ANALYSIS: HOW TO SELL TO ... Damian Blackden - Zenith’s new-media man was once an utter banker, Lexie Goddard discovers

The Damian Blackden of five years ago would have relished shouting his mouth off about clubs, music and what really hacks him off about sales people.

The Damian Blackden of five years ago would have relished shouting

his mouth off about clubs, music and what really hacks him off about

sales people.



Now, however, at a mature 33 ’and a half’, Blackden’s ’arrogant, ’I work

for an agency’ phase’’ is over and he’s choosing his words with

care.



He fears coming across ’like a wanker’, or alienating his new-media

sales contacts.



So here’s what he wants you to know. He joined Zenith as a 21- year-old

graduate after a particularly unfulfilling job at a bank.



He is now the managing partner of Zenith Interactive Solutions, the

new-media arm of Zenith, which opened its doors for business in

January.



Blackden reports to Chris Ketley, the managing director of Zenith

Interactive and former marketing director of Amazon. He has a team of

nine, including three internet strategists: Jason Carter, Marco Bertozzi

and the fantastically named Swati Lad (with a surname like that she was

surely born to work in sales).



Blackden is also hiring like crazy, so don’t be surprised if the Zenith

Interactive team has doubled in size by the arrival of the Christmas

party season.



Zenith Interactive’s main clients are Lloyds TSB, Littlewoods’ Bet 24/7,

BMW, Halifax, the PC company Viglen and the Association of Investment

Trust Companies.



Ninety per cent of Blackden’s time is spent planning and buying online

campaigns and negotiating third-party content agreements.



The remainder is devoted to interactive TV - expect some announcements

soon - and WAP, although Blackden is sceptical that mobile phones are an

ad medium to be reckoned with, yet.



Outside work? It’s a bit like getting blood out of a stone, but Blackden

is definitely not your Arsenal supporting, golfing type.



He doesn’t go out on the razz any more - ’the recovery time is too long’

- but the Fulham-dweller is partial to a drink. Quaffing takes place

either after work at Zenith’s shifty-looking local The Dudley Arms or on

a Saturday night in Clapham or Brixton with his mates and his missus -

an account planner at Lowe Direct.



Blackden adds that he likes ’trying new things’, a comment he

tantalisingly refuses to elaborate upon. That’s all I’m getting so I

guess I must be grateful.





LIKES



- His wife’s flat stomach



- Short, concise proposals



- Being lazy



DISLIKES



- Sport



- Time wasters



- Liars.



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