We asked our Managing Director of s360 Netherlands, Arnd van der Meer, a couple of questions to pick his brain on the evolution of the digital marketing landscape, to learn his ambitions and direction of s360 Netherlands, and to get a closer look at the person behind the title.
Arnd van der Meer has ten years of experience at companies such as Google, Meta, and Snap, with digital marketing as its core centre. Today, he is leading the s360 expansion to the European market by managing our office in the Netherlands.
The current state of the digital marketing industry as a whole may seem quite murky. We have to deal with an overall downturn of the economy and a more gloomy/pessimistic outlook on the immediate future. However, I believe this brings tremendous opportunities for companies focusing on quality service and real business solutions. In that regard, I think more businesses will seek expert help outside to stay lean but continue to build for success.
Additionally, the continuously limited measurement options are also a topic that defines the digital landscape. For years, advertisers have been running performance marketing based on data to improve and perform the best. However, the cookie-less world, lack of transparency and increased personal data protection are forcing advertisers and agencies to reinvent how to do things. I believe that this is a positive change to strengthen privacy, and it opens new ways of doing business to benefit both the advertisers and their customers, like distributing highly relevant digital marketing campaigns targeting the audiences that are actively interested in your offerings, services, knowledge, tools, stories, etc.
To put it short, we are facing exciting times where we will see businesses adapting to changes and rethink how to continue delivering the best possible experiences and results.
The signal loss will continue to be a major challenge for our industry. But similarly, it is an opportunity to find creative ways to provide the best service to our partners. One particular opportunity I am very excited about is leveraging the variety of “challenger” platforms out there, such as Pinterest, Snapchat and TikTok, in implementing these into our partners’ overall performance strategy. And optimise budgets towards the best possible performance.
This influences how performance is measured and makes it more complex for advertisers to set the right metrics to understand which channel performs best. On the other side, it also leaves a door open to thinking outside the box. It allows finding new solutions and ways of working within performance marketing that could set one apart from the competition - being a frontrunner in innovative thinking, testing, learning and adapting.
Interested in learning how s360 works with clients on Snapchat or TikTok campaigns?
As mentioned, I see signal loss as a major industry challenge. To overcome this, I see great potential in broadening our scope and working with all channels by leveraging each channel in the best way possible. And how to do that? It could allow for new partnerships and collaborations with automation tools and technologies.
Adding a macro perspective to it, another major challenge for many brands and ecommerce companies is navigating a time with low growth and margin pressure. The current state has accelerated the need for performance optimization, testing, learning and investing in solutions like profit bidding that allows for a short-term profit but with a long-term plan.
That said, the way to address challenges is to consistently learn, test and adapt to the changing market and share our knowledge internally and externally to educate ourselves and our clients even more. Facing upcoming challenges requires a challenger mindset and a passion for solving problems, something I experience is part of the s360 company DNA.
I get motivated by solving problems, and being part of s360 is all about solving our clients' digital challenges by helping them optimise their performance marketing efforts. Coming from global brands such as Google, Facebook (now Meta), Snap etc., I've been focusing on one channel or platform. My new role as managing director for s360 Netherlands allows me to take on a more holistic approach to combine strategy, digital marketing and technology to accelerate our clients' digitalisation across multiple channels.
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Being part of s360 for a month now, one of the first things I noticed was the strong company culture and collaboration across borders. It truly operates as a global unity working on clients in cross-border teams utilising each other's skills in the best way possible. In continuation, the knowledge-sharing and feedback flow are nowhere near what I've experienced. s360 hires the best digital talents within their area of expertise and fosters a work environment that empowers individual experts to share knowledge and experiences across the company. As an example, fireside chats are hosted monthly.
On the service side, s360 manages a heavy tech stack to provide its clients with the best services and high-quality offerings. Moreover, the agency develops its products based on data and technology, such as the s360 Shopping Index and the s360 Brand Performance Dashboard. Also, s360 is one of EMEA's few official Google Marketing Platform Sales Partner agencies.
I’ve been doing various jobs over the years. My first job was to pick up tulip bulbs on the big tulip fields and stuff them into bags sold across the world. For seven years, I worked as a barista. I worked at gas stations, car washes, and paper routes. And long nights washing dishes at a restaurant.
Looking back, I would say my favourite job among the above mentioned must be my time as a barista.
Thanks Arnd for sharing your industry insights and letting us know a bit more about you. Once again, welcome aboard! We can't wait to see what the future holds as we continue our journey together.
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