My Journey in Tech
Hi Laetitia. Tell us about your journey into Marketing Technology and how you arrived at HEROW.
I’ve always been passionate about tech. After my graduation from CentralSupelec, a French Graduate School in Engineering, I started working for a Telecom company in France (Orange). While there, I worked on the implementation of their mobile Internet and their music streaming services.
After these years, I wanted to be a part of the disruption that was going to change our lives with the mobile internet, by creating my own company. I founded Connecthings in 2007 and developed an IoT offer for the Smart City deployed in 50 European cities. In 2018, I launched HEROW, a location intelligence solution for mobile apps.
It’s inspiring to feature a woman that’s not only in the C-suite but also a CEO in tech, what unique challenges did you face in the industry? How did you overcome these?
I’m flattered that you find my role as CEO inspiring, and I understand that there aren’t many women CEO’s in business, especially tech. However, I see my role as no different than my male counterparts.
We are all entrepreneurs, and we all face the same challenges – to make our businesses grow and succeed while engaging my team with our core ethos of positive values – supersede any of the perceived challenges that come with being a female CEO.
HEROW recently went through a rebrand. What kind of preparations were made when successfully transitioning your Marketing and Branding campaigns?
Each team at HEROW had its own responsibilities. From the Tech team to the Marketing team. We changed our name while announcing in the press the closing of our $18.6 million Series B.
Starting from that, we took care to announce the news to our clients, prospects, and followers on social media. We also created a blog post explaining why we changed our name and explained our positioning.
What special skills and abilities do you seek in your team members/new hires when you’re building a new product from scratch?
I’m looking for people with an intrapreneurial mindset, curious and involved. People who like to shake things up and develop new processes to accompany the high growth of the company.
What is the future of Mobile Commerce? How does HEROW fulfill the Marketing needs of customer engagement companies?
The future of Mobile Commerce is bright! Despite the recent news around privacy, coupled with a number of scandalous data breaches and leaks, mobile will continue to be a rising channel for marketers. The challenge is for marketers to understand that the landscape has changed and consumers want more transparency and control of the use of their data. More than ever, mobile applications must offer their users a better experience.
At HEROW, user data privacy has always been at the center of our concerns. Our technology was, and is developed in Europe, where GDPR is the standard so we treat user data with the utmost care. We work with our clients to clearly explain the value they bring in having access to their users’ data. We believe that publishers have an opportunity to leverage user data in a way that enhances the user experience as long as they are transparent about its use.
We recently conducted a survey, in the US, asking people how they respond when mobile apps ask them to share their location data. The results were very positive! If a user has a clear understanding why, and an easy way to control how, data is used, 74% will share their location. Within this new framework, the opportunities for publishers are endless.
Your product is leveraged by a diverse group of companies. What new markets and user-groups are you targeting in 2020?
We’ve spent over 10 years developing the location intelligence technology that is the core of HEROW and the result is a SaaS platform for mobile marketers, growth and product managers, and developers to use to better engage with their users.
Last September, we announced our expansion into the North American market and we plan to continue that growth. In addition to our New York City headquarters, we opened an office in San Francisco, and plan to open more through 2020.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
I do not believe that we will be AI-centric. AI is a part of the new world, but human interactions will stay predominant. The intelligence will be collaborative between humans and robots.
Which superhero/heroine exemplifies your personality at work and at home?
Elastigirl, from The Incredibles. I identify with her because she has strong opinions and plans to break the “glass ceiling”, as superhero is predominantly a male profession.
How do you inspire your team to work with technology?
I inspire the team by sharing with them my vision and the way that technology can improve people’s daily lives. We are all tech lovers and we have a clear mission, which is to build a reliable technology solution that will impact our world positively.
Thank you, Laetitia! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Laetitia Gazel Anthoine is the founder and CEO of HEROW, which operates in three countries with headquarters in NYC and Paris. Prior to HEROW, Laetitia worked for mobile operators, solution providers and major device manufacturers.