For many of you, marketing is the dream field! Creativity, strategy, innovation, everything is combined to guarantee you will never be bored at your job! Amandine Aman (alumni GEM PGE 2011), Fractional Chief Marketing Officer at Le Wagon will not tell you the opposite. Her career is very inspiring, learn more about her experience and benefit from her advice to succeed in the marketing business!
First, what has been your career path?
My career path has always been to work in Marketing in regional and global capacities and always to learn something new. After GEM, I worked at top FMCGs companies like Mars, Incorporated & McCain Foods. Then, I realized I needed to brush up on my understanding of digital marketing - which was clearly the future. For that, I decided to go to Berlin and work for one of the leaders in on-demand printing at Spreadshirt. In 3 years, I became the Director of Marketing in Europe. We were operating in most European Union countries, and that’s when I created my first big TV campaigns. It was much fun. After working in e-commerce for a while, I wanted to learn about App marketing and growth marketing at big tech companies. I started working at Uber, in London, as the first International growth marketer outside San Francisco. My role was to launch all of Uber’s EMEA cities, working with Regional managers and building a regional growth team from 0. Shortly after this success, I was asked to move to San Francisco to build all of Uber's international marketing teams in Mexico, New Delhi, and Singapore - then, my team became the main point of contact for all international marketing functions. After 4 years at Uber, I decided to create my own company - I’m now a brand & growth consultant with a track record working with YC companies (Juni), Next 40 (Luko insurance), and global Edtech leaders like Le Wagon.
Can you briefly introduce the company you are currently working with?
My company is a growth & brand boutique agency for ambitious Tech clients. This agency aims at helping Series A & Series B companies achieve their brand and growth objectives, matching them to the perfect marketing expert. As a member of this agency and a marketing practitioner myself, I’m currently supporting Le Wagon as their Fractional CMO. Le Wagon is a global leader in immersive tech training for individuals and companies - with more than 40 campuses worldwide and close to 20k alums worldwide.
How is it different to work as a Brand & Marketing Advisor?
I’ve been a fractional CMO for more than 3 years now. A fractional CMO is a CMO who only works a fraction of their time for a client. It’s a more hands-on approach than being an advisor. You are advising, but you’re also in the trenches with your client and their teams, which also become your teams. My agency and myself we specialize in helping Tech clients for 6-18mo in a pivotal moment of the lifetime of the company (Series A, B).
Being an advisor full-time or being an entrepreneurial consultant is a business. So, I’m an entrepreneur building teams, creating brand identities, and helping companies grow. It takes a specific set of skills - being good at selling, good at having an impact fast and liking diving deep into a topic without being attached to it for years. Each client is different, and each client is a new adventure. It fits my personality and is more eventful than being committed to 1 company. I’m constantly learning new things and meeting new people. If you’re interested in learning more about being a fractional CMO or about my consulting activity, I write regularly about both on my website.
“The best brand and marketing experts have their minds always on, and they think big, very big. It never stops after work.”
What exactly does your job involve? What are your daily missions and main challenges?
My role is about growing revenue and brand awareness of companies by building A+ teams, cultivating a growth mindset within the company and within my teams, and creating brands that people & businesses want to be associated with - all of this in a very short amount of time. We combine years of growth marketing and branding knowledge, and we like to go fast.
My daily mission is to instill a growth culture within the clients I work with. It’s also about fixing fast what’s missing in the next phase of growth of a Tech company. Some companies don’t have the right team in place, and others have the right product and teams but the wrong brand positioning. My main challenge is time and money - my role is about bringing value to the company as fast as possible and as smoothly as possible. Driving change and impact fast. Changing a company culture fast or accelerating traits you want to see more often in a company is not easy. Management of change is a challenge in itself.
Why did you choose a career in the marketing field?
It’s aligned with who I am in life and what I like to do. I’m process-oriented, analytical, and creative. I’m a people person, too - I’ve always been a big observer of people and behaviors. I love strategy and innovation. In the end, marketing is all these things. It’s using your analytical skills to invent what could be. It can transform a company, it has the power to transform society too. It has to come from the inside and be supported to be alive so that it changes what’s outside of your company - how people see you, how people will live, and how they feel when they use your product. It’s fascinating. It’s also very much ever-changing, as marketing & branding disciplines change very fast - so you always have to stay on top of your game. It’s a perfect field for heavy learners like people like me.
What advice would you give to a candidate who wants to start a career in Marketing?
I’d tell them it is a state of mind and many responsibilities. The sooner you understand these two things, the better you’ll excel at your job. The best brand and marketing experts have their minds always on, and they think big, very big. It never stops after work and is much more than a product or a service to sell. Marketing is a great source of responsibilities - by being a great marketer, you can transform people and leverage your marketing budget to create stories, and products people will remember. Work hard and get the chance to work for companies that transform people's lives. The more you climb the ladder, the more responsibilities you have. Think about it, the message you put together and the product you’ll create have the potential to be seen and used by millions. You can always see that as “launching a product on a targeted segment” or see it as “I’m changing people’s lives for the best” and it's my mission.
In your opinion, what are the 3 main skills and qualities you must have to succeed in your position?
Leading by example. Leading by example often means working hard and applying whatever you tell your team to yourself. If you want to be credible and respected, be the first to do what you say.
Having (very) high standards - you won’t achieve big things by being average. It won’t happen. Being very good at what you do requires hard work and an openness to feedback. It’s not easy every day to have high standards, but you’re not helping anybody by telling people their work is good when it’s just okay. Having high standards also means recognizing great work the way it should. Having high standards elevates your team on a daily basis. It might be tough, but it might be the biggest gift in the long run. People will thank you for their own progression.
Have the power to inspire - you must inspire people to achieve great things. You can move mountains when your team understands the “why” and is committed. Being able to create this environment is a key factor to the success of your team. It also makes your work more than a collection of tasks - because most of your life will be spent working, so work for something inspiring!
Your favourite quote?
In life, my favorite quote is “Ad Augusta.Per Angusta.” Nothing big has been achieved without going through difficulties. I try to remind myself of this quote when it gets really hard. In the end, when you’re being challenged, it’s never too pleasant - but you always learn something from this experience. Not being challenged is not growing. I’m all about learning and growth!
Then, I’d like to close this interview by mentioning my favorite quote from my time at GEM. This quote was by David Gotteland, and his voice still resonates in my head. Perhaps, you also remember it while reading this: “Le marketing…[pause dramatique]... c’est avant tout, de la rigueur!”. “First and foremost, marketing is… [dramatic pause]... being rigorous”. I’m thankful for all the great marketing teachers I had at GEM!
If you liked this interview or if you’d like to learn more about my experience or my marketing services, feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin, Amandine Aman, or my website. I also like to mentor young talent, don’t hesitate.