It’s been almost a year since Michael took his next career step via consultingheads: from an international strategy consultancy to a family-run boutique consultancy for marketing and sales. In an interview, Michael talked about his transition and the marketing challenges he faces on a daily basis. Enjoy reading his success story!
This article might also interest you: Interview with Stefanie zur Horst (Senior Director at Simon-Kucher & Partners)
Michael’s success story
Would you like to introduce yourself to our users? How has your career been so far? What is your expertise?
After completing my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in “International Business Management” with a focus on strategy and marketing, I moved into management consulting. Today I work as a consultant for marketing and sales with a focus on consumer goods and retail. In this position, I work across departments with marketing, sales, purchasing, controlling and, due to the wave of digitalization, partly with IT as well.
How did you come to consultingheads and why did you sign up with us?
After your studies, you joined Simon-Kucher & Partners and then moved to CSP Consultants via us. How was the change for you and what has changed for you since then?
The change was thematically quite unproblematic, as tasks, projects and customers are similar. The working methods and communication are also comparable.
The main difference is the size of the consultation. While at Simon-Kucher & Partners over 1,000 consultants are active internationally, we at CSP Consultants we are only one hundredth the size and mainly represented in Germany. This is particularly noticeable in the short distances and the responsibility that you take on from the very beginning. The processes that need to be defined in a large company in order to function efficiently also differ from those in smaller companies. This can be time-consuming, but also offers the possibility to change and design something yourself.
How did your placement process work through consultingheads? Were there any features or parts in the process that you particularly liked?
I found the contact with the regular calls and emails very pleasant and informative.
I found the focus consultingheads put on the profiling questions particularly exciting. And since it ended up being successful, I think they did a good job. 😊
Now you have been with CSP Consultants in Cologne since June last year. Can you briefly introduce your company to us? What makes CSP Consultants different for you?
CSP Consultants is a boutique marketing and sales consultancy. We focus on branded goods suppliers and retailers in the consumer and durable goods sector.
We find solutions that can be implemented and do not end up on paper. It is qualities like passion, collaboration, honesty and authenticity that set us apart. The work at CSP Consultants is characterized by the familiar contact in the team and the short distances.
And what exactly are your areas of responsibility? What kind of projects and clients do you manage at CSP Consultants?
As a consultant, my tasks correspond to the classic picture: analyzing, researching and preparing presentations. This requires close coordination with the customer, which is why I often ask for and obtain information on site.
Depending on the request, however, it may also be training courses for clerks to simplify the implementation of new concepts and systems.
Like CSP Consultants, you focus on marketing and pricing issues. What are challenges that companies face in these areas? And how do you see the future development?
This is a difficult question.
As a general rule, I would always first differentiate in which direction the pricing goes – to the end consumer or to the retailer, for example.
In the case of dealer prices, the great complexity of conditions and the sometimes historical and deliberate lack of transparency is a permanent challenge with great potential for achieving noticeable improvements.
Among end consumers, increasing knowledge through price comparisons and reviews, the perception of fairness, and also media interest are points that make it difficult to change/increase prices in our industries.
We found this quote from you on the CSP website found In an article on digital transformation in consulting, we argue that consultants will no longer be responsible for data procurement and analysis in the future. Instead, it will be automatic with the help of A.I. and Big Data software. How do you see that and the role of the consultant in the future?
I find the thesis exciting and can also gain something from it. On the categorical “no longer” being responsible for analysis, I would disagree in that I think the responsibility is more likely to shift to interpretation. For this, each consultant needs the basic understanding about the software to either intervene or to include soft/qualitative factors that cannot be directly detected by the machine.
What tip would you give to young consultants in particular who are looking to change companies?
Prepare questions for the conversations that are important to you beyond the content topics, and have the confidence to ask them. Only with this information and your gut feeling will you make the right decision for you.
Thank you, Michael, for your insights! We wish you continued success in your career!