Hello Pascal, how are you today?
“Hey there! Apart from me being locked in my own house and working from my home office due to the current CoVid-19 situation, I feel terrific!
But I have to say for me and for us at BMM as a team it worked out really well to work from home and stay connected, as we were working in an international team in three different timezones before already – so nothing new to us.”
Splendid! I am also well, thank you. I am about to ask you some questions to make you a little more familiar to our readers, sound good?
“Sure, give me your best shot, throw it right at me.”
Ok then! Let’s begin with you just telling us a bit more about your professional life that has now drawn you to work in marketing?
“Oh boy, I knew this was coming. Alright then: I´ve studied economics and sociology in Germany and PPE (politics, philosophy and economics) in Italy. Throughout my studies, I was interning and working part-time as a working student in companies relevant to my interests and my courses. Working for digital marketing companies as well as digital consulting companies, I learned a lot on the industry and how different sectors tackle problems with different solutions. But let´s take a step back here because my interest in advertising started way earlier:
Actually, I was interested in the advertising industry since I was a little kid.
I used to watch television a lot when I was younger. I was in love with the good old animated cartoons, from Ducktales to Chip & Chap. Of course, they had a lot of commercial breaks as well, showing their young audience the magical world of toys and teenage gadgets, which they would then later continuously ask their parents about.
Understandably, I wasn´t realising at the time the many steps that have to happen till such a commercial could be rolled out. From building up a media strategy around a specific brand or product to sketching ideas on how to advertise and which channels to choose (for you, dear GenZ reader: in the 90´s digital advertising was just in a very early development stage, which means brands with children as their main target group could essentially choose between TV & Radio commercials, print in comics and on billboards or POS advertisers) all the way to trying to post-analyze and measure the success of the campaign – in of course far less accurate ways than now are digitally possible.
This brings me to my conclusion: Since my studies of economics and social sciences as well as working in strategic consulting were very analytical and data-driven, I was able to find a profession in future-oriented digital marketing, which combines my creative and psychological interest with a data-driven, empirical approach. Due to the variety of possible topics (every company advertises in a way for itself) and the different task requirements, I am always facing new challenges. This fulfils me and lets me learn more every day in an incredibly dynamic and flexible working environment.”
Interesting! What would you consider the highs and lows of your job now with your responsibilities in business development and client consulting?
“It´s always very fulfilling to me when we find a neat setup to rearrange and optimize processes we are working with as a company or for one of our clients.
Especially when it comes to talking to new prospects and presenting our views and findings, when we identified something that really simplifies a part of the tasks that someone is struggling with, making it more efficient whilst saving costs, that´s what keeps me going. While we´re speaking there were probably 10 new inventions in the areas of software, ad-tech and data science, and for me the top priority is to stay up to date and scan the market for smart solutions that we can then leverage for us and our clients to stay ahead of the competition. And to understand how to implement something in the specific area the client is working in, I have to learn a lot about the industries they hail from. This is amazing to me because you’re always expanding your knowledge in many directions.
Relating from that, can you give me an example of your ideal passion project?
“Sure. I am always interested in projects and companies that combine a mission or product that aims for the adjustment towards equality of environmental and social opportunities with a business-driven approach. To me, this is the only way to have a strong intrinsic intend in fulfilling societal tasks and achieve something that brings us forward as mankind in tune with nature.
As an example, I worked with a company that rents bikes in big cities to a very affordable price on a monthly basis. They have a full repair covering, and when locked up, your bike is insured as well. They managed to gain a lot of new customers with a very smart campaign, lowering the number of people using motor vehicles – which is covering exactly the “sweet spot” I was talking about. I love that kind of projects because they have an ecological impact while increasing economic welfare.”
Pascal, as you are working so closely in communicating with clients, would you say you are equally sociable personally?
“Well, I´d say invite me to a pint and find out! That’s to say: I looove to meet new people, hear their stories and derive something to learn from their experiences. Because you can always learn something from the experience someone shares with you, even if you think you´ve been there before or you´ve done the same thing twice already – it´s always just your own perception of it.
Having an open mind and being empathic and aware of my surroundings and the people I meet is opening a lot of doors to me, which is especially important when you are trying to solve a problem that a prospective client is experiencing. You want to be able to make someone else’s problem your own as this is the only way you can truly handle the complexity of the demands which often exists and to think along on every step. It also lets you realise when its time to dissent in the right places – for the benefit of the overall goal.
