CMO Files: Oliver Jaeger, Vice President Global Marketing and Communications, e-Spirit

Get inside the mind of the world's top marketing professionals. In 20 questions we find out what they love most about their job, what their biggest achievements are... and what keeps them awake at night. Read 'The CMO Files'...

Name:  Oliver Jaeger

Organisation: e-Spirit

Job title: Vice President Global Marketing and Communications

Location: Dortmund, Germany





(1) Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Germany, close to the beautiful Harz Mountains in the heart of Germany. Goethe even mentioned the area in Faust!

(2) What was your first job?
My first job during high-school was in tin can manufacturing – I fitted handles to tin cans. My first job after graduating from university was with GTE where I was Marketing Manager and responsible for forecasting new products.

(3) What was the first product you got really excited about?
Commodore C64 (1982)

(4) Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
I met a number of great people along the way and each one of them had an influence on my career. I would say however, that my parents, who taught me that you need to work if you want to achieve something, and working in different cultures definitely inspired and influenced my career path.

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?
In personal life – my daughter. In my professional life, I consider pushing on with the internalisation of e-Spirit and supporting the company’s growth from market leader in Germany to an internationally established CMS solution provider as one of my greatest achievements.

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?
I’ll never tell!

(7) What is your greatest strength?
I am a big team player and know how to connect the right team with the right strategy to achieve our corporate objectives. I’m also very results-driven – it might not be very exciting, but controlling and number crunching is what makes your success measurable.

(8) What is your biggest weakness?
I am very passionate about what I do and assume that my discussion partners have the same background knowledge as I do which can lead to me getting carried away in discussions about marketing.

(9) What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?   
Analytics and figures – many still believe that marketing is somehow obscure and unaccountable. I am convinced that analysis and evaluation not only help to improve performance. They are also great tools to convince the management board of your activities as you create transparency and measure your success.

(10) Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
Mantra: If you don’t go forward, you go backwards.
Squirm: “Everyone can do marketing.” – When it comes to marketing, a lot of people seem to think it is easy and everyone can do it. They don’t realise that there is much more to it and it needs a proper strategy and the right tools to be successful.

(11) What makes you stressed?
Being stuck in a traffic jam on the Autobahn and not being able to do anything about it!

(12) What do you do to relax?
Spending time with my family, DIY in the house and around the garden, a barbecue – just generally being outside.

(13) What is your favourite song?
I don’t have one favourite song, it always depends on the mood. I like positive tunes though, the music of the 80s/90s, Genesis, Depeche Mode…

(14) Which book taught you most?
Jim Collins: Built to last

(15) Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
Since I’ve been living and working in Dallas for a couple of years I follow the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks.

(16) Which country would you like to work in?
I have worked in Germany and the USA – they are both great places to live and work, each with their own special characteristics. What’s maybe more important than the country is the people you meet and work with. They make a place special – and I have been very fortunate to have met a lot of great people on both sides of the Atlantic and enjoy travelling between Germany and the US every now and then.

(17) Which company do you think has the best marketing?
Besides e-Spirit? That is a tough one – marketing is so diverse and every industry, every sector has different requirements which makes it hard to choose just one. I guess, regarding awareness and brand building, Red Bull is doing some outstanding things in marketing.

(18) What do you love most about your job?
I love working for an innovative international company with a cool product and a great, highly professional team. There are always new opportunities to explore, there is no standstill or THE one way to do things. And I am very excited to see where digital marketing will take us!

(19) What is your favourite book?
I don’t favour a specific book or author. I like Stephen King, Dan Brown, Scott Adams’ Dilbert for laughs and German Author Frank Schätzing.

(20) What keeps you awake at night?
The joy about what we have achieved so far and the thrill of anticipation what will be next. 


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