A day in the life of ...
We are talking to Belle van Lith, who has packed her bags to move to Zurich for Van Lanschot. Since then Belle has been the marketing director for Van Lanschot Switzerland.
What does the marketing director position entail, what do you do every day?
In my position I am responsible for the marketing of Van Lanschot Switzerland. You have to think about marketing in the broadest sense of the word; market research, internal and external communication, sponsorship, events, various sales and acquisition activities and budget control. In addition, I take care of all facility issues that come with receiving customers at our offices. For example, I get the fresh flowers on Monday morning, I bring the towels to the laundry service on Friday afternoon and I make sure business lunches for our clients are provided.
You started at the beginning of this year at Van Lanschot Switzerland. What did you do before?
About four years ago I started as an event planner at Van Lanschot Amsterdam and Haarlem for my graduation internship Hospitality & Event Management. After graduating, I was able to work as an event manager for the Middle region, which was a brand new position where I could do my own thing. I use that early on experience here in Switzerland to ensure that the customers who bank in Switzerland can also experience the Van Lanschot customer experience.
What does your working week look like?
I have only been working in Switzerland for a couple of months. I was on the plane on January 1, January 2 was my first day at work. My location is the Zurich office, but we also have an office in Geneva. In any case, the distances are very different from what I am used to. When I go to Geneva for a day, I spend three hours on the train and three hours back.
I am currently conducting market research to identify the Swiss market. I research where our customers and prospects are, who they are and what their hobbies are. I also interviewed my colleagues. I would like to hear from them what their wishes are in the field of events, sponsoring, what role I can play in supporting personal sales activities and where I can deliver added value for them. I write a marketing plan based on the findings. I am also involved in the renewal of our website and I organize events. At the moment I don't have a fixed structure in my working week. I don't know if this is coming, but it’s something I really like about my job.
Has your new location also become your place of residence?
Yes, I moved to Zurich and have just started German lessons. I share an apartment with two others; a Dutch and a Swiss. Our front office is entirely Dutch, but in the back office our colleagues speak German or English. The Swiss culture is very different from the Dutch. I am a direct and extrovert person; Swiss are a bit more independent. They like structure and rules and that takes some getting used to.
What are your ambitions for the coming years?
I hope that in my role as marketing director I can contribute to the growth of Van Lanschot in Switzerland. I hope to achieve this by increasing visibility and by supporting commerce with customer events, sponsoring, etc. Our goal is that all Dutch and Belgians whom for whatever reason don’t want to or can’t bank in the Netherlands or Belgium should know about our existence. We are the only Dutch bank in Switzerland!
In the coming months I will work hard to expand my network inside and outside Van Lanschot. My personal ambition is to broaden my marketing knowledge and experience in all aspects of marketing next to event marketing what I’m familiar with.