Guest: David Kim, CEO of nevaly GmbH

David Kim is connecting youtube stars & advertisers. The CEO of nevaly GmbH talks with Chris Pyak about his quest for better data. David hires in English, but he explains also why a French speaker can find a great job with nevaly.

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Transcript of the employer interview with David Kim, CEO of nevaly GmbH

Chris Pyak:         Hello and welcome. We have half an hour that we will spend together tonight talking with David Kim, C.E.O. of Nevaly. Hello David.

David Kim:         Hi Chris.

Chris Pyak:         Tell us a little bit … For our listeners who are joining now one by one. They are still joining here to talk. I can see that. Maybe we start a little bit by … Tell us a little bit what is Nevaly? What is your company? And what is your mission?

David Kim:         Oh sure. Nevaly is a creative marketing agency. We specialize in influencer marketing meaning that we deal primarily with individuals who have built up audiences on social media. And we help brands to connect with the social media influencers to promote their products.

Chris Pyak:         Okay, and how long do you exist? You are pretty young enterprise, right?

David Kim:         Yes, yes indeed. So we were founded in December of 2014. Well, technically speaking we were legally incorporated in 2015 but the idea to begin Nevaly was started back in December 2014.

Chris Pyak:         So you are basically three years old?

David Kim:         Yes, actually.

Chris Pyak:         Yeah, and that's actually already an achievement in itself because many people say that most startups if they fail, they fail within the first three years. And you already survived this first test.

David Kim:         Yeah, things have been going on a steadily uphill trajectory for us so we feel very fortunate.

Chris Pyak:         If I may ask because I'm curious, if you look back now at the last three years, what do you think that helped you the most to get to this point that you are at when so many other startups vanish?

David Kim:         I think the key to the success of Nevaly has been in its people. When Nevaly was founded, it was founded by really just a handful of guys. And the guys had a commitment to making an awesome enterprise and a commitment to each other. And when you don't have a whole lot of money or a whole lot of resources, you really learn to rely on the talents of those around you.

And I attribute the early success to those guys. And as we've hired more people, that spirit has rubbed off. And today it's very much an essential part of our culture that we are a team oriented, that we have a spirit of collaboration, that people have a voice and that's something that we hope to preserve as we continue to grow.

Chris Pyak:         Yeah, speaking about growth, what are your … What is your biggest goal for the say for the near future for the …?

David Kim:         I think our goal is very much in line with the industry's goal. So influencer marketing is relatively new. It's very powerful but it's a form of marketing that's very hard to track unlike traditional media where you can count things like ratings points or impressions delivered. Influencer marketing has some very basic statistics like how many times a video has been viewed or the engagement rate of a certain video.

And one of the areas in which we want to improve for our clients is to provide them better analytics around how their influencer marketing campaigns are performing.

Chris Pyak:         Can you give us an example of what would … If you are very successful in providing better insights for the clients, what would be one concrete measurement that you would like to offer?

David Kim:         Well, I think one of the areas that we can certainly approach is this idea of brand sentiment, which is kind of like a psychologically nebulous thing. When it comes down to it brand sentiment really measures whether somebody favors your brand or doesn't like it at all. And certainly with something like influencer marketing, the whole point of relying on influencers is to use the public opinion about perceptions around a brand.

And so we want to explore ways in which we can implement such brand sentiment measures right into our data and analytics platform so that advertisers can understand that they ran a campaign, that it had a positive effect in actually getting somebody to like or want to purchase a specific product.

Chris Pyak:         And what kind of people could help you the most achieve this goal?

David Kim:         Yeah, well that would be developers.

Chris Pyak:         You are very [inaudible 00:04:56]

David Kim:         Yes, I mean, the developers are of course at a very much high in demand. Yeah I mean, I think it's more than just developers. I mean, to be very specific like the developers that we're looking for here in Ruby and Rails developers of which we have plenty knock on wood.

So we're actually well situated there but also we could benefit from data scientists and business intelligence analysts and other people who can help shape how we use the data that we collect into insights that clients can action upon.

Chris Pyak:         When you say data analysts, what are some … What kind of background would you expect for someone who wants to apply for such a position?

David Kim:         Oh gosh, I think this is a bit tough to answer because data scientist have not really been a formal craft for a very long time. And so in my experience a lot of the data scientists that we've run across have come from a lot of different backgrounds.

Some have worked in business intelligence, some have been business analysts, some have been programmers who have then transition to do more of a data science specific role, some come from C.R.M. backgrounds. I think really we're sort of open to people of all kinds of different career backgrounds and academic backgrounds.

