if the mobility component is the common element, the gap is greater than it seems: moving from an eminently individual transport (or even individualist from the perspective of the brands I used to work for) to mass transport is a real challenge. I personally needed to leave my comfort zone and feel that my work served a collective and sustainable purpose. What could be better than public transport in the capital of Europe?
Over the last two years, STIB has brought major changes to how it was communicating - what triggered these changes? And what are the next steps?
It is true that we have come a long way in two years. The trigger was simple: a new agency, a new head of marketing and the need to get things moving. The strategy is based on four clear pillars: 1. Declare our attachment to Brussels, 2. Customer-Centricity, 3. Impactful advertising (2D>3D) 4. Digital First. The next steps are clearly based on our digitisation strategy: providing a personal, connected and manageable mobility experience.
The public transport sector is sometimes perceived as being 'old fashioned' – is this award a victory among others to dust off the sector's image?
Of course! This visibility allows us to show that the gap between perception and reality is no longer justified! The industry is really taking the lead when it comes to integration and it is beginning to really master customer data. There is still work to be done, but I sincerely believe that with a good strategic vision, the passion of the sector's professionals and the paradigm shift of modern mobility, it is the way to go for the future! It is up to us, marketers, to create the emotional connection with our customers...
Anything else you'd like to add?
The sector must continue to invest in marketing to understand its customer and their preferences, to satisfy them and continue to improve the branding of companies in the sector so that new customers join us with a specific goal rather than by default!
Congratulations to Mr Favest on this well-deserved award and let’s hope that more marketing professionals from the public transport sector will receive similar recognition for their work in the years to come.