Tencil Talks: Sebastian Redenz

Sebastian Redenz is the Head of Paid Social at Havas Media Group, UK.

Over the past 13 years Sebastian has worked at the likes of Cocoon Music & Event, IPG Mediabrands, iProspect and more recently Havas Media Group.

Today we caught up with him on his career success to date.

Q. Talk us through your professional career to date?

SR: My professional career started during Uni when my virtual record label had built up international recognition, landing me academic speaking gigs at the age of 27, teaching students about the future of music distribution. Following this, I worked 5 years with a leading underground techno & house music label called Cocoon and launched their online marketing strategy. This happened during the golden age of Social Media, early 2010’s when the reach was free and winning 50’000 new followers a day was normal. This experience gave me opportunity to build up all the right knowledge so when I made the career choice in 2013 to join a global media agency network, I was able to advise much bigger brands on how to use Social Media to achieve business objectives.

Q. How does your first professional role differ from your current role?

SR: Coming into my first professional role I was an internet expert who understood how a brand can use Social Media to engage a global audience – it was very hands-on as the skillset was brand new! I’ve worked on my own the first 6 years and only after that was able to start building teams around me and passing knowledge on. My current role is that of a product and team lead for 25 Paid Social Media experts. In this role I still have an expert understanding of how brands should use Social Media, thanks to the growth in this specialism – it’s 7 media owners offering biddable social platforms. However, the priority has increasingly shifted towards the delivery of the overall product and team.

Q. What excites you about digital marketing?

SR: The way how people communicate has incredibly changed during the past 20 years. I’m exposed to a lot of data related to communication that shows me what types of people interact with what types of content. I appreciate I get to work with some of the most innovative businesses in the world for the communications industry. Taking their product, learning about it, augmenting it with additional media technology to make it even more relevant to make it as real as possible for different types of businesses excites me. Only in a media agency can you get to see different products working and in combination with auxiliary products from technology partners across different sizes and categories of clients.

Q. Name one thing you would like to see change in digital marketing and why?

SR: Regulation – I think it’s been a Wild West far too long when it comes to assessing what’s allowed and what’s not allowed on a platform. Governments were slow to take action but we have GDPR now and governments have started holding media owners accountable for what’s happening on their platforms. While the vast majority of investment was with the development of sophisticated A.I. and human content moderation systems during the past 24 months, it’s still not perceived good enough and more work needs to be done there.

Q. What advice would you offer an outsider who knows little about digital marketing?

SR: Digital Marketing is a very exciting discipline touching multiple disciplines – data sciences, algorithms, consumer research, investment, psychology … if these words trigger something in you then you should consider applying for an internship or platform programme.  

Q. Do you think that there are enough materials out there to educate young adults about our industry?

SR: Definitely not but I think it’s getting better. I’ve spoken at schools about my profession and always notice the same pattern – initial interest is low, as no one has a picture of what a Head of Paid Social does – but as soon as I start sharing stories of how we help position a brand like O2 with it’s strong cultural heritage and commitment to music (particularly in London) on Instagram then people start to listen and become really interested, too.

Q.What is your favourite restaurant and why?

SR: Our office is at Kings Cross, so I’m blessed to be around some fantastic restaurants. My current favorites are Dishoom (Indian) and Hoppers (Sri Lanka), however, the Mad Men days of cigars and liquor in a drinks cabinet in single office rooms shared with media partners are a long time over – I’m happy if I’m getting invited for a lunch once a quarter!

Finally, we would like to thank Sebastian for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us earlier today.

If you would like to hear more information on opportunities that exist within digital marketing, then feel free to reach out to Joel.Williams@tencil.co.uk

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