Anja Müller, Team Lead Account Management for Connect Germany talks about her role in leading her team, and answers some very tough questions on teamwork.
Anja Müller, joined GSG in Berlin in 2019 as a Senior Account Manager for the sport and Fashion vertical after many years of professional experience in Account Management in general. Today she still lives in Berlin and is a Team Lead Account Management for Connect with wide responsibilities for leading the team there.
They say there is no ‘I’ in team, so tell us what the word team means to you?
For me, the word team means seeing the diversity of different characters, opinions and talents as an enrichment and treating each other with respect. To use the strengths of each individual and to compensate in areas where they are not so strong. Working together constructively in mutual trust in order to achieve common goals. And still have fun. Because each of us is a single success story.
Steve Jobs was quoted as saying “Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.” So what great things have your team achieved?
In the last months of 2022 our human resources within the team have been quite stretched by demand. As you can imagine, this was quite challenging for one of the largest markets. Sometimes the requests for our account managers was particularly tight, as we support several verticals. Our resulting high workload meant that we were having to work incredibly hard to meet the challenge. However, our team is made up of ambitious and determined fighters. Each and every one of us has very high standards and with the cohesion in the team we have managed to generate high advertising revenue during the Black Friday period and end the year on a high.
“However, our team is made up of ambitious and determined fighters.”
Certainly each of us was mentally drained at some point during this time, but when we saw the results, heard the great feedback from the clients we felt good knowing that we can rise to the challenge and make everything possible.
Sir John Hegarty Co-Founder of BBH was stated as saying “No great idea has ever come out of a brainstorm meeting,” The trouble with brainstorms, he believes, is that they operate at “the speed of the slowest person in the room”. So what do you do to avoid compromise and empower the individual in the team?
I wouldn’t sign that statement. Of course, not everyone always has something to contribute. We have so many different topics that you can get involved in and here it’s quite natural for us that you can’t make a great contribution to everything. But that’s why we work as a team. For example, in addition to our daily work, we also have our champion roles. Everyone has a topic to focus on, either because it’s perfect for them or because they can learn from it. We support each other so that everyone can develop their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. In the end, all of our ideas are just a small box in a sea of endless possibilities. The job is just a box and each individual has the chance to fill it with their skills. The GSG offers many opportunities for this, you just have to grab them.
Many experts believe that you must surround yourself with people who are unafraid to disagree with you. Does this hold true in your team?
Difficult question. When I look at my team, I think that the more welcome everyone feels on the team, the better the teamwork. We trust each other and try to make everyone feel free to speak their mind without fear. At the end of the day, we want constructive feedback and no “YES-sayers”. Everyone should have the feeling that they can express their opinion. It’s not about disagreement for disagreement sake but instead knowing that some of the best ideas are built from different perspectives that balance both pro and contra views.
Your team is one part of a bigger team, connected to many other teams across the GSG network. What do you do to maximise integration and efficiency across our group?
We are in regular contact with the other teams and try to benefit from each others knowledge and expertise. I think you always have to think that each team in the system has a different and important role and its the synchronization of these teams that creates something even greater.
As a team with strong connection to brands and our commercial side of things, what do you do to make sure that not only your client but also their customers are put at the heart of all we do?
As you may know we have for almost every stage at the consumer’s decision journey a solution available that suits our shoppers needs. As you may know we have for almost every stage of the consumer’s decision journey a solution available that suits our shoppers needs. And with vergleich.focus.de and other strong partnerships like it, we are now one of the few publishers that offers its merchants solutions for every phase in the user shopping journey (market dependant). To that end, we have adjusted our exposure packages accordingly. In addition, we always try to negotiate strong and attractive exclusive promotions that work for both the brand and their customers. To that end, we have adjusted our exposure packages accordingly. In addition, we always try to negotiate strong and attractive exclusive promotions that work for both the brand and their customers.
with vergleich.focus.de and other strong partnerships like it, we are now one of the few publishers that offers its merchants solutions for every phase in the user shopping journey
Another thing that we are particularly proud of is how our solutions often provide brands and their customers with a greater sense of connection, Whether it’s through providing customers with a feel good factor thanks to the offer or giving the right advice that helps them make the best decision on the product or brand that connects best to them.
Connect is at the centre of GSG’s core business, but as we have expanded so have our solutions. What are your team doing to aid this expansion?
We are in contact with the other teams and are using these synergies to update our portfolio of services. But we are just one part of a bigger group with the same objective which is to make the shopping experience and results better for all, the publishers, the retailers and the consumers.
Because for our platform to continue to grow into the future everyone (publishers, retailers and shoppers) should want to be there.