Sounds great! And just to finish this off, please could you give me three words with which you think your friends would describe you?
“I´d go with spontaneous, life-affirming and empathic – but that´s just an impulsive thought. Ah, see? Strong evidence for number one!”
Sounds top-notch! Thanks, have a great day.
“Kudos to you, this was a lovely short interview! Thank you too!”
Get in touch with Pascal.
If you want to get in contact with Pascal and discuss anything related to online marketing, or if you have a specific need identified in your company and you want to speak about ways to achieve it feel free to reach out. He loves to connect to the industry, network and hear other peoples thoughts and exchange opinions.
Check out his calendar here and find a time to get in contact.
Advertising is an industry that has its roots in ancient civilisations. From Ancient Egyptian carvings on Papyrus and the 15th century revolution from which the newspaper emerged, to the production of radio, TV and now the Internet, Advertising has survived the ages and has continued to adapt to technological advances, becoming a force to be reckoned with.
The first recorded printed advertisement in England was in 1472, and with the establishment of the English newspaper (going back to the early 17th century), print advertisements became increasingly common. This was because, at the time, newspapers were the only medium through which the public could consume news and entertainment. The emergence of the television, however, would change everything.
In the 1950s the Independent Television Service (ITS) was established, laying down the foundation of modern advertising, as the ITS allowed businesses to connect with TV viewers via a TV set.
The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the rise and eventual dominance of satellite and cable TV. With this came increasing competition and choice from other companies, something that grew the more access to target-able audience grew. This continued well into the 90’s and 00’s through TV channels such as Sky, ITV and Channel 4, all of whom vied for advertising revenue.
Whilst this was occurring, there was an online revolution. In 1994, the first digital banner ad appeared. Advertisers soon began to grow increasingly interested in targeting certain consumer demographics as a way to narrow down their target group and achieve a higher Return on Investment (ROI).
Advertisers soon started to pay for their placements on search engine websites, making digital advertising more and more competitive, something that only continued between the years 1999 to 2002. During this time, the web was rapidly expanding, and the pay for placements turned into pay-for-clicks. Thus, the market for digital advertising was created.
Today, the possibilities are endless. The market has shifted from just digital to mobile and programmatic advertising. One of most recent developments is Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO), which allows advertisers to play ads depending on the user’s web behaviour, local conditions and external influences.
Programmatic advertising allows for advertisers to target their ads to individuals, depending on their online habits. From studying this, Programmatic can then ensure that the right ad is played at the right time and in the right place.
Digital advertising has cemented itself as the future. The industry is forecasted to grow exponentially over the next few years. By next year, 85% of mobile display ads will be purchased in a programmatic manner. At Blackmilk Media, we place Programmatic at the centre of our campaigns. We pride ourselves on working with clients to achieve the highest ROI possible, through narrowing down their preferred target audience.
Advertising as we know it today is a far cry from its predecessors, having been built upon through the ages, as a result of technological advances. These days, advertising comes in the form of the personal. Ads, specifically created for each individual, dependent on the category they have been placed in, means that only what we want to see is shown to us. No longer are we bombarded with a plethora of unnecessary information. Thus, advertising has become streamlined, yet its purpose remains the same.
GDPR: What it is, What it does & What it can (or can’t) do for you:
One of the best known acronyms in the data-world, GDPR is set to impact businesses and the way they interact with data.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), four years in the making, will define the way in which data ought to be treated and protected, aligning itself with the ever-evolving manner in which data is utilised. It’s a legal update on its predecessors, such as the Data Protection Act of 1998, as current legislation does not factor in recent technological advances such as cloud technology, which can supersede existing laws that do not feature the latest innovations and exploit data. Furthermore, GDPR is a way for businesses to operate within an even and clear legal framework, as it will be rolled out across Europe.
A long time coming, some might argue, but what will GDPR mean for consumers? It will mean the protection of sensitive information from those who relinquish their data to companies, and give individuals more say over what happens to their information.
Its impact on companies, especially those whose entire foundation is based on controlling and/or processing data, is as yet unknown. However, GDPR will signal an entirely new era of data management, acquisition and protection, one that will require a lengthy education on the matter. So, here are the 10 key points of GDPR:
Businesses that extract data from EU citizens, even if they reside outside of Europe, will be subject to GDPR.
