In our current series of ‘7 questions with’, we present you Michele Iozzo, Managing Director for the Middle East & Africa, Criteo, who says it’s okay to make mistakes or to fail once in a while, but never stop learning.
#1 What first attracted you to your current role as Managing Director at Criteo?
I have been working with Criteo in the MEA region since the early stages of our expansion to this market and I was excited from the onset about the opportunities that this region presents for our business.
I am thrilled to see how the business has grown over the past years and I am glad that I was able to contribute to our success in the region.
Taking on the new role of Managing Director for the MEA market, I was attracted mainly by the challenge to grow this region from an emerging market for Criteo to a mature market.
I am looking forward to working closely with the local team to drive the company’s direction as the market continues to evolve.
#2 What has been the high point of your career?
There have been many different and interesting roles that I have taken within Criteo and in previous companies, but this role is definitely the highlight of my career to date.
It is an achievement that I was aiming for and working towards for the past few years.
#3 What are the biggest challenges facing chief marketing officers in the year 2018?
There are many challenges facing CMOs this year, but perhaps the most pressing one is the need to adapt to the complexity of their strategies and products very quickly to achieve the best results. This is becoming increasingly difficult in this fast-changing industry.
Today’s shoppers are active across all browsing environments, and they’re buying more on-the-go.
Marketers need to constantly update their strategies to cater for the increasing mobile consumption, as mobile web usage reaches maturity, and smartphone penetration in the region keeps growing.
Striking the balance between offline and online channels is a real challenge as well.
Omnichannel retailers that can combine their offline and online data can apply over four times as much sales data to optimize their marketing efforts.
#4 What is the first thing you do after waking up in the morning?
I like to start my morning with a cup of coffee. I then read e-mails and news to keep up to speed with the business and prepare myself mentally for the day ahead.
#5 If you could restart your career from the beginning, what would you change?
Being Italian, I studied to become a translator for German, English, and French as I love languages.
However, I wouldn’t start my career as a translator again, since I found that I can leverage my language skills also in other businesses, such as the digital industry that
I am constantly fascinated about. Digital has always been my second interest next to languages.
That’s why this job fits me like a glove, as I can leverage my language skills in the digital business context.
#6 What is the one thing you can’t live without?
I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the understanding and the support of my loved ones.
I travel extensively in my current role, so knowing that they are there for me, even from afar, is very important.
#7 What are your 3 tips for future marketers?
Stay focused! Be open, hungry, loyal and honest! Have no fear! It’s okay to make mistakes or to fail once in a while! Always stay up-to-date. Never stop learning!