Employee Spotlight – Aleksander Antsiferov
What do you do at travel audience?
My job title is Airline Sales Manager and well, I sell to airlines our digital advertising and travel audience meta connect solutions.
How does this help the travelers?
I was always skeptical about the advertising industry in general. However, I’ve come to understand the necessity of advertising for business and advantages for customers.
From the business perspective — I like to compare advertising with watering a garden. If the plants in your garden are strong and the climate is mild, the fruit will grow just fine. But if you want to boost production in a harsh, competitive environment, you need irrigation. So, if you want to grow the business, you need advertising.
From the customer perspective, advertising can be useful – it just has to become more clever. Here’s an example: when I’m looking for a new jacket or planning my next ski trip, I usually don’t mind a little inspiration or learning about a super sale on flights to Innsbruck. However, after I finish shopping for jackets or flights online, I keep seeing irrelevant and annoying banners for at least a month, offering me clothes I already have and business class flights to Zurich I don’t need.
I hope this will improve. We at travel audience are working on it by using travel intent data and building customer profiles to make advertising more relevant.
Tell us about your background?
I have a university degree in marketing and I worked in advertising and B2B marketing for a while. But I always kept looking towards IT and online topics, and when I got a chance to work as a project manager in an e-commerce company, I immediately took it.
It was a while ago, and I’m proud to see that the services I helped build are still in use after 9 years (which is a long time for the Internet). Later, I switched to focus on the domain of online travel.
Why did you choose the travel industry?
Well, someday back in 2011, I received an offer to work for Aviasales, a travel startup based in Phuket, Thailand. Who would turn down such a cool idea? Since then, the startup has grown into a leading travel metasearch website, and I’ve come to love the industry.
What is your big project at travel audience?
travel audience meta connect of course! It is a very cool and totally unique product. It allows travel metasearch websites like Momondo to show the airline website prices and send users directly to these websites, earning commissions in the process. Basically, it’s a combination of an affiliate network and fare search service, which no one else in the market offers.
When I worked at a metasearch, I could only dream about such a service. So, I’m really happy to help develop one now. What’s more, working with travel audience meta connect, I know we are creating something long-lasting, which offers a lot of value to both businesses and their customers.
How long have you been working at travel audience?
Since March 2016.
Why did you choose travel audience?
We (my wife Anna and I) had the idea of moving to Berlin, so we started looking for jobs here. There are several interesting online travel companies based in Berlin, but travel audience was the most interesting and most responsive of them all. We’ve been a good fit!
What is the best thing about your job?
Working with colleagues from 24 different countries is cool! I’ve never been part of such a multinational work environment before. Also, here I feel that my knowledge and experience is appreciated and put to good use.
Why did you choose Berlin?
I’m a big city person, which I realized after living in Phuket for a couple of years. I’ve been to many European and Asian cities (and a couple US cities too).
Berlin has all the advantages: not too far from my homeland, good climate, interesting people, beautiful forests and lakes and very reasonable cost of living. More than that, I find Berlin to be the most welcoming and inspiring city to live in so far. It’s just amazing how it can combine the sense of German Ordnung with a relaxing way of life.
Tell us about your work with Amadeus. Do you have a lot of contact with your colleagues around the globe?
Oh yes. I work closely with airline account managers and IT solution managers from Amadeus, who are located anywhere. Our clients also come from diverse parts of the world. In one of my previous jobs, I worked with a client with a 12-hour time difference and I thought it was tricky. Here, sometimes we have conference calls with USA and New Zealand at the same time …
What is your favourite travel destination?
Mt. Elbrus and its surroundings. It’s in Kabardino-Balkariya republic in the Russian Federation. By the way, it’s the highest peak in Europe at 5642m. I dream of bringing my foreign friends there on a snowboarding trip!
What is your travel tip?
If you wear a hoodie on a plane, you can listen to music during take-off and landing. Just put the hood up, so the flight attendant doesn’t see your headphones.