The Data Protection Authorities will have a wider scope of power with regards to penalties for breaches of personal data. In comparison to the UK, where a breach under the Data Protection Act can cost up to £500,000, under GDPR a serious violation can cost a business up to 20 million Euro or 4% of one’s annual global turnover.
The definition of personal data now includes online identifiers such as IP addresses and mobile device identity
Under GDPR, companies will be required to be explicit in their intent with the data received, and will be bound by law to seek clear consent from the consumer, rather than passive acceptance (pre-ticked boxes, opt-outs etc.) Additionally, a record must be kept of how and when an individual consented to having their data recorded, with the understanding that said individual may withdraw their consent at any time.
Both technical and organisational measures, in relation to the protection of personal data, are set to become compulsory. GDPR will outline examples of said measures, which include but are not limited to the encryption of personal data and processes available to test the effectiveness of security measures.
Companies will have to keep an electronic record of personal data processing activities. This means the lifecycle of the data, as well as the contact details of the data controller
Tests relating to data protection will come into effect under GDP, and will be required for technology that are seen as a high risk to individuals.
From May it will be a requirement for companies to report violations of personal data to the DPA within 72 hours of becoming aware of the situation. High-risk breaches (e.g: accessing non-encrypted personal data) require the individual be informed immediately.
Companies that either monitor individuals on a large scale or process certain areas of data are required to work with a Data Protection Officer, who will monitor company compliance with GDPR, performing in an independent manner.
Fundamentally, GDPR is concerned with data protection, advocating both privacy by design and by default.
Data protection is of paramount importance within the GDPR narrative and beyond. The need to protect individuals from identity fraud and phishing is more urgent than ever, with criminal responses to technological advances becoming increasingly sophisticated. Thus, both consumers and data-driven industries need to be shielded from dangers that are not covered in legislative Acts currently adhered to by various EU countries. For companies, it has been recommended that they appoint an aforementioned Data Protection Officer, who will be responsible for overseeing data protection strategy, in addition to its implementation, to ensure compliance with GDPR requirements. Their role will include, but is not limited to:
- Training staff involved in data processing
- Conducting audits to confirm adherence and addressing potential issues proactively
- Being the point of contact between the company and GDPR Supervisory Authorities
There is not much one can ascertain from GDPR, in spite of its in-depth nature. However it is imperative that companies adhering to the legislation fully comply with the new laws of the tech-land in order to avoid a hefty fine. GDPR is a long-awaited update on legislation that could have never envisioned the direction that the Internet has gone in. it will redefine the way in which data is handled and utilised; creating a fairer, safe tech-society.
This week it is the turn of Monica, our lovely Account Manager. Having joined us in January, she is responsible for a number of our clients’ needs and wants. Think client lunches, plenty of phone-calls and an abundance of emails!
Hi Monica, how are you doing today?
Hi I’m good, how are you?
Fabulous! Would you mind terribly if I asked you a few questions?
Sure, go ahead!
Brilliant, let’s begin: do you know the origins of ‘Blackmilk’?
I sure do: it has its origins in Eastern folklore, where the ‘blakmilk’ was seen as an elixir of life, something that we aim to be within the advertising industry!
Lovely, 10/10! With regards to the company, what attracted you to Blackmilk?
I think what attracted me the most was the energy of those who interviewed me. For me, Blackmilk seemed like a place (thankfully I was right!) with an open-door policy and where you can really be yourself and thrive, all without the pressure of a corporate structure that is normally seen in other advertising companies.
What is a day in the life of an Account Manager – could you give us an insight?
My primary job is to be the main point of contact for the client. If they have any questions about the budget, deadlines or creative questions for example, then I will feed these queries back to my colleagues so that I can answer the clients’ questions.
I’d normally start my day by reading through my emails and prioritising them. Afterwards, I’d consult with the relevant teams on behalf of the client, and then get in touch via email and telephone to update them. I am continuously in contact with my clients, ensuring that there is a high degree of transparency throughout, from the first meeting and beyond. Transparency is a core facet of Blackmilk, and it is a constant seen throughout all our work.
How did you get into the role?
I’ve been working in advertising for a while now, and have experience working in various departments such as product integration and Ops. Both gave me a real insight into the workings of product management and the technical nature of advertising. However, I wanted a position that allowed me to have both a client-facing role and retain a foothold in the goings-on of the office.
