Four months ago, Luxus Worldwide appointed Ville Honkimäki as the Business Unit Director of our newly established consulting team. Earlier this week, we sat down with Ville for a brief chat about his background and future aspirations at Luxus.
Hi Ville! How's it going?
Ville: Really well, thanks for asking! You can imagine that I feel privileged to work in a service industry where we create solutions that add tangible value to our clients’ businesses, while shaping the future of digital marketing. Having said that, I believe that everyone needs a counterweight to the creative thinking at work; mine are two toddlers who are learning to count, swim, ride a bicycle, ski etc.
Can you walk us through your academic and professional background?
V: When it comes to the academic road, one could say that I’ve seen both ends of the street. I’ve completed a highly individualistic German macro economics curriculum and, on the other hand, a very collegial Swedish business administration program with a major in marketing.
Marketing won the battle as my foremost interest and so I’ve dedicated the past years to various subcategories within that discipline: brand management, product marketing, sales-driven marketing and digital marketing, to name the most influential ones.
In the early years of this Millennium when I was working in the car industry, I got a practical lesson of what integrated marketing really means; serving the right customers with the right products, at the right time, in a multichannel environment. However, back then, two-way communication with the end-customer was still in its infancy, and I’m happy to see that digital technologies and modern devices have completely changed the game. That’s why I’m passionate about contextual marketing and its tremendous possibilities in creating value for end-customers.
How did you end up at Luxus and what are your first impressions?
V: Before I joined the team in December 2015, I was familiar with Luxus and its impressive track record. In essence, I was intrigued by the smart people, exciting projects and international client base. After four months of active service, I can really say that the mission of working tirelessly “to improve our clients’ digital performance” permeates the whole company. Every day.
What does your typical working day look like?
V: The exciting thing is that there are no such things as typical days! Naturally some tasks are repetitive by nature and the same goes for certain processes, such as project methodologies. However, our clients come from a variety of industries, which all have their unique challenges. For Luxus, this means that the digital services we design and develop are customized down to the last detail. During a ‘typical’ working week, I usually perform consultative tasks, including compiling materials for insights, talking to data analysts about their findings, meeting with clients together with a project manager and developing optimal solutions together with the business development and tech teams. A common factor for everything I do is data-driven customer centricity and result orientation.
What's the best part of your job? Are there any challenges?
V: Imagine a forward-looking, agile and low-hierarchy solutions enterprise where everyone is accountable for their own duties, learning and motivation. Then add collaboration with best-of-breed companies, who are dedicated to taking their digital businesses to the next level. I guess you can catch where I’m going with this?
When it comes to challenges, the current level of digital marketing investment in Finland is alarmingly low and there seems to be a lack of confidence in the economic situation. Sweden and Norway are far better off in that sense, which means that they will most likely pave way with impressive digital executions, especially in terms of bold content utilization. Just like our CINO Mikko wrote, Finnish companies need to rebuild their confidence and start investing in innovation – whether it’s in marketing or technology.
What keeps you motivated?
V: Easy: my talented, international colleagues on five continents. On a daily basis, I get to work with people from 21 countries, which only goes to show that we hire the best and the brightest – regardless of where they were born or where they happen to live.
In your opinion, what makes Luxus unique?
V: Luxus’ uniqueness comes from our background and talent. Where many digital service providers have had their five minutes of fame and then vanished, Luxus has seen some highs and lows but committed to learning from all its past experiences. Today, we have a broader service portfolio than ever but our core remains in producing world-class digital solutions.
What advice would you give to people who are interested in a career in digital marketing?
V: There are so many wise words that I’ve come across that it’s hard to choose just one thing. I would say that a natural interest in business, technology and analytics go a long way. On top of that, you need to be adaptable to change and willing to learn constantly. At the end of the day, what we plan and implement today usually becomes a convention in less than six months.
Thank you, Ville – we’re really excited to have you onboard!