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Marie-Helene Valette at Safran Cabin Headquarters Marie-Helene Valette at Safran Cabin Headquarters

#LoveMySafranJob - "Marketing and innovation: a more than obvious relationship!"

Human resources
Marketing is a field where relationships with customers are key. As the AIX and “Le Bourget” tradeshows just ended, Marie-Hélène Valette, Marketing & Pricing Manager for Safran Cabin Services, shares her vision on marketing and its strategy within an organization.

How would you sum up your role in one sentence?

The main objective is to ensure that our pricing policies are consistent with our customer typologies (airlines, OAM, lessors), based on a strong knowledge of our market environment, to ensure the best possible customer satisfaction.

What is your story?

I rely on an engineering background: I started working for Airbus on composite structures. Then, I joined Safran Nacelles, where I moved into the program and then marketing activities. Later, I discovered Safran Electrical and Power and supported their activities in the electrical chain as a marketing manager. And now I have joined Safran Cabin. As you can tell, I have quite a history with aerospace! I believe that having this diverse background and knowing different companies is a great asset to staying open and bringing new ideas into a team.

“The satisfaction of our customers requires a good knowledge.”

What is inspiring you in the marketing field?

Knowing our market environment, our competitors, our customers, our suppliers, their movements in our playground allows us to build a positioning strategy that is as close as possible to customer needs, aligned with Safran Group's objectives. The satisfaction of our customers requires this knowledge. It is also important to have a pricing policy in line with both the customer needs and our profitability.

Can you tell us about the activities of Safran Cabin Services?

Safran Cabin serves more than 400 airlines, lessors and manufacturers worldwide. Therefore, we need a strong aftermarket organization. Customer satisfaction and continuity of flight operations are Safran Cabin’s top priorities. Safran Cabin offers a wide range of after-sales services: spare parts supply, component repair, technical support and AOG support, as well as customized solutions such as retrofits and modifications. The advantages of Safran Cabin Services include the worldwide inventory network for the delivery of spare parts, the international network of repair shops, remote and on-site technical assistance. The more we learn about our changing environment and the current and future needs of our customers, the better we will be able to anticipate and manage demand on time.

Why and how is marketing important within an organization?

People who work in marketing management act as liaisons between the company and its targeted consumers. Marketing management is vital to a business's ability to generate revenue, create a brand, and better understand its customer base. Marketing works to ensure a company is profitable by gaining new customers, expanding a customer base, building a company's reputation. The main missions at Safran Cabin Services focus on setting the right pricing for our products and services and making them stand out, valorizing our offer through our differentiation strategy, and analyzing market-related data management to reinforce our understanding of the market and its evolution.

“Aftermarket has specific needs which makes marketing very innovative”

What do you like the most about working at Safran Cabin?

It is a privilege to work in an international company such as Safran Cabin, which is present in 12 countries. I was already able to meet and exchange with passionate teams at the sites of Herborn in Germany, Garden Grove and Huntington Beach in California. Their welcome is always warm, and allows optimal integration. Innovative products in cabin interiors are a special feature of Safran, because they link us to the end customer, i.e. the passenger. The diversity of customers and the specific needs of the aftermarket also contribute to great interest in working at Safran Cabin Services.

Safran is driven by innovation. How do you apply this in your role?

Marketing and innovation: a more than obvious relationship! Marketing is a driver of product and service development, to investigate customer needs (even implicit ones!) and developing a differentiation strategy.

Push and Pull are two marketing strategies that are very different, but that are aligned to their purposes. The first one is designed to present the product to customers, while the other tends to attract the consumer to the product.

“Networking within the group is powerful”

What would you bring from your previous experiences into your current role at Safran Cabin?

Networking and benchmarks. Marketing relies on many functions that are closely connected to the environment outside of the company. Therefore, networking is a key success factor in gathering all relevant data and transferring it to knowledge. This creates added value that helps us make the right decisions. The 'One Safran' Marketing process leads to common methodologies between the entities of the group. Networking within the group is powerful; it allows benchmarking best practices and adapting them to Cabin Services' maturity level and specific needs.

What are your top three tips for a successful career in marketing?

Listen, analyze & synthesize, and embark!

  • © Free-Lance's / Safran
  • © Marie-Charlotte Niss