What Blackmilk Media plans are you excited for in 2018?
I’m really excited for the training sessions we have planned – we’ll be having a number of external speakers, experts from the industry into the office to speak to us and teach us more about our roles.
What is a pit and peak of working at Blackmilk Media?
Good question! I would say that a pit is the level of self-reliance that is required at Blackmilk. Saying that, it’s also a positive (or a peak!) as it tests your character and allows you to showcase yourself and your skills, thus really enabling you to do the best you can.
Last question: how would your friends describe you in three words?
I’ve prepared for this question – I asked my friends the other day! I think they’d say that I was passionate, unapologetic and free-spirited.
No online campaign would be complete without a manager to oversee the magic unfold. Here with me this week is the talented Nick, who does just that!
Hi Nick! How are you?
I’m all good thanks – you?
Lovely to hear! I’m swell thank you! I’d like to ask a few questions about yourself, is that okay?
Sounds good to me, hit me with your best shot!
I’ll try my best! First one: can you talk me through your previous job history, how did you get to where you are today?
I studied Popular Music at University, and was really interested in Marketing, so from there I went on to study for a Masters in Marketing and Communications in London to build up my skills. Throughout this time I was interning and working part-time in companies relevant to my interests and my course. After my course, I got a job as a Digital Executive, and was then promoted to Social Media Executive (Paid and Organic) within the same company. I worked on some really big accounts, such as the BMW group and Playstation, so that was really exciting!
What is it about ad-tech that drew you into this career/industry initially?
Fundamentally, I like coming up with creative ideas and steering a brand in a certain direction. Aspects of the industry, such as Granular Targeting really interests me too.
For those who don’t know, Granular Targeting is the specific targeting to a specific person at a particular time/day, thus making the ad tailored and personal to the potential consumer. This enhances their experience on the Internet, rather than annoying them with an advert that is of no relevance to them.
Asides from all the technical reasons, watching Mad Men at University definitely helped!
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
It would have to be the planning and strategy of each company brief that comes in. Learning about the industries they hail from is really interesting, because you’re always expanding your knowledge. Helping to establish a brand is always rewarding, especially when we surpass our targets!
And your least favourite?
The fact that every campaign is report-heavy, it means you get accountable for every penny spent. This transparency can be laborious to maintain, but that’s also a great thing for the clients, especially as they know, throughout the campaign, just where their money is going.
What encouraged you to join BMM?
There were two main aspects really: the first was that I felt like I had almost outgrown my previous workplace, and internal issues there made it quite difficult to stay. The second factor was meeting the COO as part of the interview process for Blackmilk Media. As soon as the interview began, I could tell that we were on the same wavelength in terms of learning and developing each other and ourselves, so at that point it was a bit of a no-brainer really!
What a nice way to end the interview! One last question though, I’ve asked everyone this: how would your friends describe you in three words?
*Thinks for a while* Kind, ambitious and passionate!
Establishing, maintaining and renewing client relationships is an imperative part of any customer-facing business. It makes for a cohesive relationship, and works well for all in the long-run. For any company, a strong client-relationship means high retention levels, a good reputation and hopefully new friendships along the way!
We here at Blackmilk Media place great emphasis on ensuring our clients have the best possible service from start to finish. So, I’ve sat down with our resident client expert, Senior Account Manager Polly, to pick her brains about the power to please, persuade and succeed.
In 2015, there was a study which outlined a number of home-truths. According to the Public Relations Consultants Association, 51% of agency respondents thought that personal chemistry was the most important element within the client-agency relationship, but only 19% of clients agreed with this sentiment. This discrepancy is one that needs to be changed, but how?
From the statistics, it is clear to see that more needs to be done with regards to creating and then nurturing a strong relationship between agencies and clients. Polly suggests three key ways of doing this:
As an Account Manager, you know of the amount of time you’ll be spending with clients. Thus, it helps to decipher, understand and immerse yourself into your clients’ interests, both business and personal. Much like a friendship, a client relationship is a two-way street, one that can go the distance if done properly. Just look at Nike and their relationship with Wieden and Kennedy. They say that they’ve been able to work together for so long because of mutual respect, trust, and the desire to drive creativity and innovation. Their similar beliefs and aims have resulted in a number of iconic campaigns, such as their Nothing Beats a Londoner campaign, released at the start of this year.