So I think what matters to me the most is whether they have a passion and an insight for marketing and in particular for influencer marketing because this is sort of an unproven ground. And I think really the only way that somebody can succeed in this field is if they have that sort of passion to want to unlock these kinds of insights that we are working towards.

Chris Pyak:         Okay, if I turned this around which I'm much more sympathetic with or I smell or I see just exactly like you. Say you hire someone to help you with this goal to provide better insights for your clients, you hire him and de composite to trial period of six months. It's usually in Germany. It's over so now we have fewer end of February or first of March.

So six months from now would be end of August, that's the last day of August. How would you know that this person was successful? What would this person have achieved in this time so that you know you made the right decision to hire her?

David Kim:         I think that this person needs to have delivered some real results that actually prove the success of the influencer campaigns. Moreover, I think that this person needs to have uncovered some results that may be surprising or useful not only for us but for our clients as well.

So in other words uncovering data points or insights that may have been previously unknown or that clients would not have thought to look at at all I think these are the types of findings that this person must uncover.

Chris Pyak:         What would help someone in this position to uncover this hidden value? What would be the most useful character attitude that he would need to have?

David Kim:         I think that … Well yes, almost counter-intuitively, I think that this person needs to wear the hat of a non data scientist in order to be successful to a degree. In other words, they need to put themselves in the shoes of our clients who are oftentimes grasping at straws to figure out if their marketing dollars or marketing Euros are being invested wisely.

And they also need to think from the perspective of influencers themselves. It's one thing of course to have a sort of rigorous understanding of collecting data, filtering data, analyzing data, or creating algorithms. It's quite in order to really understand the industry itself so I think it's rather vital that this person embossed him or herself in the industry really understand the marketing landscape so that they can sort of ask the right questions to begin with.

Chris Pyak:         Before we move on to the next jobs because you have several jobs to offer, let me just say for our listeners if you want to ask David or me a question and then please open the chat window in YouTube and you can write your question right now because in the end we will select maybe two or three questions David will answer on the air.

So feel free to send your question as soon as possible to David and me in the YouTube chat window. We spoke about one position that is important to you but you have a couple of others that you are also may also hiring right now.

David Kim:         So yes indeed, we have several open positions.

Chris Pyak:         Don't … Tell us about them.

David Kim:         Oh sure. Well, we're looking for a business development professional for the E.U. We're also looking for a graphic designer to work in our creative team. And we're also looking for an account manager, preferably French speaking.

Chris Pyak:         Okay, which of these positions should we talk first? Which one is the one that when you could fill this position it would really move you, it would be one broad of your soul?

David Kim:         Oh gosh, I can't say that any one of the three are more important. They're all sort of equally important but why don't we start with the business development role?

Chris Pyak:         Okay. What is the most important objective for this person? What will she do or will he do in this position?

David Kim:         Well ultimately this person is responsible for bringing in new clients. As a growing company we're always looking to service new clients and enter new sectors and so hopefully this is a person who can open doors for us as well as ultimately work with clients in a manner in which it is professional and it's understanding of their needs so that ultimately we can do business together with them.

Chris Pyak:         And do you have a target client?

David Kim:         Well nevaly traditionally serves companies that want to target gamers. So we're in a very interesting space within the influencer marketing industry. We primarily focus on YouTube and Twitch, those are two main platforms.

But when it comes down to it, any brand that sort of interested in reaching that digital savvy millennial or Jency audience would be a brand that we can feasibly work with. And that can cross into numerous sectors from video games, entertainment, consumer electronics, an F. M.C.G. It's really about whether the client has an appetite to target this audience that we serve.

Chris Pyak:         From your experience, how long does it usually take to convert a new lead into a paying customer because every industry has a different lifestyle cycle?

David Kim:         Yeah, that's right. It varies and it varies of course on the size of the campaign but if I had to peg an average, I would say two to three months.

Chris Pyak:         Okay, so same question as before. You have a business development specialist, six months are over, Summer comes to a close. How would you define if this person was successful and not or not?

David Kim:         I think that there are lots of success metrics for a business development professional. I mean, that the clearest ones are things like revenue. Like how much revenue does this person generate? How many of these are opportunities that this person opened up? And of course what are the quality of those opportunities?

The type of clients, the type of business that they do. For me though there are some other success metrics that I look at. I look at the way that the business development person goes about his or her business. In other words I'm not so interested in sharks so to speak, in people who are just out to close deals and earn commission.

