Welcome back to another edition of #2STeamStories, a monthly serial that lets you get to know more about the 2Stallions Family and what they do. From internships, UI/UX design, to content marketing, #2STeamStories aims to help everyone get a better picture about life at an agency. We also hope to provide insights into each speciality and encourage aspiring marketers to join this dynamic and exciting industry.
In this edition, we dive into the world of our Head of Performance, Pieter Dijkgraaf. Pieter shares his journey into the marketing world, starting life as a Google advertising specialist and becoming the driving force behind 2Stallions’s digital performance marketing success. Join us for a glimpse into Pieter’s history in 6 Questions, let’s discover performance marketing and learn what it takes to connect and engage customers in this digital era.
Hi Pieter! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m 33 years old and originally from the Netherlands. I started my career 10 years ago as a Google ads specialist, but I chose to specialize in Performance Marketing. This basically means that I’m focused on making sure that money invested in marketing is actually making a return. Performance marketing encompasses almost all digital channels like SEM, SEO, Social, Marketing Automation, Programmatic, Affiliate, Marketplaces. It also works hand-in-hand with data analytics, and metrics like conversion rate optimization. Looking back at where I started, I would say that search engine advertising is still the area I am interested in; and I dp try to keep up with all the changes in that area.
How did you find your way to working at 2Stallions?
I got in touch with Daniel at the end of 2019 while I was still working in The Netherlands. I was working for an agency at that time, and he was looking for a new Head of Performance Marketing, a role I was very familiar with. When he told me about 2Stallions, their strategy, positioning, type of clients and ambitions, it really appealed to me. It did, however, require me to move to another country, not knowing, of course, that COVID would hit the world a month after my arrival in Singapore.
What is your proudest career moment so far?
I’m very proud of the way we are going through the whole COVID-19 crisis as a team. We had already established a work-from-home policy in the company, letting people work from home one day in the week to allow for flexibility, and so the transition to everyone working from home was quite smooth. We were also very lucky because we didn’t need to let anyone go, which continues to allow us to work hard on ongoing and new projects as a team. This meant we could still give our all for our clients, giving them great service and helping them digitalize in a time when they needed it most. The way the team came together and put extra time and work is what I am most proud of.
Can you share your marketing journey with us? How did you first start marketing?
I started looking for a job after finishing my Masters degree in 2010. Digital marketing was not really taught in universities yet and, to be honest, I actually wasn’t too familiar with it. Jobs were also scarce for a fresh graduate without relevant experience except for some internships. Then there was this position at a Google Vendor to run Google ads. I wasn’t familiar with them but managed to successfully go through the several rounds of the interview and application process. Once I started I immediately knew I was in the right business and wanted to pursue a career in digital marketing.
Can you share with us a little about what’s expected of the role of Head of Performance Marketing?
I manage a team of several specialists based throughout the APAC region. In a nutshell, performance marketing basically means making sure business/campaign results are being achieved. To make sure of that we have specialists in SEO, SEM, social, display, marketing automation, as well as in data and analytics. It is my job to make sure everyone can do their job to the best of their capabilities and deliver the best results we – and our clients! – are looking for.
What did you learn about yourself and the industry over the years?
A lot. Most importantly that I want to stay as hands-on as I can in the actual job. I love keeping track of little changes in Google ads for instance; I don’t want to lose myself in a pure management role. I know that I want to keep knowing all the details of every platform and all the trends that my team deals with.
What are some of your favourite things about performance marketing?
I love working with clients on projects where we are doing the full spectrum of marketing – setting up creative concepts, digital channels, landing pages, marketing automation, CRM, tracking, etc. Full-service projects allow for more impactful results; letting us work together with our client to increase their actual business results step by step. Projects like these are very fulfilling because you control every step and are actually directly leading to business growth.
I find the continuous changes in the industry thrilling. New tools, methodologies, legislation tracking… a lot is always happening and it’s a challenge to always be at the forefront of these developments.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Most challenging would be when you are not able to be in control of every step or part or a project. This can happen, of course; a client may not have the budget So when we run a campaign ad we notice that some things on the client’s side could be done better. And that the client can not change it. So you are basically getting sub-optimal results.
How do you like to spend your time away from work?
I love to travel. Unfortunately that’s not possible now, of course, with the global pandemic. Normally, I don’t go to the same place twice – I love exploring new places. Aside from travelling, I’m into sports. I exercise and take part in sporting activities around 5 times a week. I also enjoy watching all kinds of sports like football, Formula 1, and MMA. I even watch Darts from time to time.
Connect with Pieter on LinkedIn to learn more about his work as a performance marketer.
Get to know our #2StallionsFamily with the #2STeamStories tag. Discover the works done by our diverse team of digital marketing professionals who’ll bring your ideas to life with impactful designs. If you’re looking for a performance marketing expert, don’t hesitate to contact us.