Me In Merkle is a series of interviews that showcase the incredible individuals who make Merkle a unique and diverse place to work. This week we chatted to Agon Koshi, senior lead, paid social, at Merkle.
1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I was born in a small town called Gjakova, Kosovo. For those who are unfamiliar with where this is, it’s a very beautiful country in the Balkan. Me and my immediate family fled Kosovo when I was very young due to the conflict occurring in the late 90s. I was only 6 when I came over to the UK as a refugee and London has been my home ever since. I didn’t know a single word of English, and it’s also the reason why my accent is a little funky too. London is a city which I genuinely love and have a very close connection with, originally living in East London, Dalston (before it became trendy I must say) then moving to the most diverse area in London, Camden, where I grew up and have lived ever since.
2. What drew you to your current career?
Marketing and advertising has always fascinated me from a young age and I have had an extreme fondness for adverts and the concept of getting a message across in the most creative and connecting way. From the breaks during TV programs, to actually turning up to the cinema early to make sure I see all the ads before trailers, it’s an industry that I’ve always wanted to be a part of. Reflecting back, working in marketing has been a consistent goal, even from the subjects I had chosen at secondary/high school, 6th form and university. I just didn’t know how versatile and different the multiple roles played within it and this is what keeps me eager and engaged.
4. Why Merkle?
Having worked across two huge agencies, both WPP at Wavemaker and Publicis at Zenith, Dentsu had captured my attention as an agency which I would also like to work for as another conglomerate to add to the roster, as both previous agencies felt very different. Merkle was in the midst of transitioning into Dentsu but when researching and asking friends who work in the industry, the reaction and reputation was outstandingly positive which really captured my attention as I did not know anything about Merkle before joining – the rest is history. It is ludicrous to think that I only joined Merkle in March of 2021 but genuinely feel welcomed every single day I walk into the office and across all departments, which is a testament to the open hearted culture Merkle upholds. Although Merkle is a huge organisation, it does not feel like you are a tiny cog in a massive machine but certainly an essential part to an very well-oiled luxury jet.
5. Tell us a bit more about your day-to-day.
Very cliché, not a single day is the same! As someone who loves to be kept busy, Merkle certainly give you the opportunity to be involved in multiple projects as well as give you autonomy with clients relationships. Having a lead title, the majority of my time is spent ensuring that client paid social strategy is consistently evolving and being worked on. Currently a lot of time is spent in educating and working together with different platforms to diversify my clients’ paid social activity in addition to preparing for the cookie-less world we are entering in the year to come. Although I have a lead title, managing teams is a huge part of my day to day, not only across the amazing client teams I work on but my internal team which currently consists of 3 awesome individuals, providing support to navigate their progression and careers.
6. What do you enjoy most about Paid Social? And what do you think future developments will be?
It is consistently developing and evolving! With new platforms such as TikTok taking the world by storm, paid social has become an essential part of how people communicate on a daily basis which is really exciting to be a big part of. As the world of paid social is maturing, it’s something which certainly keep everyone on their toes and brings around the challenge of how to stay innovative. From a personal stance, there is not a single person I know who doesn’t have a social media account or uses at least one of the top 5 platforms to connect with the world, which should hopefully keep me in a job for a good few years. If the last few years have taught all of us a lesson, its that humans can be extremely adaptable and that the future is very unpredictable. However one recurring theme which I think will be ever so important is the development of AR, and I believe that paid social will help to shape the beast that is to come, stay tuned people!
7. What would your advice be to somebody considering a career in Paid Social?
It’s a fantastic opportunity to grow a multitude of transferable skill sets including,
- Platform specialisms
- Opportunity to work on upper and lower funnel
- Team work
- Presentation skills
Development is intensely quick, and you should not take this for granted or let it scare you, enjoy the thrill. If someone was to tell me that I would be held accountable and in charge of millions, when I was 18, my reaction would have been to laugh and tell the person to jog on.
8. What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment so far is introing some of the Merkle social team to Jerusalem. If you don't know, get to.
9. Tell us a bit about your experience so far with Merkle.
Outside of the many many social outings which have occurred in my short time at Merkle, I would say my experience so far has been extremely fun. I have had the opportunity to work on huge pitches, help out on the MACX awards, where it opened my eyes to just how much amazing work happens across the business outside of paid social, and even did a 5K run with the team (my track time was just terrible but I made it and that’s what counts). Overall I would say “10/10” so far.
10. What inspires you about Merkle’s workplace culture?
Working in a place where you are consistently learning not only from the job but through training and peers in other departments, all specialists who aren’t afraid to share knowledge and help you grow, its special.
11. What was your dream job growing up?
I always wanted to be an actor when I was younger, I was always involved in all the school plays, some roles I have had, have been:
- Eugene from Greece lightning (Very fitting for the geeky Year 9 Agon)
- Scarecrow from the wizard of Oz (Lead role, started to do bits back then – Year 10 obviously)
- Fiddler on the roof (More mature role, in year 11, even had a couple hairs on my chin)
12. Are you involved in any of our DEI Pillars? If so, which one and can you tell us a bit about it?
Currently I am not involved but I believe the DEI pillars to be extremely representative to the genuine culture Merkle has adapted over the many years.
13. How do you like your eggs?
I am a massive foodie, avid fan of all egg types, boiled, fried, scrambled but my favourite is poached, they are the one!
14. What are you currently watching on Netflix/Prime?
The last series I watched on Netflix was Top Boy, one of the main characters is played by Kano (UK grime artist) who I have listened to for many years.
15. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Going to the cinema, I brought up the courage to go by myself a few years back and now call myself silly for ever being scared all that time. Here are a few reasons why if you want to come out of your comfort zone too:
- You automatically pay more attention as you have no-one to bounce views or talk to in the cinema (not that you should lol)
- You don’t have to share the popcorn, although you also need to take out a mortgage if you decided to order popcorn too, costs more than the ticket.
- You go to watch only what you want, if you like a particular genre that your friend/partner might not, you don’t have to worry about being polite.
What is your dream holiday destination?
My ultimate dream holiday destination would be to do a cross-country safari trip in Africa.
Best advice or mantra you live by?
- Best advice - Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why its called the present.
- Mantra – Pressure builds diamonds.