Managing director, advantago
Joachim Helfer has been with the company of Müller Medien since 2005. He built up an online marketing company called Advantago, focused on servicing larger customers, buying co-operations and franchise systems with solutions in the field of digital presence management, search and social marketing and advertising, along with location-based service products which are distributed by its own sales force and those of partnering agencies, platforms, verticals and directory publishers to integrate into their existing portfolio. The technology stack that integrates with 3rd party systems in a white label environment is built by the daughter company LIW that combines services for both SMBs direct and indirect customers as well as larger accounts.
He also co-ordinates international partnerships with major players such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and Yext and through his activities as moderator and ambassador for Siinda, he is very present in the international directory community.
Prior to his jobs at Müller Medien, he headed the international product development and marketing department of the international advertising network at pepper media in Hamburg and Nuremberg for 5 years, and before that the online media unit of the multimedia agency ID-Media in Hamburg.
He has a degree in Business and Management from the Fachhochschule in Mainz and the University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
Q. Is there anything that you’ve done recently to try to get out of the routine of the pandemic?
Well, I think a lot of things have changed in our lives. And a lot of things that we are missing these days. So, the smaller things and the normal things that we did in the past have become a very special thing right now. I personally, as a routine, which I had done before, but I now probably appreciate it and, and yeah feel it much more deep as before during this pandemic situation, is that I do meditate every morning for 15 minutes, and then I do some exercises and I really do this every single morning. Whether I’m in on the weekend, or during the week and it’s easier to do it when you’re not traveling so much. But I also was trying to do it when I was traveling more.
So, that’s one thing. And on the other side, um, just a walk with the family. We just had a new member in our family, a little dog. And so, doing the walks with the dog is something very special. And that’s why if we appreciate these small things in a much more detailed way, in a much more safe way than we did before, it’s a good way to keep us through this pandemic situation, I think.
Q. Is there something about you that maybe people don’t know, something special that you would like to share?
Well, a lot of people that don’t know me, don’t know that I have a passion for music, especially for rock type of music. Music is a big, important factor in my life. I do, really badly, play the piano and the keyboard myself, but within our family music is a very, very big thing, because my daughter plays the harp and my wife plays piano as well.
Q. You are the Managing Director of Advantago but you were not born into that position. Can you tell us about the first few jobs that you had growing up?
Well, before I started, so before I did my, I think it’s called high school in the US, I worked part-time for some small businesses. Like working at a car rental and in an administration thing.
And one of the coolest jobs I had during my studies was that I got an internship at the Australian Trade Commission in Frankfurt. And that was very important.
But very interesting – let us say my passion towards English speaking environments and things more related to my studies developed when I was doing an Erasmus Exchange Program in Northern Ireland. So, yeah, I was very interested to have this international context. And, of course, Australia was very, very interesting. I never had the opportunity to go there.
But I met a lot of cool people, and so that was really cool.
Q. If you were to have dinner with somebody, alive or not, who would you like to have a dinner conversation with?
That’s an interesting question. Well, I think a very interesting conversation would be God. Or more spiritual leaders. So I am not talking about dead people, because I think I’d choose more lively people. One of my very favorite novels or books these days is “The Big Five of Life”.
And the author of this, I would really like to have a chat with him and sit down for dinner and talk about what his idea was behind it. And the experiences that brought him to write this poem.
Q. Do you have a favorite comfort food that you really like or favorite cuisine?
Well, comfort food is always at home. Yeah, from mom or grandma and so that’s a comfort thing, and I really like very German traditional Franconia and style, but when I’m traveling, I like a lot of Asian. Asian food like vegetarian meals and also some meat.
Q. If you could send a message to your colleagues, friends, and partners, what would you like to say to them?
Well, probably as I said at the beginning, it’s sad that we cannot meet in person these days, but we kept the spirit. And Siinda has been linking. Yeah, a linking organization to keep us together and if you do it with your families, do it with your best friends, do it with your employees, do it with your partners, as good as you can.
And I think the video conferencing tools are not as equal as doing it in a personal environment and having personal meetings. But it’s the best we can do right now. And that’s why it’s important to stay in touch. We’ll get through, I would say, the last phase.
Keep being healthy, that’s the most important thing. Stay in touch, stay curious, stay healthy and we will see each other soon.