Duplo: From Office Sales Manager to Direct Marketing



Having previously worked within the Print industry, Neale replied to a Marketing Week advert for a role at Duplo in March 1996 and immediately noticed a big difference between Duplo and most of the other companies that he’d worked at. At Duplo he found that there was a closer working relationship between management and employees (ONE DUPLO).

After 15 years as an Export Sales RSM experiencing a wide variety of territories, ranging from Germany to Saudi Arabia & Syria, Neale took the opportunity to take responsibility for the Direct Mail product range and the Esper products.

What makes your job exciting?

My role is very varied, from the thrill of closing a sale, to strategic marketing & planning, promotions, new product & market development, new applications & market research.  Despite sales being through subs and distributors, due to the specialisation of the product and market, it means I am usually very close to the end user. This closeness and specialisation enables me to better understand the customer and their business.

Describe a day/week in the life of a Direct Marketing Manager?

In the last 5 years, traveling overseas accounts for 70-150 working days per year.  But if I am not travelling, I’m at home in Sweden and the day starts with reading emails, checking & updating the CRM list of activities & opportunities, and running through the list of tasks assigned for that day.

What is your biggest responsibility?

Sales of DM Collators across the EMEA+R region.

What is the hardest part of your role?

The often frustratingly long & complex sales cycle.

How much have you changed as a professional and personally since joining Duplo?

I’m more thoughtful, self-motivated, taking time to think outside the box, and continuing to challenge myself and broaden my knowledge and experience.

What is the best piece of advice that you would give to a person thinking about getting into a Product Managers role?

Ask yourself “does it suit your personality and skill set, and will the rewards provide you with job satisfaction?” eg you will need perseverance & patience, appreciation of the differences in cultures, be self-motivated, and have good planning & organisational skills.


Use three words to best describe yourself?

I would say calm / economical / confident

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be?

Police detective

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 

Northern Italy (fantastic wine, food, weather, architecture & lifestyle)

What’s your favourite film?

The Shawshank Redemption

Who is your hero?

People who make me laugh

What is your biggest fear?

Something lifechanging happens to a member of my family

What really makes you angry?

Brexit, & politicians in general (don’t get me started!)