I really look for the type of individual that has a client's best interest in mind. We as an agency are actually perfect for a lot of clients. So it takes a certain kind of succession kind of partnership between us and our client agency to have mutual success.

And I think it's very important that the business development professional is one that guides the client through the buyer journey that really is the type of person that is attentive to the client's needs, at the same time has the kind of expertise to be able to diplomatically offer solutions and unblock challenges of course in the buying process.

Chris Pyak:         Okay, so makes both ethical sense but also business sense because you want to repeat clients, not one time clients.

David Kim:         Yeah, and that's correct. It's not about … For us it's not really about generating revenue or making deals or clients in the short term, it's really about finding clients for the long term. And for us to find clients for the long term, there has to be a really good sort of agency client fit.

Chris Pyak:         Yeah, you have an incoming question from Zashee. Zashee writes for the business developer role, bringing new clients is the key I understand, account mining, order mining is also another thing to stabilize the created account. Are you open to hire a multilingual candidate out of Germany? So what he probably means is someone who speaks several languages but not necessarily German.

David Kim:         Oh yes, of course. Nevaly is actually a company of a lot of non Germans. We have three be based in Berlin but we have 12 different nationalities represented here. We actually only have two Germans working for us, that's correct. So yes, to answer your question. Simply, we would totally be open to multilingual candidates and not German speakers.

Chris Pyak:         If some of our listeners are interested to apply for the business development role or any of the other roles, how should they reach out to you? Do you have a preference to a how they should apply? What kind of … Do you want special documents or do you want them to write about a certain topic when they apply to you? How could they really impress you? That's my question.

David Kim:         I think that the really impressive candidates are ones that will … To apply once you go through the proper H.R. protocol which is to say you submit your application, you submit your C.V. and cover letter, I think the candidates that stand out among the rest are those that have taken the time to understand our business, to understand a little bit about our culture, and then of course tailor their candidacy to show how they would fit in or excel in our particular business.

Applicants who more or less just send in their C.V. and a generic remark about how they would like to work here don't really interest us. I think for us as a small growing company we really do need to hire people who are all in, like who are committed to what it is that we do, and who would feel like they would appreciate and thrive in our culture.

Chris Pyak:         Great. We talked about two roles, now you also have a creative role. Maybe we finish with this one.

David Kim:         Okay. Yes indeed, so we have a role for a graphic designer but funnily enough graphic design isn't the main purpose of this role. We're really looking for a creative type. And so while it is important to have graphic design chops to really understand things like how to design a logo, how to formulate a design scheme really what we're looking for is somebody who can contribute to our creative department.

And in that regard we need somebody who understands what a creative marketing activation is and one that really pertains to the kind of video game entertainment space in which we operate.

Chris Pyak:         Final question from my side, is there anything that I did not ask you that you wished I would have asked you?

David Kim:         No, nothing in particular. I mean I think I could speak generally a little bit about Nevaly and kind of where we are in our growth phase. As I alluded to you we're sort of a young company, we're growing.

We're really looking to bring on the right types of people and by right types of people I mean people who would really genuinely love to be a part of our industry, to be a part of that sort of social influencer video game entertainment pop culture space a who love the challenge of getting their hands into lots of different projects, who can thrive in a company environment in which there are no rules sometimes like where the structure is still being formed in some cases.

So yeah, we're just looking for the right sort of adventurous and passionate types.

Chris Pyak:         Great. And talking about passion, there's the last question coming in from 4149 Tobby. “Hi David and Chris. I've created a presentation based on my source on the future of Nevaly and sports. My question is, would you be open to hiring someone from the U.K. who would be interested?”

David Kim:         Absolutely. Absolutely, and I would love to see the presentation. We're always open to new ideas.

Chris Pyak:         Which brings me to my final question. Those people who are listening who are interested to work for you, where can they go to reach out to you to send their job applications?

David Kim:         Well, they can visit our website www.nevaly.com and there they can get a sense a little bit about our culture. Bit of a copy on our website is being revamped, we will have actually a new website in the next month or so but that would be a good starting point. And they can also visit the website of our sister company Ad2games where they will also learn a little bit about the company from which Nevaly was born.

Chris Pyak:         Thank you very much David Kim, C.E.O of Nevaly. If you like to listen to more employers here in Germany who are high end English and offer great jobs then please subscribe to the “Immigrant Spirit” podcast at pyak.eu/podcast, that's pyak.ue/podcast. My name is Chris Pyak, and I'm very grateful that you joined tonight. Also many thanks to you David and I hope you get great applications from great people.

David Kim:         Thank you Chris. It was a pleasure to be on.

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