Back in 2014, Christoph Kastenholz and Lara Daniel sparked the idea of creating a company with a vision of reshaping the advertising arena through influencer marketing. Today, Pulse Advertising & Management have become the leader of this industry, operating a team of 125+ people across 5 offices and recognized as a partner of McKinsey, Instagram, TikTok and Google. We connected with Chris, a Forbes 30under30 leader and a TEDx speaker, to learn more about his insights into the industry and himself.
How has influencer marketing changed since you opened the office?
Back in 2014, not many people knew what we meant when we said influencer marketing, and those who did were careful about this new concept of advertising. We took a leap and followed what we believed in! Over time, we were able to prove the results we promised, and that helped us shape this new advertising era. Today, influencer marketing is at the core of brand strategies and brands even co-engineer their own products with creators.
What was the first campaign you ever executed? What did you learn from it?
Our first partnership with creators happened before founding Pulse, as founding Pulse was not our first business. We had founded a fashion label in beachwear, and worked with creators across many countries. That taught us how to partner with the right people for the right cause and eventually sparked the idea of creating Pulse.
What changes do you foresee will occur in the influencer marketing industry over the next 5 years?
Influencer marketing has become an integral part of the digital armoury. One key reason for success is that we are all tired of being interrupted by ads on television or the radio and are careful about who we trust. Influencer marketing builds on this, as followers actively choose who they want to listen to, which enables branded content. That is also why influencer marketing is just at its beginning. What will continue to move is the social media landscape, as new networks will come up and others will fade out. The influencer marketing industry is growing at such a rapid pace that many agencies who can’t adapt and follow eventually wind up dropping out.
What new digital platforms and capabilities is Pulse exploring?
We stay ahead by always challenging ourselves and watching out for new ideas and trends. The overall trend goes to video content rather than photo. The platforms that understand this are winning. TikTok is an example of a platform that has skyrocketed to over 600M users this year and they are completely user-centric in regard to how content is developed, posted, and consumed.
What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Food and gym, in that order.
Describe your morning routine.
For me, it's all about consistent routines. I start the day with a workout around 6:00 AM wherever I am, ideally a workout class, and at every office I have a clear routine of where I grab coffee after that. To reduce morning stress, I try to minimize any morning decisions to get a head start into the day!
What was your first job?
Delivering the paper.
What are you reading currently?
“Why We Sleep”, by Matthew Walker. I believe the value of sleep is underestimated; the book explains why we sleep, what effects it has on us, and how we can actively control it to become the best version of ourselves.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Learn to say no and do the uncomfortable task first. Hearing advice and following it are two different things though, so I think it’s less about advice and more about doing it.