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Nov 19, 2018 1:31:25 PM

Hannu Saarinen joins Columbia Road

Olivia Helle

Marketing Lead, Finland



Hi Hannu, How did you get good at what you do?

“I got excited about graphic design and website development when I was 14 years old. It didn’t take long before I was building websites for money for small companies. Ever since, I’ve been working in marketing, in some form or another. Although I’ve studied Media Engineering, most of my professional know-how has come through work.”

Where have you earned your spurs?

“I started my career as an all-round designer in 2011 in a small advertising and marketing company. Next year, I switched over to Finland’s first HubSpot partner, PowerMarkkinointi, to work as a marketing consultant. Inbound marketing used to be a new thing back then, which is why I needed to self-learn many things, most of which were novel and unheard-of in the Finnish marketing scene.

A few years later my personal interest in sports and wellness drove me to Trainer4You, where I developed the company’s online marketing in various areas. In 2017 I moved to Helsinki area, to work for a software company, Visma, as a National Web Manager. At Visma I worked closely with the marketing department in Norway as well as with the Finnish business units, gaining diverse experience in a multinational company.”

Why Columbia Road?

“Whilst working as a Web Manager I began to miss hands-on problem-solving and working with customers. I wanted to work in an environment with talented professionals from diverse fields, and with a comprehensive approach on marketing. When looking into different companies, I came across Columbia Road and felt that our values and way-of-thinking were well-aligned. 

For me, the best things at Columbia Road are the two C’s: colleagues and culture. Columbia Road is full of skillful and witty professionals, who strive for excellence and are always ready to help each other — no matter what. The culture is based on open information-sharing and communication, with low hierarchy and independent decision-making as important building blocks. And of course, the Roadies are such a fun bunch!”

Sampo, what will make our clients love Hannu?

“When it comes to digital growth, Hannu is a diversely talented professional with a versatile skill-set. He’s great at finding growth opportunities through understanding the customer’s enterprise and objectives and approaches each case as holistically as possible. Hannu is all about experimentations and trying out new tools, methods and solution in order to reach the best possible business results,” says Sampo Hämäläinen, Managing Partner at Columbia Road. 

What makes your heart beat a little faster?

“I enjoy the outdoors and being active. You often find me on a nature trail, and I try to do at least one long hike yearly.

In the past I have practiced martial-arts actively, with genres consisting of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, submission wrestling and Scandinavian Defendo. Competing and coaching has taught me the importance of systematic rehearsing, allowing time for recovery and gaining mutual trust. Skills that I employ in every day in client projects,” says Hannu.

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