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Elena  Sacerdote

  • Programme: Market Driving Strategies
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Job Post-programme: Head of Customer Care and Customer Service Center CEO at Fiat Group Automobiles

Education: University Degree in Industrial Technologies Engineering – Politecnico of Milan (Italy) – October 1995 Career history: Elena joined Iveco in April 1996 as a Logistics Analyst in the Customer Service Business Unit. She held various positions, both logistic and technical, within the department, before assuming the position of managing the Product Service and Management Activity. In this role she was responsible for all the Warranty and Planned Maintenance Contracts costs of Iveco Trucks, supplier cost recovery activity and for product concern. 

My career at Iveco focused on after-sales, with the emphasis on spare parts logistics. During this time, my role changed and required me to work more closely with our marketing people. I had no direct experience of marketing strategy so, at the suggestion of my manager, I took the opportunity to attend the Market Driving Strategies programme at London Business School.

My aim in attending was to discover the latest approaches to marketing and marketing strategy. I quickly learned that every company has its own approach to the subject and that there is no single way to proceed. I also learned the need to be openminded – to think creatively when developing strategies and not feel constrained by traditional thinking.

A unique approach

Because all this was new to me, I found the programme very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the case studies because these enabled me to study companies with very precise marketing strategies and to understand why these organisations approach their markets in the way that they do.

I must admit that, on the first day of the programme, I felt quite nervous because I did not know what to expect and it was a challenge having to think and speak in English! However, every day became more and more exciting and by the end of the week I was ready to do another week! It was a great experience and I returned to my company feeling very enthusiastic; being able to share some of the programme's core ideas with my colleagues.

Identifying opportunities

The programme opened my eyes to a whole new subject and has helped me identify potential opportunities for progressing my career. Going forward, I would like to study marketing in detail and am keen to develop my experience in this area.

Would I recommend this programme to others? Yes, absolutely. The lecturers were fantastic; they involved us right from the start and held the group’s attention throughout the week. Overall, the training was great and the behind-the-scenes organisation was perfect. This was a challenging and enjoyable experience and I believe the benefits – both to me and the company – will be long-term.