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Tuesday Transformation - Karla Zaltieri

Marketing and Sales Specialist (EMEA), BridgeStreet

Who is Karla Zaltieri Nee Watkins? I am an aspiring businesswoman and property investor who loves working as a marketeer!  What does a typical day for you look like? As I manage the EMEA region, no one day is the same.  Most mornings, I am reviewing, updating or completing projects in my pipeline. Around midday, I am in meetings with the local and international teams updating them on planning, reporting and analysing marketing efforts set for the region. Like I said, no one day is the same and some days I am visiting our properties, coordinating photoshoots and managing marketing and sales events.  Were Marketing and Sales your first choice? No, Marketing and Sales was not my first choice but I am grateful because it’s such a hybrid role which fits my personality so well. It’s bad to say this but I get bored doing one thing repetitively, so this role challenges me by giving me the option to be creative/crafty while still being heavily involved in the sales funnel. Originally, I wanted to work as a Fashion PR professional  so I did my internship at a small PR fashion agency in London called ‘Dyelog’ before I decided to pursue the career. During my 7-month’s placement, I networked and learnt valuable skills which I found were transferable to any marketing role. Although I had a fantastic time working with this agency back in 2015, I knew that my passion lies with property and since then, I have been working with properties ever since. How best would you describe the difference in how Marketing is approached in Barbados when compared to the UK? Since 2017, I can definitely say there has been a significant improvement in the quality of digital content produced by brands in Barbados. I believe Barbados is in its ‘ Branding’ phase where a lot of small businesses are really taking advantage of their graphic designers and Canva!  However, the difference between marketing in Barbados vs London is that I believe marketing is more generic in Barbados. For example, you have 1/2 persons doing both digital and other marketing efforts whereas in the U.K, (depending on the size of your company) you may have one person strictly focusing on digital marketing and another focusing on events marketing etc.  So in Barbados, I actively did both roles. For example, I created the marketing content (digital & social) and also had to sell properties to our B2B clients. At that time, my colleague and mentor Linda Williams used to call me the Lewis Hamilton of Apes Hill because my sales buggy was always racing back and forth with clients. I absolutely loved it! In contrast to my current role, there’s a system in place with how I support the sales team and their B2B clients.  For example, I would review the local team’s ‘wants/needs’ and if it aligns with my local marketing strategy, then I’d create the content based on their requirements or the market research done. This is followed by a second meeting explaining the strategy of this specific project which I then pass the content on to the team to promote/ sell. How would you describe the move from Barbados to the United Kingdom? After I completed my masters in 2015, I had a taste of what life would be like living in the UK and knew that here is where I needed to be. In 2018, my husband and I moved back to London which has been a huge learning curve professionally. I had to start from ground zero despite my qualifications and experience. Since my first sales and marketing role in Barbados, some recruitment / HR agencies did not want to risk hiring me due to my lack of knowledge about the UK marketing & property industry. I had to swallow my pride and worked my way up the ladder, first as a temp receptionist and then marketing-admin at local estate agencies. Although I had a few setbacks, I now realise how crucial these were in preparing for my current role today. Now, I manage the marketing for various properties across the EMEA regions which requires me to be more organized, managed my time better and to be always be prepared (At the top of my game). Since then, I have obtained a wealth of knowledge on how marketing works in the property industry while accomplishing one of my goals which was to become a property owner and investor before age 30. What advice would you give someone who is interested in pursuing a career similar to yours? The advice I would share is to be tenacious with what you want to achieve and do not tie your goals to a job. Name one Barbadian dish that you miss the most. It’s too much to list just ONE!! However, I miss my mother’s macaroni pie …and Chutney’s Roti, Cheffette, Mojo’s burger with spicy fries, Tapas fettuccine alfredo pasta and Pat’s Place in Oistins. :)  If you could have lunch with one individual, who would that be? I think if I had to have lunch with one individual it would be Patricia Bright. I watched her journey on YouTube over the last 10 years and I am impressed with her success. She is one of the top black successful businesswomen of my time. She may not have billions but she has heart & hustle and I admire that.


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