Talent Stories. Meet Ilse Lambrechts, Senior Brand Marketing Specialist

Caterina Janssens in

Ilse Lambrechts shares a unique peak behind the scenes of her current role as Senior Brand Marketing Specialist at GrandOptical.

Talent Stories. Meet Ilse Lambrechts, Senior Brand Marketing Specialist

Could you tell us a bit more about your mission with GrandOptical? 

In this assignment for NedWorks, I’m taking up the role of Senior Brand Marketing Specialist for the Belgian retailer GrandOptical. As part of the BeNe marketing team, I make sure that our marketing activities on a day-to-day and long-term basis are installed and rolled out. More specifically, all commercial, brand, corporate and product needs of the company are translated into 360° marketing activities in order to support the business goals of GrandOptical.   


What are the scope and goals of the project? 

The retail landscape is transforming a lot: digitalisation, the energy crisis, the war on talent… impacting marketing activities as well. So as a consultant, you need to keep your eye on the goals but also work flexibly when needed in order to respond to the changing market.

Some highlights in the scope of this assignment for me are:


Internal stakeholder management

GrandOptical is one of the leading brands in the sector of opticians where servicing our clients is key. We translate this on a daily basis in the marketing support we offer to the shops. Keeping the internal stakeholders in the loop of what we’re doing is key so that, for example, our shops can fulfil their jobs.


Keeping the brand on track

Optical solutions like glasses [and] contact lenses have a health side that is more technical but as a partner of many brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Boss, Ray Ban… we connect on a more fashion and lifestyle level as well with our consumers. Managing the GrandOptical brand while connecting it with these levels offers a brand platform for a marketeer that is diverse and where you need to be able to tweak the marketing where and when needed.


360° campaign management

The optical market is competitive and very digitalised. This translates into a performance-driven marketing approach, but you can’t cut out the trade and in-store marketing activities as a marketeer working in retail. A 360° approach stays the basis for the go-to-market campaigns offering a strong inclusion of everything that is needed for our shops to perform at their best.


How did you successfully deliver on these goals and targets? 

One of the aspects that I love in working in retail is the connection you need with your shops in [being] able to understand your customer – as our shops stay the specialists in knowing the market and clients. Internal communication on our campaigns might be the obvious part of our 360° marketing, but we also deep-dive with our shops into aspects such as Google My Business, SEO and webcare as the customer experience translates these days into a digital response more often than a personal one.


In order to connect more with the digital response of our customers, we continuously involve our shops and offer them knowledge and tools so they can grab every opportunity to strengthen their online presence thanks to their interaction with our clients.  


What was the impact of reaching this goal for the client?

An uplift in our digital performance and presence where not only our traffic to the shops but also the conversion of campaigns is seen in general. The process of optimisation of the digital customer experience also unburdened our teams internally, which of course gives them more room to excel in the core of our tasks.


What is your role within the project? 

As an interim Senior Brand Marketing Specialist I offer continuity and a solid partner to perform the marketing activities within a team of marketeers. The senior part in this role has a lot of advisory and overarching aspects: making sure that the campaigns stay connected with the goals, making sure we keep our finger on the pulse of the market, and improving the marketing even if I’m only there short term.  


What does the team you work with (partners, colleagues) look like?

Within the day-to-day, I work within a BeNe structure with a team of marketers and specialists handling our campaigns on all levels. It’s a diverse team with specialists in trade marketing, performance, content, CRM and campaigns managers and is led by our Head of Strategy. But we also work outside the marketing borders and connect regularly with our business analytics, category managers and sales teams as they are key stakeholders in delivering the right marketing support for our business.  


How did NedWorks support your personal and professional growth in this or other projects?

NedWorks keeps the finger on the pulse of the assignment where both parties evaluate the continuation of the assignment on a regular basis. They are great in matching talent with companies and stay accessible and personal throughout the collaboration.


What’s the number one reason you would recommend NedWorks to your peers?

NedWorks is not only the partner of the client but also of the consultant.


Deep-diving into the assignment, but also in the profile of the consultant so there is a 100% match with the assignment, is in their business DNA. In the end, you’ll get a win-win collaboration for all parties: agency, client and consultant which results in a constructive long-term relationship. 

About the author

Caterina is Marketing Manager at Sisu Group where she focuses on content strategy. 

Read more articles by Caterina.