Marty-Trezzini: Sabrina Huwiler becomes "Director of Growth

Since the beginning of February, Sabrina Huwiler has been "Director of Growth" at the up-and-coming Zurich agency Marty-Trezzini. In this inaugural interview, she talks about her plans for the company - and the difference between startups and network agencies. Sabrina Huwiler, congratulations on your new position! After various positions at Sir Mary and Dept, you are now working as "Director of Growth" for Marty-Trezzini. How did this come about? 

Sabrina Huwiler: Funnily enough, I've known Yves (Marty, editor's note) since I was a teenager. A loose contact continued over the years; and at some point I saw on LinkedIn that Yves had founded an agency together with Gianluca (Trezzini, editor's note). I was immediately excited - the boutique approach, the website, it all just seemed ... "different." Fresh, unconventional. And: the work was the focus, not a cult around the people behind it. Yves and I then met for a coffee - it "matched" right away. At that time, however, I still wanted to support my existing employer in important projects, so it took a while before I was finally able to accept Marty-Trezzini's offer. And now I'm really happy to be here! 

What are the responsibilities of your position as "Director of Growth"? 

On the one hand, I am responsible for implementing or optimizing internal processes - and on the other hand, for helping to shape the image of the agency to the outside world in such a way that sustainable growth is possible.

In just a few years, Marty-Trezzini has gone from being a pure production company to - according to its online presence - a "creative house bringing strategy, creation and production together". The team now numbers ten people. Do you now plan to scale up further? 

Scaling is certainly an option, but I have already emphasized: sustainable growth is our absolute priority. There is practically a short-, a medium- and a long-term strategy, all of which have to run in parallel. In the short term, existing processes must be improved and new processes established in order to keep the structures in the agency lean, the hierarchies flat and the decision-making processes uncomplicated. In the medium term, we have to prepare ourselves for the fact that - if the great development of the past years continues - we will get new colleagues for whom there should then be "room"; both in the physical and in the organizational sense. And in the long term, we have to think about how the "initial spirit" of Marty-Trezzini can be preserved, even as the company grows.

You mentioned the agency's external image: How is Marty Trezzini currently perceived, and where do you want to go? 

There are still some clients and market companions who see us primarily as a production company - that's how Marty-Trezzini started a few years ago. But today we are much more advanced: we do creation, conception, strategy, campaign architecture ... and still production. This combination makes us unique. We say, "If a creative agency and a production company had a lovechild - that's us!" And we want to communicate that even more strongly. 

How do you define the "spirit" you spoke of earlier - and which you want to help preserve? 

Yves and Gianluca don't come from the marketing or communications industry. They founded this agency out of passion and curiosity; without knowing how to "do something like this normally" - and had to teach themselves everything. How does a pitch work? How do you write a proposal? They learned to trust their gut feeling, and I think that's what distinguishes all of us today: No one in the agency thinks anything of complicating projects unnecessarily. We talk about ideas at eye level, we are authentic and transparent in our communication with our clients, and then ... we just go through with it (laughs). 

You accompanied Sir Mary in the start-up phase and then experienced the established structures of a global network agency at Dept. I'll just assume you enjoy the former more?!

I find that it's more fun to work in a company where you're not the "smallest fish"; where you're valued and seen - and where you really know what assets the individual brings to the table. It's the nature of networking agencies that the individual tends to take a back seat to the job - except perhaps for the top executives. That's totally okay, too, and for many people that may be fulfilling. I'm just quite ambitious by type and want to achieve something - so it's nice for me to be in a place where that's possible. 

What constitutes successful advertising; successful communication for you? 

That's a difficult question, because of course it also depends on the circumstances under which advertising or communication takes place. What is the goal, what is the purpose - what do the clients want to achieve, what does the agency want to "say"? All these factors influence the answer. If I have to make a very personal statement ... I usually find simple, clever communication the best. I like it when messages are reduced to the essentials; you don't have to rack your brains over what this or that actually means. I also like it when companies pursue a purpose, have clear values - and dare to show that. That impresses me. And I like it when advertising "decelerates" an already hectic everyday life.

I don't think I've heard that before. Can you elaborate on that? 

Sometimes you stand in front of a poster that is particularly aesthetically pleasing - and pause for a moment, almost as if in front of a work of art. Or you laugh at a clip you see on YouTube. Or a copy that you read in print somewhere. Then advertising is like a little break in everyday life, and I think that's great. 

Personal details: Sabrina Huwiler holds a degree in Business Administration HF and has already gained experience in the marketing and communications industry at several renowned agencies: First she was employed at Sir Mary as Junior Account Manager and Account Manager; then she moved to Dept. as Consultant Digital Marketing and Digital Business Development Manager. Since February 2023 she is Director of Growth at the Zurich agency Marty-Trezzini. 

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