Don’t think product, think customer

Customised programme - Creating Customer Value

When people come out of a course saying they’ve had one of the best training sessions ever, it’s worth digging a little deeper. Why was it so good? Specifically, what was it that excited the BNP Paribas Fortis marketing team so much about our Creating Customer Value programme?

JPGChanges were everywhere in 2009 at BNP Paribas Fortis: a new owner, a new name – and they were about to launch a new marketing strategy focusing more on their customers (and less on products). And while it was clear that a number of factors had led to this change (the crisis, the new management and lower levels of customer satisfaction), it was the right time to change focus and “create more customer value”.

Teaching a new language

It also became apparent that the whole marketing department needed to learn about this new way of thinking, so a tailor-made training programme to help them better understand the new strategy was needed. “It was”, says Annelies Wybo, HR adviser within the company (right on photo), “a bit like teaching everyone a new language. The idea was to help us all move from one type of marketing thinking to another. The goals of the course were established by the marketing team managers, and with Vlerick’s help we worked out what precisely was needed.”


Leen Teunen, Director Marketing Private and Save & Invest. (left on photo), takes up the story: “This was the first time we’d created our very own training programme. We’d done courses in the past and ended up being a little disappointed. This time, under the guidance of Professor Steve Muylle, we got just what we wanted. So not only was it interesting, it was a wonderful way of binding the team together, as managers and the team worked side by side.”

Grateful for the boost

As it now stands, a little over 100 people from marketing have completed the courses, spread out over five days for a period of four months. As Leen explains, “The best thing is that we now have a framework and a methodology to help us channel and focus our thoughts. Everyone has certainly benefited and we’ve had some very positive feedback. It has galvanised the whole department and we’re very grateful for the boost.”

No regrets

When asked why they had chosen us, Annelies was quick to answer: “We chose Vlerick because one of our marketing managers had attended a seminar there and was very enthusiastic about the practical approach. So even though there were other companies and schools on the shortlist, in the end we went for Vlerick. We have no regrets. Steve Muylle and Deva Rangarajan are outstanding at engaging and working with their students and also love hearing the stories they have to tell.”

Total reshape

Now while it’s difficult to quantify the ROI of such a course in terms of direct financial gain, it has totally reshaped the way the department works. “It’s great,” says Leen. “Everyone knows and recognises the new way of working – and this helps us find better customer solutions.”

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