CEO Armin Bieser about Agency Internationalization
- December 2, 2016
mm Shanghai: Hello Armin. Welcome to mediaman Shanghai. We are very happy about your visit and about having this interview with you. How does it feel to be back in Shanghai?
Armin Bieser: I’ve always had a great time in Shanghai, for about 10 years now. I love to come back, especially in order to gain new perspectives and inspirations and to work with our team on site. I come here twice a year and enjoy it every time.
mm Shanghai: What is so fascinating about this country, about this city?
Armin Bieser: I love Shanghai’s internationality, and that the city is so rich in contrast. It has developed very much since I was here for the first time 10 years ago. There are a lot of western influences to be seen, with regard to the coffee house culture for example. But the old has also remained, the local facets, and this is what I like the most about Shanghai.
mm Shanghai: Besides its headquarters in Germany, in Mainz and Stuttgart, mediaman has also offices here in Shanghai as well as in Boston, USA. Is there a specific reason for choosing these 3 locations? Was this international orientation planned in advance? Or is it a result of the development of digital marketing?
Armin Bieser: In retrospect, you can always deduce a strategy for the choice of locations or the development of your business in general. Of course this is possible. But I believe that personal interests also play a major role. Such an undertaking needs to be driven and this is only possible if a certain amount of passion and interest exists. For me, the USA had always been a country that I wanted to experience personally. This is why I went there with my family for 3 years. The office in Shanghai was opened 10 years ago, quite before the big China hype. We approached business carefully and started with a local cooperation that has grown to a successful company. This means with regard to the development of a company also serendipity plays a decisive role. Stuttgart is an important place for us since Mercedes, one of our biggest clients, is located there. If it makes sense for both sides, we are willing to approach the client.
mm Shanghai: The office in Boston, for example, was launched without having any clients for a start. What makes you taking new challenges and possible risks again and again?
Armin Bieser: This is surely a certain passion about searching for new things. In Boston, we just started a new initiative which is called „Terra Incognita Ventures“. There is this philosophy behind it: the search for the unknown land. Getting to know new things has always motivated me. Indeed, it is difficult to plan and secure everything in advance. Of course, this also means that some things won’t work straightaway. But they will do. You gain experience over the years and are able to record first projects.
mm Shanghai: Most mediaman clients come from industry sectors such as automotive, finance & insurance, industry & B2B. How did this specialization evolved? Why are these sectors so interesting and attractive in particular?
Armin Bieser: These sectors are very interesting and attractive, indeed. But the development of a client base is similar to the development of a company. You can plan it to a certain degree, but the relationships towards clients are also determined by chance. mediaman started its business with clients from the pharmaceutical industry and finance industry. This was at the very beginning. And if you build up a competency for a start, this competency strengthens over time. Thus, you also win new clients in this sector. With the years, the focus of mediaman has concentrated on finance & insurance, industry & B2B as well as automotive. Our business in the automotive sector started very small with our client Mercedes, 10 or 11 years ago. Over the years, it has become a very large focus of mediaman. So in the end, our choice of sectors has been a combination of fortune and experience. Of course, we have also had clients from different sectors, but these are definitely our core areas.