CMO interview: Citroen’s global brand chief on modern marketing

We chat with the global marketing chief of iconic French car manufacturing brand, Citreon about its 100-year celebrations and creative approach

Arnaud Belloni
Arnaud Belloni


Customer contribution

Even as the traditional mechanisms of marketing creative continue, customer voice gains ground at Citroen. Like many brands, Belloni’s team are increasingly tuning into customer insights in order to improve executions, products and engagement.

One thing Belloni claims Citroen is doing differently is its proprietary feedback tool, dubbed Citroen advisor. Similarly to TripAdvisor, the platform allows customers to rate products, dealer service or sales staff on a scale of 1-5 and leave comments, with results certified by a research company. The tool is now available in 42 of Citroen’s 90 markets and on its way to Australia.

Supporting this is a customer listening team classifying information into three types: The things Belloni says he can’t do anything about; the ones he can fix immediately; and the things that will take 12-14 months to fix, such as product modifications. Very often, such comments will affect marketing.

“For example, we had feedback the GPS is too complex and a consumer doesn’t know how to use it. I checked the car myself, saw this to be the case, so we launched a tutorial on that, which I spread on the Internet,” he says.

“Sometimes it might be comments on advertising. It can be a science to listen to people… Listening to people through this system for me just marketing page one, line one, word one.”

Industry disruption

It’s vital Citroen has a way of listening to customers because the world has transformed. From ride-sharing and rental-based car usage to the rise of autonomous vehicles, the car industry is being disrupted rapidly.

Read more: Driven to distraction: The rise of the self-driving car experience

Ford details innovation stages leading to game-changing FordPass mobile offering

Why driverless vehicles and car sharing won’t mean the ‘death of the car’

Belloni notes today’s consumer is over informed and an influencer. Secondly, technology is permeating everything, from consumer interaction to the car itself. Thirdly, behaviour has completely changed with regards to automotive.

Off the back of this, Citroen has launched the ‘Citroen EuroPass’ allowing consumers to rent cars from dealers, provides a car sharing aggregation (Free2Move), has another mobile app to track a car and book in servicing, and overhauled its product line to be electric.

Yet while Belloni agrees the urban revolution is well underway, he expects a second revolution around the long-haul drive and the “comeback of cars”. But with cars becoming autonomous, it’s clear manufacturers must reinvent the life on-board, he says.

“It has to become a saloon, sofa, a giant screen, where you can play games or read books, share information and so on. That’s going to be a second revolution. The first is short-term; the second is long-term,” Belloni predicts.

“The cost of access to this is not affordable yet for autonomous. But it could become accessible, developing new solutions for cities. As an industry, things are changing massively. But there is still an enormous place for us.”

With a CEO willing to disrupt to meet this future need, Belloni sees Citroen’s future as a bright one. Across Peugeot Citroen, profits lifted in the first six months of the year even as sales fell, and a new push into India with more economic vehicles is expected to bear further fruit.

“We need a new generation of car, which is where we have to disrupt and bring something new to the market,” Belloni adds.  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.    

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Undoubtedly, Robotic Process Automation enables marketing teams to accomplish repetitive tasks with fewer resources at a great accuracy.

Raj

What marketers need to know about robotic process automation

Read more

who wants to date me I am 9 years old and i am a boy

Jeremy Hawkins

Sink a sub gaming experience signals Subway's renewed brand push

Read more

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

Blog Posts

Unboxing 101 - How savvy influencer engagement can build a brand

The humble unboxing video is a powerful tool. Correctly executed, it harnesses consumer fandom, viral authenticity and brand design magic to deliver a high-impact message to a tightly targeted cohort of consumers.

Gali Arnon

Chief marketing officer, Fiverr

​Power to the people

Purpose is the ultimate statement of intent for many organisations. Why are we here? What are we trying to achieve?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

The playbook to develop strategic brand moats

Warren Buffet is an unlikely ally for marketers. But his belief businesses need strategic moats that increase their value in the market while acting as barriers to competitors can offer marketers a new playbook for brand building and driving growth.

Fabian Di Marco

Founder and managing director, Tzu & Co

Sign in