Outbrain Europe is thrilled to welcome Alexander Erlmeier to its growing European team. Sophisticated, smart and full of energy… Erlmeier is a recognised figure in Germany’s vibrant digital space and is based in the country’s financial and publishing hub, Munich.
We had a chance to catch-up with the former entrepreneur and seasoned executive prior to his first day as part of the Outbrain team and learnt why he is already “hooked” on his new role:
Why did you want to join Outbrain?
Coming from a publisher, selling mainly display ads, I experienced the ongoing decline in click through rates and banner blindness. For me Outbrain offers a unique and smart way for brands to spread their message, whilst publishers and their users benefit from valuable content discoveries and a better, sustainable user experience. Outbrain’s approach is innovative and I believe that it affords a significant opportunity to drive new approaches and make in-roads that will effectively support publishers and marketers, and ultimately help consumers get more out of their online experience.
What is the most attractive aspect of Outbrain’s culture?
I am just about to come onboard, but during my brief visit to the London office I immediately felt very comfortable. There and during my recruiting phase I met a highly dedicated and motivated team… a team that is pleasantly laid back, full of energy and professional in their approach. In all honesty, I’ve never had such a good feeling and really can’t wait to be part of such a positive company culture.
Who will you follow first from the company on Yammer, Twitter…?
Yaron – Outbrain’s founder and visionary. I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting him and listening to him speak once, but he got me hooked! As I report to Simon Edelstyn, it is probably a good idea to follow him in the very next second.
What are the most interesting insights from your previous experience that you will bring to bear at Outbrain?
There are many… During the last 5 years I have worked here in Germany for a prominent company founded in Israel and formerly headquartered in the US (now in Moscow) – and therefore there are some clear comparisons with Outbrain. Key to this is my experience of bridging the different cultural aspects of doing business across multiple territories around the globe. In addition, as the company that invented Instant Messaging (IM) we were also successful in introducing and developing the concept of adding social and premium content to IM – making the user experience richer and the media inventory more valuable. In doing this I learned a lot about content distribution of web, video and mobile content – all highly applicable to my new role at Outbrain.
Do you have any predictions for 2013 relating to content discovery and marketing?
In the US content marketing (CM) is already an integral part of the media mix and is still growing at an impressive rate. In Germany we are still at the start of this journey and are only now beginning to uncover the potential of CM. We are already experiencing a growing interest from agencies and brands, but this is new ground for us here in good old Germany.
What are some of your favourite types of content?
Industry news across magazines and blogs, as well as content about all kinds of gadgets. I can also get lost in the many discussion forums around photography and golf equipment.
How would you summarise your background?
I have more than 15 years’ experience in the online industry, spanning my time as a serial entrepreneur through to leading business here in Germany for multinational Internet players ICQ, AOL and Mail.Ru. My in-depth knowledge of online solutions, allows me to understand the needs of both publishers and agencies and therefore enables me to successfully pitch complex online solutions to decision makers and technical influencers.
What do you love about start-up organisations?
I love the inherent hands-on nature of start-ups and the rewards that come from transforming a bunch of motivated individuals into one forceful team that is united around a common vision and culture, and focused on a mutual target. A positive force that is not hindered by organisational boundaries.
Alex will become an important member of an experienced European team, working alongside fellow Country Managers: Franck Monsauret (France), Alberto Mari (Italy), Pepijn Groeneveld (Netherlands), Lutz Emmerich (Spain) and Magnus Johansson (Sweden) – following the launch of new offices in France, Italy, Spain and Sweden during 2012
If you would like to get in touch with Alex or would like to know more about Outbrain, please don’t hesitate to contact us.