On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got around to co-founding Webtrekk with Norman Wahnschaff
Back then I was MD of Cobra Youth Communications, a new media agency that I had founded in 2002. But my interests were different, I was more interested in data and statistics. So when Norman applied for a job at Cobra, I immediately found a co-founder for Webtrekk.
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
Mar-tech will stay diversified for a much longer period than the ad-tech industry. Mar-tech is integrated in advertiser systems, website, apps, CRM, ERP. Ad-tech will always be under pressure from the market leader. And the market leader in ad-tech has a big advantage: more knowledge about the user. That is why Google and Facebook take more than 100% of market growth at the moment.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
In ad-tech I fear header-bidding will destroy all other SSP´s than Google and Facebook. For Mar-tech I believe Cross Device is a very important trend. To unify the user experience for potential customers will become crucial for all players in the market.
MTS: What are the biggest challenges for new firms starting to implement marketing technology?
In my opinion the biggest challenges are of an organizational manner. That’s where we are noticing a total shift of mind on the customer’s side. A few years ago, the general practice was to hire a marketing agency for the creation of content and then to pay a media agency to publish the marketing product. Today it has become more important to be able to create the content for marketing in-house, based on the data you collected yourself, e.g. from your own website, newsletters and other different marketing activities. This brings completely different challenges than it used to: companies will need highly specialized staff in-house to produce content for a data-driven marketing that can address different target groups without diluting the company message.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
EventQL is interesting in my opinion. An open source column based database technology from Berlin. Love the team and the product so far.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
Our Webtrekk Customer Intelligence Platform consists of Analytics, a user-centric DMP with audience-streaming technology and Marketing Apps to personalize the experience of your customers.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
We try to give automated hints to our customer what might be interesting in their data, but there is still room for improvement and optimization of this solution. The final idea is a fully automated machine that only gets fed with new creatives and stories and that will automatically test and optimize each of these stories in a unified user experience. But this will take another couple of years. It will be difficult to replace creativity by AI in the near future.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Never have a scroll bar in Outlook at the end of the day.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I have currently been reading “How to build a universe” by Ben Gilliland – did you know that the possibility of the existence of other civilizations in our galaxy is actually really high? So the fact we never met “aliens” yet makes me presume that we simply just did not realize them – like ants that are living next to the Autobahn and do not understanding what is it that is rushing by just next to them.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Whenever you want, you can decide to be happy from that moment on.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
With my interest for statistics, data and how to combine those two for profitable marketing purposes I was lucky being at the right spot in the right time. Now we serve safe tools for enterprises and web shops to help tracking their data and building up their own “data-treasure” for quicker and more effective marketing.
MTS: Thank you Christian! We hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Christian founded Webtrekk in 2004 alongside co-founder and CTO Norman Wahnschaff.
Prior to Webtrekk, Christian worked in banking and consulting in the US, Mexico and Switzerland, and in 2000 co-founded KinderCampus AG, where he served on the board of directors until 2002. He also acts as managing partner for cobra youth communications GmbH, a full-service agency specialising in kid- and family-oriented marketing.
Webtrekk is a customer intelligence platform that allows you to connect, analyze and activate your user and marketing data across all devices. Headquartered in Berlin with offices in China, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the USA. Webtrekk’s solutions allow companies to optimise their digital efforts. In more than 25 countries, CMOs, CIOs and marketing managers in e-commerce, media and publishing, banking, travel and hospitality, telecommunications and entertainment trust Webtrekk’s solutions.
About the MarTech Interview Series
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.