Managing Partner, MEC
Born: Cologne, Germany
Worked in: Germany, England, Italy, Hungary, South-Africa.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? “The basis for innovative thinking is always inspiration from a broad horizon of sources and disciplines. Actually implementing innovative concepts internationally is tricky. Obviously there are meta-trends that can be applied globally. On the other hand, there are many creative innovations that face barriers when we actually try to apply them internationally. For example, in Asia we set up some award-winning and highly innovative digital and interactive outdoor advertising concepts. In Europe a lot of these “best in class”-activities cannot be put into practice simply because legal restrictions keep us from doing so. Even more challenging are cultural barriers. Some ideas work perfectly in a certain country or culture. However, they may not be accepted or even be offending in a different area or culture. That is why we really encourage our people at MEC to permanently broaden their intercultural expertise.”
Why do people see you as an innovator? “Innovation is nothing without a spot-on execution. In times of growing superficiality-- especially when it comes to innovations, I believe progressive thinking is just one part of being successful. To me, it more comes down to how you are able to productively integrate an idea into the product value chain, rather than ‘suggesting you to death’ far away from reality. That’s where people see advantages when working with me. I require the innovations we develop to be 100% applicable in real life. Not just a visionary thought. I want the thought to get things done.”
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Our job at MEC is successful and client-orientated media and communications consulting. The level and intensity of innovation has obviously accelerated in the age of digitalism. As innovation is also important in terms of gaining competitive advantage in the market, it is an essential component in any marketing strategy as well as in marketing communications. However, everybody can check out all the latest trends on the web and on social media platforms these days anyways. Our professional challenge is to analyze emerging innovative trends regarding their potential benefits and value for our clients.
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. Progressively reshaping our agency’s profile and products from a simple service provider towards a ‘business partner’ company, which stands out for its holistic but local consulting expertise.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? True solving an unsolved problem by 100%.
Trivia I still read books and printed magazines.