Real Model interview episode #20 featuring Lydia Jones, Product Marketing Operations Manager, CDK Global

What is your job and what does it involve?
I am the Product Marketing Operations Manager within our International Product Marketing team. I support lots of different departments across the business to ensure we bring a product to market successfully, for us as a business, while also delivering value to our customers. We build value propositions to create the right positioning and messaging for our products to ensure our customers understand the real benefit that it adds for them. Working across our different product marketing teams in our different markets, I help support the development of their market strategies and support the right product development to make each strategy a success. In simple terms, where does the market see an opportunity, how can we build or work with a partner to fulfil that opportunity with the right products and how do we then market and sell it well? It’s all about connecting the dots.

What has been the key to your success?
I believe two things – always give something a go (failing is ok). Secondly, always be yourself with whoever you speak to. Be authentic.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced at work and how did you overcome this?
My biggest challenge at work has been representing change. Whether it’s trying to implement a new tool, a new way of working or a new concept, it can be really difficult. Change management is underrated sometimes, and every person has their comfort zone. The old saying of ‘trying to walk in someone else’s shoes’ is so relevant here. By taking time to connect with people in the organisation, offering context and the opportunity to ask questions enables you to bring them along the journey with you. This will ultimately help you to deliver the best solution and more likely perform and embed everybody better.

Who in your life has been a positive role model for you?
I had a mentor at work who helped me realise what I could contribute to the business and helped to build confidence in myself. I was new to the business world and at times felt I couldn’t share my voice. I really learnt about being self-aware, developing my confidence in my role which enabled me to challenge myself to be and do more. Having a positive role model is important. Your success comes from you but also from the network you have around you. I always promote having a mentor and offering yourself as a mentor to others.

What advice would you give to women who are wanting to progress in the sector?
Give it a go! Be confident in your own qualities and abilities and play to your strengths. Never be afraid of offering a view, even if it isn’t the same as everyone else’s, it adds value to the conversation.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
I love anything sugary and sweet – puddings are my weakness. Sticky Toffee Pudding is my go-to.

Tell us a joke
Knock knock, whos there? Banana. Banana who?…Banana, banana. Banana, banana who…there’s a whole bunch of them…awful I know but I never forget it!

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I am a massive Netball player. I have played for years since I was 14. For me, I love the team camaraderie. We all have our key positions and you need every single one of them to win the game. Being a team player brings great qualities to every walk of life.

What was the best piece of advice you received as a youngster that you implemented as an adult? 
Life is short, so why not give it a go? Imagine when you’re older and telling your family the stories about what you achieved and experienced growing up, make them great!! Even when something goes wrong it can make for great advice and storytelling.

What would you consider as your greatest achievement?
Being able to buy my first house at 23!

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