Stuart – Senior Integrated Campaign Manager (Marketing)
December 2016. Stuart has been with the company for thirteen and a half years. Having worked in three different countries for ADLER during this time, his job never got boring. “It doesn’t seem like I’ve been here for nearly fourteen years, that’s what makes it so exciting, there are always new challenges”, he says.
What is your position at ADLER? What are your tasks?
As the Senior Integrated Campaign Manager, I am responsible for the customer contact strategy, the segmentation of these customers, the execution of our pricing strategy and helping plan for subsequent years. It can be repetitive in some ways, but it is quite diverse and always interesting.
You are currently working in Saarbrücken, but you’ve had a remarkable international career. Where has your career taken you so far?
I started in the UK and worked at ADLER for four years, just outside London. Then I got the opportunity to move to the US office and worked there for five years. I was moved back to Europe in 2012 – I will have ben in Germany for 5 years in January 2017. In summary, I’m an English man who’s wife is Austrian but also naturalised American, with two American kids, living in France and working in Germany.
How has it been to move around so much?
It has been very interesting to see, culturally, how different things are in the different locations. For example, compared to Germany, the working environment in the US is very different – with less vacation and fewer holiday days. And even here in Europe, the places where I’ve worked have been very different.
The language, of course, has been another challenge. English is fine, American took me a while (!), French isn’t an issue as I live in France – but especially German is a hard language and the older you get the harder it is to learn a new language.
Changing country this often has also impacted my family: My wife is Austrian, my kids are both born in America, and holding Austrian, English and American passports.
In how far do you think your international career gives you an advantage?
Moving this much has given me very interesting and probably unique insights into the company from different locations. For example, it’s great having worked face to face with the people in the US, which makes dealing with them remotely easier. Yes, I definitely think this gives me an advantage.
Initially, why did you choose to work for ADLER?
Before I started working at ADLER, I went travelling for a year in 2002. When I came back in May 2003, I was interviewed for a couple of positions in direct marketing. All the skills I had learned in my previous job fit really well with ADLER, and it still is a good fit for me, I think. Having worked at three different locations has kept it fresh in a way; it’s like having a new job every five years.
What do you appreciate the most about your job?
One of the things I really do appreciate is the cultural side of my job. Being able to interact with all those different nationalities on a daily basis and using different languages. There aren’t many places that are lucky enough to have this multicultural and diverse environment in which to work. Also, ADLER attracts very smart people into senior positions, so getting to work with them – you learn a lot. Thanks to this, you get some very inspiring insights into business.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, driven, friendly.
Which skills are the most important for being successful in your job?
My position includes a lot of data analysis, so you have to have a good grasp of numbers – and we’re dealing with big numbers. It’s millions and millions of dollars that we’re talking about, so you have to be really accurate. Small mistakes make a huge difference. It’s a little scary when you’re dealing with that, so the ability to handle complex numbers is vital in my position.
Cross-departmental collaboration is another relevant aspect: You have to be able to empathise with other departments and to liaise with them. We all work quite closely together, situated across multiple buildings in multiple locations. Without the relationships between the departments, the whole thing breaks down.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
There are times in the year when the deadlines approach and everyone is really stressed – and that’s not specific to my department. I think we all have those periods when you have to work really hard to make the deadlines. For example, at the moment we’re planning for the next year, so the last months of 2016 are extremely busy for us. We have to work systematically and organize everything strategically to make sure we get everything right.
Which advice would you give people who are starting work at ADLER?
It is important to come here with an open mind, I think. You can’t come here with any pre-conceptions. It’s a cliché, everyone says it, but it’s true: The people make the company. All the people that work for ADLER are driven by similar motivations, they are all proactive, they all work hard – you just have to come here and get to know these people.
How do you spend your time after work? What do you do to free your mind?
I have two small children, not really helping me to free my mind, but filling it up with more stuff. But seriously, they’re a lot of fun at the same time.
Other than this, I love music. I’ve been playing guitar for years and years – and I can’t stop buying guitars, I have eight of them. My two kids have just started playing instruments as well, so we have a little family band.
And the last thing I really enjoy is sport, I’m very passionate about rugby. It is a big sport in England and France, and particularly in Australia and New Zealand. When I was travelling around the world, I went to New Zealand for seven weeks and it was like being home for me. Rugby is huge there, it’s the national sport. Everywhere you go, everyone knows everything about rugby. For me as a rugby fan, it was like paradise.