As well as showing interest in your client, which allows you an insight into their life, it helps to be reciprocal by showcasing your personality and charm! Mixing who you are with the professionalism and expertise that you have is a surefire way of strengthening your relationship with your client. No-one wants to talk to a robot, just as much as no client wants to talk to an Account Manager with nothing to say! Thus, a perfect balance of who you are and your skills makes for a successful campaign and, more importantly, a happy client.
You’d check in with your friends from time to time, wouldn’t you? Well, it’s the same with your client; they need a little love too! As a client, it is reassuring to know that your Account Manager hasn’t forgotten about you, taken your money and run. As an Account Manager, it’s a nice way of showing respect to the business you’re looking after, so it’s worth checking in with your client every week, updating them if necessary and generally working to create and maintain a close relationship, as opposed to a transaction.
There are so many ways in which a client relationship can be created, maintained and strengthened, but for Polly, these are the most important. Fundamentally, a client relationship is about having a deep understanding of not only the clients’ brief, but their wishes and desired outcomes. Tying this with a genuine interest in your client means that a fruitful, respectful and long-lasting relationship is inevitable.
Welcome to Blackmilk Media, where originality, transparency and creativity thrives.
Within our office, representation reigns supreme. We have a team that comes from all walks of life, with work backgrounds ranging from Quantitative Research to PR, Politics to Music. This vast array of experience means that we never run out of original, fresh ideas. But don’t take our word for it, have a read for yourself. To celebrate the launch of Blackmilk, each week we will feature a profile on a member of the team.
This week, I’m talking to Maximilian Seeburg, co-founder and CEO of Blackmilk Media:
Good morning Max, how are you doing?
All good thank you – yourself?
Very well actually, thanks. I’d like to ask you a few questions so that our readers can get to know you a little more, how does that sound?
That sounds good to me; let’s get started!
Brilliant, first question: how and why was Blackmilk Media set up?
Well, both my business partner and I had experience within the digital advertising industry, and realised that there was a gap in the market for more transparency towards advertisers. We also noticed that the way in which technology was used (anti ad-fraud mechanisms and real-time data, rather the lack of!) with agencies just wasn’t up to scratch, so with these gaps in the market, we established Blackmilk Media to properly address them.
We also saw companies, especially in the new economy, move their media-buying in-house, including their programmatic buying. Thus, we decided to add a consultative dimension to Blackmilk Media, where we would help companies navigate their way through the implementation and onboarding of mar-tech infrastructures across their organisations.
What do you hope to achieve with Blackmilk?
Within Europe, we plan to continue our focus on transparency and technology. In other areas such as South America and the Middle East, where there is a market emerging, we plan to place ourselves at the forefront of these markets, practising our ethos in these previously untapped regions. We’ve already started to do this by opening our Mumbai office in February!
What plans do you have for the company in 2018?
We have a lot of exciting expansion plans in place this year – as I mentioned, we have opened our office in India already. We will have a strong presence in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and various European cities.
We’ll also be investing heavily in our own proprietary technologies, to ensure that we continue to provide the best service for our clients.
And the 5 year plan for Blackmilk Media?
That we’ll be the market leaders in all emerging regions, such as South/Central America and South/Southeast Asia, as well as the aforementioned South America and the Middle East. We want our technology to make a huge impact in these areas by disrupting the pre-existing markets. Closer to home we want to have a significant footprint in Europe, in addition to the above continents!
I understand that you were in the financial sector for a long time – what made you want to make the jump to digital marketing and advertising?
Yes, both my business partner and I come from the finance world, working in investment banking and venture capital. However what I felt was missing from that sector was a sense of creativity, which of course is a little difficult to find in that field!
We then learned through colleagues, friends and our own research that marketing as a sector was moving in a direction that was increasingly more programmatic-based, especially within the last ten years. Programmatic bears many similarities with the stock market, with Google’s Ad Exchange modelled on the Stock Exchange. This which was very interesting to me, because it was a way in which the financial system, of which I had much experience, and creativity, which I craved, could work perfectly in tandem with each other.
Thanks very much for that! One last question – it’s a favourite of mine – how would your friends describe you in three words?
Hmm, that’s a difficult one! The feedback I get is that people often say I am very organised, that they feel comfortable around me, however I’ve been also told that I can be impatient from time to time.