Target wouldn’t be Target without its fantastic experts.
This week, meet Caroline Williams.
What do you like best about working at Target? What’s your best memory of working at Target?
First and foremost it’s the people. My manager Alan has been incredibly supportive during the Covid-19 pandemic. The response from our senior leadership team during that time was exceptional. I’m proud of how we help our clients and their customers, making financial services experiences more accessible, personalised and supportive.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love the variety of the work, the challenge, and also the autonomy I have to try new things, experiment and explore new ideas. In some companies Marketing is seen as the “colouring in department” and isn’t given the respect I think it deserves. At Target, Marketing is front and centre of what we do, and we get a lot of recognition for our work.
What would you want someone to know coming into this role?
We have to be adaptable and agile. Things change very quickly. We’ve seen that especially in the last 12 months of 2020/21. It’s important to have a good understanding of what clients and customers want and need. And to keep up with that insight – not getting complacent in your knowledge.
What’s the most “memorable” project you’ve been on? What’s something you’ve worked on that you’re proud of?
My team and I implemented a complete new marketing automation platform on May 1st 2020. We managed to get the transformation of our tech stack done on time, even with the disruption of the pandemic. That transformation is now delivering on results and we’re seeing a return on the project investment. I’m really proud of how we delivered, and the quality of the project outcomes.
What’s been the most challenging part of your role?
Our approach means that we need to be patient. I’m not naturally the most patient of people, so that’s a big challenge for me personally. Account-based marketing is a long term approach that requires subtle nurturing.
What motivates you to do what you do at Target?
It’s always rewarding and reassuring to see the results coming in off the back of our campaigns. Getting great feedback from our colleagues across the business gives us a boost to keep doing what we’re doing, and to continue innovating and exploring.
What’s your go-to productivity trick?
I love a Kanban board. It can be overwhelming to be faced with a super long to do list. So I break it down. What’s important, what’s urgent. This means my list is only a few things each day. And I know I can achieve them all so it’s very manageable. I also turn off all notifications from Teams and I don’t have any email alerts. It’s too easy to get distracted. If someone needs me urgently, they can call.
What are the values that drive you?
My main value is to treat others as you would want to be treated. If we all did that, wouldn’t the world be a better place! I’m also really focused on self-improvement. I’m naturally a curious person, always seeking the answers to life’s big, and small questions.
What does inspirational leadership look like for you?
Someone who gets to know their people, listens to them and understands them is invaluable. I enjoy working for people who enjoy what they do, who smile, laugh and are excited by their work. Work should be enjoyable, at least most of the time.
Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
I’ve worked with and for some great people. One of my first managers gave me more and more exposure and responsibility which forced me out of my comfort zone. I will always thank her for that. Another leader took a very data-based approach to marketing. I learnt a lot from him. He helped me to develop the scientific and analytical side of my work.
What are some of your favourite hobbies outside of work? What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I spend most mornings before work at the gym. That’s what I missed most during the recent lockdowns. It’s great for my physical and mental health. I also spend a lot of time volunteering and doing work for charity. This has been less so in 2020/21, but I’ve been able to collect around 5 bags a week of litter during lockdown to try and improve the environment where I live. I set myself a target of 40 things to do before I’m 40 (in 2022) and am about half way through. As restrictions ease, I’m hoping to get most of the list done.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
It’s an eclectic mix. I wanted to be a ballerina or an archaeologist. I also still would like to run my own house clearance/decluttering/house doctor business. One for retirement I think!
What was your first job?
I started off babysitting for a neighbour, but my first real job was at Woolworth’s. I worked part time for three years in a local branch while I was studying at University. It was a fantastic experience. I always loved the buzz of a Christmas Eve shift!
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I can name all 50 US States in under a minute
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
I would love to be able to reverse climate change. It’s our biggest challenge and I fear we may be too late to stop it.
What’s your ‘target’ in life/work?
My main goal in life is to be respected. I want to be the best I can be, in all aspects, and inspire others to do the same.