You might have heard it through the grapevine: Erik Mastenbroek recently joined our Blastic family to focus on developing the Dutch market. About time that we sit down together and have a coffee, so I can ask him all of my burning questions.
Are you ready to get to know Erik? Let’s dive in – 7 facts about Erik Mastenbroek.
First things first: tell me a bit more about yourself. Who is Erik? “I’m a very positive and energetic person. I love marketing & sales, sometimes a little too much. My friends always get annoyed with me when I keep talking about work at birthday parties (laughs). I’m a proud dad of three boys, and I’m married to the love of my life, Anouk.
I’m also a very creative person. Not in the picture drawing sense – I believe that my creativity shows itself when I’m thinking about solutions. Sounds cliché, but it’s true! I love a good challenge as well. When things get too easy, I get bored. Sometimes I put myself in the background, but you can mostly find me in the spotlights, where I feel most comfortable.”
Talking about feeling comfortable: I’ve heard you’re a bit of a chameleon? “Yes, I guess I am. I’m very interested in people: how they think, how they behave… To really understand your customers or colleagues, I do believe that you need to adapt as much as possible to them, not vice versa.
For example, I’ve worked abroad for the last ten years. Working with international sales and marketing teams means people working together with different skills, experiences and different business cultures. Focusing on the mission, while creating coherence, was my top priority. As a marketing manager, you need to keep your own team happy, as well as your CFO and CEO. I’ve worked with people from Finland, Germany, France, England and other European countries: I always felt so inspired. It’s interesting to know ‘why we do it’, but also ‘how we do it’. So yes: stepping into the shoes of the ‘customer’ and understanding their needs is definitely chameleon behavior (laughs)."
How did you get to know Blastic? “I worked with Blastic, five years ago, as marketing director for Dom Security, I was a customer. We were on the verge of a digital transformation that I had to lead. I had an international team that was spread over Europe. We were looking for a partner to help us with this transformation, and I felt a huge amount of trust when talking to Blastic.
This digital transformation was such a learning curve; we expected the website to be built in 3 months (laughs). After that first website, we worked on many more together. We learned to trust each other, and that’s something you never forget. That’s why today, I’m happy and proud to join Blastic myself – a lovely bunch of people that is so knowledgeable and trustworthy.”
What are your ambitions for the Netherlands? “In the beginning, I’ll focus on networking. The news of my appointment is spreading like a fire. People are already reaching out. The market is still huge: many websites were built in an attic, and 10 years later, by a small company of 2-3 people. Today we are approaching 2021, and companies are ready for a digital marketing platform. After all that networking, we’ll start building and accelerating those platforms.”
“What success means to me? Setting goals together and reaching them, together. For Blastic in the Netherlands, I’ll be happy to acquire 10 customers and to learn new things. Of course, we already have a tremendous amount of knowledge in Belgium that we can take on board, but I’m sure we’ll learn lots of new things as well.”
“I always had the dream to make one solo trip: no plans, no company: just me, myself and I. During my sabbatical, I took the opportunity. I flew to Zurich and took the train to Austria, skied and walked around. After 5 days, it was time to go home. I’m a social animal after all (laughs).
I also spent a lot more time with my kids. For the first time, I took them to school and picked them up afterwards. I’m extremely lucky with my family: without my wonderful wife Anouk, I’d never been able to work and travel the way that I did. My kids never made me feel guilty about it neither. I told my kids about Blastic, and they were thrilled. They understand that I’m going back to work fulltime. The only difference? Instead of staying in hotels across Europe, I’ll be sleeping at home more often.”
To wrap up our interview, I asked Erik about his parents and childhood. “I’m an only child, coming from a working-class family. I’m very proud of my parents, they’ve taught me a lot about work ethics. My father used to work overtime and extra hours so we could afford the fun things, like going on a holiday once a year. My motto is work hard, play hard: do you want a nice life? Then you’ll have to work hard to be able to afford that.”
We hope that you liked learning more about Erik. As he stated, it’s nice to talk about personal things before getting down to business. You can contact Erik via erik.mastenbroek(@)Blastic.be for some coffee – he’ll bring the stroopwafels.