I was working for online ad network Utarget.Fox in the UK in new-media sales. I moved to Hamburg in September, 2007, as sales director to support the firm's expansion.
Why did you choose Germany?
It was an opportunity for me to show my entrepreneurial spirit in helping my company grow in a new market. Also, I particularly liked the idea of moving to Hamburg, as it is the city I grew up in many years ago.
What's the media environment like?
Unlike the UK, German media doesn't have a capital. There are five main cities where it happens. When I first started, it all seemed a bit slow, but now the market seems to be changing weekly and you really need to be on your toes to be ahead of the game.
How proactive are agencies?
It is very easy to get in contact with new people as no one misses an opportunity to listen to new ideas. Agencies are very well educated and like to learn more. If you come up with something new, everyone will be happy to know about it. However, they are wary of implementation and want guarantees.
Where are they with digital?
Some may say behind the UK in terms of time frame. However, the technology standard is high. Germany looks good to the overseas market. They only implement proven products and from there things go at a lightning pace.
In Hamburg, it's great. Whoever you are, you'll find what you want.
What are the main differences in media over here?
I'm still trying to figure that out, but I'd say it is about implementing changes. People here like to hold on to things. It seems like the fear of losing is bigger than the desire to win.
One thing we can learn from Hamburg
Attention to detail is probably the one thing. In Germany, you always get the "why" question from clients and agencies - they want all the details before going ahead with any product.
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