Strategy Days 2024

On 5 & 6 March 2024, we hosted our fourth annual Strategy Days. These two days serve as a crucial platform for our smartclippers to stay up to date on the strategic direction of our company, as well as the broader objectives set forth by our parent companies, RTL Deutschland, RTL Group, and Bertelsmann, for the calendar year. This event is about more than sharing information; it’s a chance for our colleagues to align themselves with organisational goals, better understand the current industry landscape, and strategise for success. In addition to our all-hands meetings, offsites, and smartweek, our Strategy Days offer another opportunity for us to practice transparency, boost engagement, and ensure that we are all aligned and working towards the same common goals. Although this year’s event was completely virtual, that didn’t stop our smartclippers from meeting in their respective offices to join in on the sessions together. After all, we’ll take any excuse to fit in some quality team bonding time. 😉    

Given the recent split of our tech and media divisions — and our new sole focus on adtech development — it was crucial to ensure that every employee, both veterans and newcomers, understood our company’s goals moving forward and how we intended to reach them. 

Thomas Servatius, Co-CEO of smartclip, opened the event by discussing our approach to balancing the needs of our customers with our company’s strategic aspirations. 

Next up, Martin Hoberg, Chief International Ad Tech Officer at RTL Deutschland, shared further details regarding the recent announcement of RTL and ProSiebenSat.1’s adtech partnership. This collaboration will combine the content and services of each company’s respective adtech divisions — smartclip, Virtual Minds, Yospace, Realytics, and SQL Service — and will first launch in the DACH region with plans to quickly expand to other European countries. In addition to granting advertisers and agencies easier access to campaign planning, booking, and playout, this collaboration will make linear TV more widely accessible on a programmatic basis.

Our Bertelsmann colleague, Sophia Ohlendorf, Director Learning Culture, Marketing & Communication Bertelsmann University, shared more information on the learning architecture and skill-building opportunities within Bertelsmann University. During the session, Sophia broke down the four core skill-building categories Bertelsmann is focusing on — Leadership/Talent, Workplace, Products, and Development — and the various programmes employees can participate in to grow these skills. Some of these programmes include the Leadership Lab, which focuses on business-specific strategy development; Gen AI Masterclasses, which are aimed at tool landscape and mastery; and the Tech & Data Development Program.

We ended the first day with sessions from our colleagues at RTL. Maximilian Orgonyi, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer at RTL Deutschland, provided an analysis of the current market conditions affecting RTL and insight into the company’s position within the market. In the latter part of his presentation, he outlined RTL’s long-term strategy for the upcoming years.

And Henning Nieslony, Chief Streaming Officer at RTL Deutschland, offered an overview of RTL’s streaming service, RTL+. This included a general look at the state of the streaming market itself, the platform’s current position in the market compared to its competitors, and upcoming plans for the streaming service.

We really buckled down on strategy on the second day. We started things off with an RTL AdAlliance strategy update and overview from Dr. Oliver Vesper, Co-CEO of smartclip and Chief Digital Officer & Deputy CEO of RTL AdAlliance, and Franck Litewka, Sr. Director Strategy & M&A at RTL AdAlliance. 

During Strategy Days, it was announced that Gloria Eicher, previously our VP of Ad Platform, would assume the role of Chief Product Officer. Along with driving the direction of smartclip’s products and solutions, she will also oversee all development teams. During her session, she and her team dove into the smartclip product strategy and presented an overview of the topics and projects they will focus on in the coming months.

After discussing our product strategy, we pivoted to Pieter van den Bergh, VP Product & Advanced Solutions at RTL AdAlliance, who explained the structure of the company’s Product Team and gave a high-level overview of the various products and future services the company plans to integrate into their offering. 

From multiple award victories to successful use cases of its BEE measurement solution, 2023 proved to be a successful year for our subsidiary Realytics. During his session, Guillaume Belmas, CEO of Realytics, reviewed the company’s achievements from the past year and shared its plans for 2024. 

Before we closed out this year’s event, we also made time to discuss and break down the industry’s hot topics. During the session, Rene Wagner, CTO at smartclip, identified, defined, and dissected the most popular trends and challenges currently facing the tech industry. One topic on everyone’s list — AI. We dove into all things AI, including its growth over the past years, questions regarding the quality of AI-driven solutions, and the legality of AI in certain situations. To round out the conversation, we concluded the session by discussing how we currently use and plan to further implement AI into our workflows and products.

Thanks to the efforts of the organisational team and speakers, this year’s Strategy Days were a success. If our colleague’s sessions were any indication, there are truly some exciting things in the works and we can’t wait to see what the year will bring.

Christian Osterhues

Christian is the VP  People & Culture for smartclip Europe with over 18 years of experience in Human Resources. He started at smartclip in 2012 and was the first to establish a professional Human Resources Management team. Christian oversees the  People & Culture Department, including Recruiting and Training and Development.

Christian Osterhues
VP People & Culture

Image of Andreas Meier

Andreas Meier is Senior Director Employee Advocacy & Outreach in the smartclip Europe Marketing team and is responsible for communication geared towards employees, customers and partners. Before joining smartclip in 2019, Andreas worked in various positions at RTL Group in Luxembourg and has more than 14 years of experience in the international media business.

Andreas Meier
Senior Director Employee Advocacy & Outreach

Portrait of Lee Richter Junior Content Editor Europe at smartclip

Lee is the Marketing Specialist Europe at smartclip and is responsible for content writing, editing, social media, and creative support across the department and company. Originally from the United States, Lee graduated from the University of Cincinnati, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Electronic Media. Before joining smartclip, she has worked with various organisations managing social media accounts and assisting in the video and audio production processes.

Lee Richter
Marketing Specialist Europe