CAREERS: Job interview

Name Tim Schiffers

Company BCA Interactive

Job Director

Age 32

How did you get into marketing?

I started in the corporate development department of Bertelsmann. My

projects were focused on our publishing house and the mail order


I then joined Bertelsmann Publishing Group where I developed CD-ROM and

online businesses, and with this background experience I moved on to

building e-commerce business for BCA.

What was your motivation for joining BCA?

Having worked on the internet content side before, it was an interesting

step to be involved in e-commerce. BCA had not done anything in this

field yet so I was able to develop it from scratch.

What are the challenges that BCA faces in its sector?

We have to provide customers with the best book-buying experience

possible, catering for different interests, making selections and giving

recommendations, by interacting with customers through a variety of


What is the greatest challenge facing the bookselling sector?

The greatest challenge must be running a profitable business in a market

with brutal competition between major players: book chains,

supermarkets, internet retailers and aggressive mail order


What was your most recent marketing campaign?

At every given point we run a large variety of campaigns, but recently

we have done a lot around the Harry Potter hype: normal site

advertising, editorial site integrations, e-mails, newsletters,

dedicated offers and special customer recruitment sites.

What do you enjoy most/least about your working environment?

Most - a lot of entrepreneurial freedom, including the opportunity to

run and develop the business. Least - as the business is complex you

have to depend on IT a lot, and that can be tricky.

What individual has influenced you most in your career?

Steffen Naumann - until recently the chief financial officer at Random

House - and now doing the same at Axel Springer Verlag. I used to work

for him at Bertelsmann corporate development and learned from him how to

work in a very structural and conceptual way.

Where do you see yourself in ten years' time?

Ideally on the beaches around Barcelona, but if still at work, I would

love to be heading up a bigger media company.

What do you look for in the people you do business with?

People that, regardless of job role and level, give their all and try to

excel in everything that they do.

What would be the one piece of career advice you would give?

Don't plan your career path too rigidly. Plan the general direction and

the next level you would like to reach, but always leave yourself open

to opportunities.

What has been your biggest mistake?

Going straight from school to college and then immediately on to work

without taking time out for myself in order to travel the world (without

being on business).

What has been your biggest achievement?

Being able to create the foundation work for, and actually building up

two businesses from scratch.

What do you do to unwind?

Sport of all kinds. I especially enjoy tennis and running, but my love

is skiing. I find physical exercise the best form of stress release. I

also really enjoy museums and exhibitions.



Consultant, Bertelsmann


Head of new media, Falk


Publishing director, Falk


Business manager, BCA


Director, BCA Interactive


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