We talked to Mark Karsch of CloudSuppliers about digital marketing and COVID-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mark Karsch: The 2 most amazing women in my life, my wife and daughter, and I just moved to a new place. Partly thanks to Corona, we are home quite a lot and have lots of time to get used to our new place and the neighborhood. Thankfully we are all in good health.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded CloudSuppliers.
Mark Karsch: I spent over 10 years in the hosting and data center industry and realized the immense possibilities for companies that understand both marketing and IT from a technology side. With time, I gathered the best and most promising people in the industry and created a digital marketing agency called CloudSuppliers.
Alongside digital marketing, I have always found a passion for networking with people, which led me to connect talent with Tech companies within my recruitment company MKDigital.
How does CloudSuppliers innovate?
Mark Karsch: Usually, the entire team has more ideas than it’s possible to execute, and since we have very open communication where all ideas are welcome, the entire dynamics of the team are very innovative. Whether it’s a new project or an unexpected bump on the road, we usually reach a conclusive decision as a team through discussions and experimenting. As a team leader, it is important to me that my team’s projects are exciting for them. And with excitement always come new and innovative ideas.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Mark Karsch: The IT industry was one of the least directly affected industries; however, we did feel the hit as well. Some of the projects got put on pause, which allowed us to focus on our own brand and other projects that we have always wanted to do, but previously never had the time. We also took a head-start for new year plans. The financial strains of projects put on hold, we all as a team had to put in more effort in some areas of the business, but with the acquisition of new clients, we are able to move forward.
Together with our team and our clients, we have been able to make a switch to even more digital marketing and communications. We organized more online events as ever before, together with our clients, where a lot of live events were cancelled. For example; For the Netherlands DataCenter day, we produced a digital tour throw the data center of one of our clients, a unique experience for a lot of people. We also focused even more on PR, for our clients an essential way of staying in touch with their target audience.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Mark Karsch: A few years ago, we had a financial crisis in the Netherlands. Difficult to compare both situations but my lessons learned from both crisis is that organizations who are not afraid to keep trying new things, who are innovative and companies who are not afraid to have a good look at their own behavior, and who are willing to change their behavior if needed, have the best shot of making it throw a crisis.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Mark Karsch: If any of my teammates or friends ask me how I’m doing and my answer is “My life is dynamic,” They know I’m very busy and maybe even stressed. We can openly talk about it and discuss how we can help each other. And dynamic sounds way more positive as busy, stress, anxiety, etc. So it’s also important to keep a positive look at things!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Mark Karsch: In the IT industry, everything is formed around providing value, and due to the complexity of it, the people in the industry have a passion for it. We are different from most of our competitors because we are not just a digital marketing agency but rather an IT focused agency since our entire team comes from Tech backgrounds. I think so far, our success lies behind my trust towards my team and trust among themselves. I hire the brightest, most passionate people and then give them some room to experiment and explore. This always keeps us moving forward.
Your final thoughts?
Mark Karsch: Even when life is dynamic, as life is absolute during the Covid-19 crisis, keep a good focus on work, on your team and be willing to learn, adjust and improve every day!