Meet Julia, our BD Intern in London

Hey Julia, how are you today?

“Can’t complain, happy to be here.”

I am going to ask you a few questions so that you can share your internship experience with people who are curious, sound good?

“Absolutely, let’s do it!”

First and foremost, what drew you to BMM?

“I think I was first attracted to the company due to its youth. I had always wanted to work for a relatively fresh company as I think that gives you so much more opportunity to really see the inner workings of something that is successfully developing. BMM really fit the picture because since its inception, it has grown leaps and bounds to form an already international network of its own offices. That sort of initiative was appealing to me, I knew from the get-go that a group of motivated people were behind this and that it would clearly be a work environment that thinks forward.”

When you first joined, what were your impressions?

“When I first came into the office in February, I was pleased to be immediately included in a “all hands on deck” sort of manner: Everyone was very communicative and outspoken about their projects and where they may need assistance. There was a real sense of collaboration amongst one another. That is the ideal scenario for an intern coming into a new place: knowing that you will be given plenty of accidental and deliberate opportunity to be included. With such a good start, you find a confidence to contribute which obviously pushes your own work and the overall effort to be more successful.”

Could you explain a bit more on how you were given tasks?

“In the initial interview, I was asked questions for the team to best determine where my strengths lie and consequently where I would be the most comfortable to help. Max has a great overall philosophy for running this business: There are plenty of catch ups between all offices to ensure everyone is aware of what may be ongoing. These calls help a lot to solidify each individuals’ understanding of where help may be needed. So, although I had a sort of pre-thought stronger area, the internship really allowed me to delve into a few spheres of marketing and advertising that I was more unfamiliar with.  Right at the start, I was assigned to work with our BD and Client Manager Pascal and the predominant amount of work was given by him. But after a few weeks of finding myself into the company, the tasks were coming from others too which definitely helped broaden my understanding.”

What were the biggest challenges for you?

“The obvious one that comes to mind was the outbreak of the corona pandemic and the switch to a work-from-home environment. This was a bit of a shock, of course, but also proved that BMM is not one to go under when things get tough. We managed to keep our collaborative and productive moods and the quarantine actually spiced up our efforts to help clients because we were keen to help them preserve and optimise as much business as possible in such peculiar circumstances. Obviously, I hope for no one to have to calculate for such an event during their internship here, but it is very comforting having known first hand that it is a challenge that can be faced with braviour by this company.”

And the successes?

“My previous work background was not within the marketing and advertising industry so I would name the biggest success the growing independence I felt for my individual work as I grew more confident with tasks – all credit to the trust that the team would put in me. There was an increase of my independent interaction with clients and pulling new business on board which gives you a sense of personal achievement.”

What would be your biggest piece of advice to someone coming into this?

“Stay alert and stay passionate. BMM will provide you with a work environment and motivated team that aims to foster your greatest potential, but it is still just starting up so if you are staying alert for opportunities for thoughtful improvement, you can contribute to shape this company. So definitely keep your eyes open, everyone welcomes constructive suggestions to help push the success further. BMM is a great internship to learn about yourself, the workings of a start-up, and to be included in a group of like minded people with everyone pulling their weight.”

Saying Goodbye to our Programmatic Trader Irina

Irina Pecherskikh has been a part of the BMM team since September 2018, supporting our clients on a range of services including programmatic advertising, campaign managing, data analysis, reporting and optimisation.

Other than that, we were privileged to experience her as a wonderful client representative, cheerful spirit, a chocolate-croissant-destroyer, passionate traveller and underwater-enthusiast. In an almost magical way, she could always find the bright side in everything, listen incredibly well and answer thoughtfully and was (and remains) the very heart of BMM.

Irina went on maternity leave 🤰 as of Friday 1st May and is not expected to return for at least a year. 
Although Irina will be greatly missed by her colleagues and many of our clients, we couldn’t be happier to share her news and we look forward to meeting her new arrival!

Some of you are likely to have worked with Irina over the years and we hope you will all join us in wishing her a safe and healthy journey into motherhood.

We’re taking this as an opportunity for an appreciation of the work she has done for us so far, to ask her some questions and to introduce her to anyone who didn’t have the chance to meet her yet!

Hi Irina, how are things with you?

“Hi Vanessa, everything is going great! How are you?”

Super! All is well with me, thanks. If it’s alright with you, I would like to ask you some questions about your work at Blackmilk Media?

“Sure, go ahead!”

Great, let’s get started then. How did you come to work with Blackmilk Media?

“I was looking for an internship in Digital Marketing in London before my Master’s course, this is how I met the Ops Team that I am a part of now. Straight from the beginning, I was so impressed by all these platforms, data analysis, and the way BMM manages campaigns, so I started to ask a lot of questions and to learn by myself during my free time. When I finished my studies, I went back directly to the team with fresh new knowledge and a big urge to learn even more.” 

So what is the work you do now as a Programmatic Trader?

“The Programmatic Trader is not only a one-task-job, it covers the whole process. I will try to make it short 🙂

First and foremost, we need to listen carefully to what the client wants in order to identify which platforms are most applicable. Then we need to examine the industry, acquire best practices, and avoid the common mistakes. 

The actual work is usually – a team work, which includes: strategy, planning, campaigns set – up, monitoring and optimisation, troubleshooting, reporting, post-campaign analysis, recommendations etc.”

What are the greatest positives you enjoy in your role here?

“The nicest part is, of course, to see the results of this team-work. When your efforts are becoming tangible for someone and our clients get what they were looking for.”  

Exciting! And on the other hand, are there ever drawbacks you find working in this sector of the industry?

“I could think of three main challenges here: 

• To be up to date is very important: the advertising industry and markets are changing very fast, and so are the platforms.

• Furthermore, the imperfect nature of the system can be challenging sometimes. You better keep an eye on all relevant KPIs to correct any mistakes fast and efficiently.

• Managing expectations and the educational component of the work: not every client is familiar with the platforms, processes and the KPIs. So it is essential to give a clear and accurate overview before starting any campaign.”

That’s understandable but you of course seem to have it handled. To get more personal, how are you enjoying living in Germany Irina?

“Oh, thank you for asking! I love it here! I am actually learning German now and I was very surprised how supportive everyone is here with that.”

Irina, I would just like to finish this off with you giving me three words that your friends or family would use to describe you. Go!

“To be honest… no idea!

Would 4 words be okay? Then – “Citizen of the world”.

Otherwise: determined, hard-working, loyal.”

If you want to find out who will work on the projects Irina worked on before and discuss anything regarding her work/future campaigns, or if you just want to send Irina your wishes we could pass on for you, feel free to reach out to us on [email protected]

Meet Pascal, our BD & Client Manager

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. 

“Whats the use of a fine house if you haven´t got a tolerable planet to put it on?

Henry David Thoreau

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.