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Bringing in DACH-up: a Q&A with our Head of DACH, Søren Kristensen.

We chat to our man with the plan.

Soeren kristensen

We recently welcomed Søren Kristensen to Fox Agency as new Client Strategy Director and Head of DACH. In this Q&A, Søren reveals his plans to deliver global value for clients through his work in Germany. 


Tell us about your career before you joined Fox Agency. 

I have worked for 25 years in various management functions. I’ve been head of marketing, product management, technical documentation and training functions for B2B industrial companies, including TRW, Trelleborg and TMD Friction.  

Early in my career I worked agency side, but most of my professional life has been on the client side. I have focused on building strategies and structures to get projects implemented, managed and measured. Getting results for the business, rather than the pure execution itself.  


Why Fox Agency and why now? 

I have worked with Fox as my agency partner for a couple of years. I was the VP of Global Marketing, Brand Strategy and Communications at a company on the Fox client list.  

Ben and the team have done a great job building their client portfolio. Fox addresses a very specific segment in the market: B2B businesses that need to grow their position outside of their home markets. So, when Ben asked me if I would help build Fox Agency in the DACH region, I was thrilled.  

From a professional standpoint, I know that there is a massive need for German-based companies to strengthen their communication, marketing processes and local implementation. And from my personal perspective, I enjoy making a difference. I know that combining my background in the corporate world with Fox Agency’s expertise can help our clients achieve their business objectives. 


What does your new role as Client Strategy Director and Head of DACH involve? 

The title itself is pretty self-explanatory. The first main aspect of my new role is to help clients and the Fox team realise business strategy in the form of marketing and communication activities. Ensure that our activities create as much real value for our clients as possible, and making it as easy as possible for the client to implement and track the performance of those activities.  

The second aspect of the role is related to the Fox business development in Germany. This involves supporting existing Fox clients and developing relationships with companies based in the DACH region. The differences in culture and business processes are present across all markets. Having people on the ground in Germany will give us a unique offering – a native English speaking creative team and a German-speaking client interface.  


What will this new role mean for clients? 

An even better integration between strategy, creation, implementation and performance monitoring. We will be putting emphasis on driving value creation for their business. This means adding more aspects to our services. Providing great creative work is good, delivering marketing results is even better. 


Why was Düsseldorf chosen as the first Fox Agency office location outside of the UK? 

Germany is the world’s fourth-largest economy and the DACH region is home to big B2B businesses. The engineering culture of DACH has nurtured tech industries. These businesses are highly specialised, world leaders in automotive, health technology, machinery and more.  

DACH is a key market for almost every business in Europe. This is especially true for Fox clients, who are working on a global level. In fact, we already have clients with headquarters in Germany, they value us because of our capabilities for international implementation from the get-go.  

We chose the Düsseldorf location based on a variety of criteria:  

  • Proximity to various industrial hubs 
  • Excellent infrastructure for travelling inside of Germany 
  • Availability of talent for further growth of the local team over time 

By applying the same working style as in the London and Leeds offices, we’ll make sure that the Fox Agency culture and drive is ingrained from day one. 


What plans do you have to grow the team in Germany? 

We are very ambitious about growing the business in the DACH region. Of course, this means bringing the right people on board at the right time. We’re on a growth path and the exact form of the team will depend on client requirements as we engage with them. In the short term, we will focus on consulting and client service development. 

The opportunities are quite big in Germany. We are not the first and only agency in the market but we offer something unique, which is a native Englishspeaking creative team. It can be quite difficult to find native Englishspeaking copywriters and concept developers in Germany. Most Germans speak reasonably good “European business English”, but that is definitely not the same as native command. I know from experience that you lose a little bit every time you translate. Going English-to-local language provides better and more concise local implementation. 

The DACH region has a lot of B2B tech companies. A lot of the global companies depend on “made in Germany” tech. Apple uses 767 German-based companies as technology solution providers. Germany is the world’s largest manufacturer of medical devices and has a wide range of deep tech businesses.  

These German businesses, while not household names, are prerequisites for the production of the end consumer tech that are. Ever heard of ZEISS SMT? Maybe not, but they build one of the most complex machines in the world. This machine is vital in manufacturing the microchips that make up our phones, computers and much more. 

Our focus on B2B tech, experience in taking B2B brands from local to global, and expertise in creating high performance content will unlock so many opportunities in the region. 


What has been your biggest professional achievement to date? 

This is a difficult question to answer. The journey towards a seemingly impossible goal has given me the biggest satisfaction. I am proud when I build a team spirit and develop individuals to becoming even better than they thought they could ever be.  

When I see former team members growing and delivering results while continuing to be really nice people, I feel I have succeeded as a leader. When they come back years later, telling me what a joy it was to work in my team, it still touches me deeply.  


What do you love about working with clients? 

I’m a very curious person. I enjoy getting into the details of a client business. And by asking a lot of questions from an outside perspective, clients often start to question whether their own processes and strategies still make sense. Working with them to find a better way is very rewarding. To quote the A-Team: “I love it when a plan comes together”. 


You’ve worked both agency side and client side, what are the key differences and what have you learnt from these experiences? 

Agency and client side are two different worlds, that sometimes speak two entirely different languages.  

The agency world is faster, but more on the surface of the client business. Whereas the client world is slower, but a lot deeper. Things that seem really important in the agency world are only used client side for the marketing department’s internal KPIs.   

Client side is far more focused on business-critical aspects such as profitability, sales performance and cost management. The “usual” marketing KPIs do not translate: it’s difficult to say how much sales will grow with a 1% increase in brand awareness.  

In my personal experience, marketing departments need to improve how they demonstrate the impact of their work in clear business terms. It’s a lot easier to ask for a budget increase if you can prove an increase in sales qualified leads. Similarly, if the marketing department cannot document performance, it can be the first place where costs are optimised. 


What advice would you give to your younger self about working with clients in an agency world? 

Ask more questions and find out the real meaning behind a brief! Briefs can sometimes be papering over a small crack in the business rather than dealing with the real root cause of a problem. Is a new corporate website really the best way to deal with a bad image? Wouldn’t it be better to consider PR activities or customer events?  

The better you understand the real issue, the better the solutions you can develop. When you can solve the real issue, you quickly become very difficult to replace. 


How are you feeling about your new position at Fox Agency? 

I’m excited. Joining forces with the Fox team is perfect for me. Together, we can create a whole new level of value for our clients. Our strong creative suite, motivated client service team, combined with my experience inside the corporate environment, gives us a sharp competitive edge both in the UK and in the DACH region.