“Edenspiekermann really makes a difference helping clients with their innovative methodology"

After almost nine years of running Edenspiekermann, Jeroen Pluim is moving on to make way for new entrepreneurial leadership. From the first of December Vanessa Flink will take over Jeroen’s position in the company. After mostly working in corporate environments, this will be her first stint running an agency. “I think with my business background I can be valuable. I have seen from my own experience how important design thinking can be to really create value and move brands forward to become or remain relevant.”

Vanessa Flink
I want to dedicate myself at Edenspiekermann to help companies with their strategic transformation.Vanessa Flink

Who is Vanessa Flink? Can you introduce yourself please?

I studied Economics & International Management in Maastricht and have worked in various leadership roles in companies where service is the cornerstone of the business. I have worked in telecommunications, banking and the educational sector. Furthermore, I coach several startups and I help owners of small and medium businesses to redefine their business goals.

Can you elaborate on the roles you had?

I have always worked on the commercial side of the business, specifically marketing & communication and marketing & sales. And I have worked in various roles as a marketing manager, commercial director and consultant.

Why the transfer from a more corporate environment to a design consultancy?

I find the entire interface of marketing, branding and technical innovation a very interesting domain and in my opinion that really comes together at Edenspiekermann. I like to use the experience I gained on the commercial side in this new role. How can I help companies with their digital transformation and become more customer-oriented? It is certainly a different world with a different perspective where I think with my business background I can be valuable. I have seen from my own experience how important design thinking can be to really create value and move brands forward to become or remain relevant. I know how it works when agencies are being approached by large companies and I think I can translate very well what the other side needs to do business with Edenspiekermann.

Do you have experience in this?

In previous roles I have always been concerned with how to best shape a digital transformation.How do you put a brand on the map differently and how can you bring in more customer focus? I have for example helped several companies to professionalize their sales, services and marketing teams, with the goal to realize sustainable growth from a customer experience perspective.

What attracted you to Edenspiekermann?

The total package. They are making an impact through their design-driven approach which always is strategically well thought through. They do that in a forward thinking way, which I have not often seen with other companies. Also the image of the company, the people that work there and the focus on the substantive approach. I have worked with a lot of different agencies over the past fifteen years and it’s very nice to see how Edenspiekermann really makes a difference helping their clients with their innovative methodology and absolutely delivering top of the bill solutions. There aren’t many agencies that do it this progressive and I am looking forward to being a part of this.

What is your vision on all of this?

I see a lot of potential in the mobility domain for example and I am looking forward to defining how we could expand that even further. I also see that a lot of companies underestimate how powerful communication can be if you take a more integrated approach and really focus on the customer and their experience. We could help customers by showing them the strength of a holistic approach by using systems thinking and/or design thinking methodologies to ultimately enable them to realize a more integrated commercial approach. There is still a world to be won by streamlining that process. In this extremely fragmented landscape it is really hard for a company to create enduring value with their proposition. They often have a hard time to (technically) organize this. And from a strategic point of view, many companies do not know how best to shape this. I believe that we can certainly play a role in this with Edenspiekermann.

What do you expect from working at an agency?

It is funny that it’s seen as something completely different, because on the business side you naturally also want your customer to be satisfied with your service. That is of course not different here, only the target group is different. There will undoubtedly be more differences, but in the end we also provide a certain service and we have to do that as well and progressively as possible for our customers. I also think there are opportunities to market Edenspiekermann more and better.

What do you mean?

I think our customers obviously know who we are and what we deliver, but I also have noticed that there are many parties who don’t know yet who we are.

Do you already have ideas about that?

We will have to have a closer look at that, but I think that we can come up with a nice content format for that. We can then push that in a tight and targeted manner. I am sure that there are lots of opportunities there, but of course it needs to be tied in with the DNA of Edenspiekermann.

Are there other experiences that you bring with you from previous positions that could come in handy at Edenspiekermann?

At all the other roles I have had I have been involved in marketing and branding. And then mainly how to market your brand in a good way. In addition, I expect my management skills will come in handy. I believe the battle that will be getting even more fierce in the near future is getting and keeping good professionals. The way you manage them is key to running a successful company.

How would you describe yourself as a manager?

I get energized by getting the best out of people and like to do this in a facilitating and coaching way, giving professionals a lot of space and confidence. I am an organizer and people oriented person and equality is one of my main values. Next to this I can certainly be described as performance driven and I am always looking at all the options available in the process to make things better.

What further learnings will you take with you that can contribute to the success of Edenspiekermann?

In all the jobs I have done before, I really learned that to be successful you need to connect and work with the right people. And of course you need to have a good strategy. If you then attach the right people, resources and budgets to it and organize it structurally, you will make progress. Of course you also need perseverance to succeed. If you manage to do that all together, with the customer as a partner in crime, you can make an enormous impact.

Do you have an example of how you did this?

At Iddink, a large education firm, I completely harmonized all sales, service and marketing processes and made them future proof. At the time,due to various acquisitions, the company internally consisted of five different companies with five different cultures. The challenge was to bring it all together and manage the resistance I experienced because things were going to be done differently. It was a tough process, but it proved successful in the end.

This sounds like a strategic transformation.

That’s right. It was and that is really what I want to dedicate myself to at Edenspiekermann. To help companies with their strategic transformation. I think we can show corporations a perspective and what that means for the change of an organization.

What does your success look like?

I think we need to further explore the course we have taken and ultimately be seen as the expert in a number of domains. I want companies to immediately think of Edenspiekermann if they want to change something in the digital strategic transformation. For example in the domain of health, mobility and perhaps education. I especially want to look at certain sectors that are interesting and who have a close relationship to health and mobility. When we can make the world a little better with our solutions we have fulfilled some of our purposes.

So continue on the chosen path and shift some accents here and there?

Yes, we definitely need to look closely at where the market is moving and where we would like to broaden our expertise and enlarge partnerships with the goal to help businesses find their full potential. I would also like to intensify our cooperation with Germany and America. To enable better learning from each other and cross-integrate expertises from the various offices

Curious about our methodology? Let’s have a coffee. You can call or email me: +31 6 5375 7830 or