After a BCom what should I prefer
Olaf Gijseman, CEO of gateB
Olaf Gijseman, CEO of gateB
gateB was founded in 2009 - under the umbrella of the Brand Leadership Circle - to increase marketing performance with software solutions. In 10 years the company has grown steadily and has always opened up new technologies and business areas. Today's value proposition: To transform relevant business processes with a data-based approach and trend-setting technologies - for faster and more intelligent investor and customer relationships.
Olaf Gijseman has headed gateB since the beginning. A few questions for him about the last decade in this very dynamic environment.
We have always tried, and still do today, to anticipate new topics and technologies. So that we are already ready when the topics are on the table with the CEOs, CMOs or CFOs and they are looking for competent partners.
Olaf, gateB has been around for ten years, you co-founded and built the company, how did it all start?
At the beginning there was the realization that enormous efficiency and effectiveness gains can be achieved in marketing with software solutions. At the beginning, we mainly focused on automation solutions in corporate and financial publishing. With editorial systems, we succeeded in creating business reports, customer or employee magazines much more efficiently and with quality assurance. Over the years we have continuously expanded our competencies and have entered into new partnerships with leading software manufacturers. Our clientele also grew steadily, and so we soon counted many large international companies from a wide variety of industries among our customers, which ultimately led to us opening an office in Los Angeles and Singapore in order to be closer to our customers there.
gateB was founded in 2009 to increase marketing performance with the help of marketing technologies. Was the demand for such advice and technology already there, or did it take a lot of persuasion?
The awareness that technologies will and should replace repetitive tasks was already there in many companies. But the step to initiate such projects certainly required time and persuasion. Changing processes is never easy. I can confidently say that the early movers now have a clear competitive advantage. You work more efficiently, can use resources in a targeted manner where the technology does not yet offer any added value, and significantly reduce the time-to-market of campaigns.
We have always tried, and still do today, to anticipate new topics and technologies. So that we are already ready when the topics are on the table with the CEOs, CMOs or CFOs and they are looking for competent partners. Customer engagement is such a topic. Many companies are still at the beginning here. We work on the subject with various software providers in order to be able to offer specific and proven solutions.
Data science and marketing analytics are on everyone's lips. What role does data analysis play at gateB?
We set up our own analytics and customer intelligence area in 2015 - convinced that data analysis will permeate all areas of marketing and be part of all of our solutions. With digitization, we have much more data available that we can use profitably with the existing analytical competence and software intelligence. Or just be able to use it smartly. Take customer segmentation, for example. Traditionally, customers are segmented based on socio-demographic data. This is useful and a good starting point, but they don't reveal what you absolutely need to know about your customers in order to address them appropriately. Namely, how your customers actually interact with your brand. For example, which touchpoints they prefer and how they behave. Today we can enrich the segmentation with behavior-based data, address customers in a more needs-oriented manner and thus improve customer relationships over the long term. Further examples are customer journey mapping or trigger-based marketing.
GateB owes the fact that we are now able to support national and international companies in unlocking their digital potential to the very good interaction in its broad-based team - from our data scientists to our software engineers to our consultants and implementation specialists.
What were your most beautiful moments in gateB's ten-year history?
The fact that we have succeeded in finding a successful business model for a vision and seeing gateB growing steadily over the past 10 years is more than just a nice moment. The highlights certainly include the founding of gateB US in 2014 and gateB Singapore in 2019 as well as the constant expansion of our competencies and the establishment of new subject areas such as Customer Intelligence & Marketing Analytics or Marketing Automation & Campaign Management. GateB owes the fact that we are now able to support national and international companies in unlocking their digital potential to the very good interaction in its broad-based team - from our data scientists to our software engineers to our consultants and implementation specialists. For me, beautiful moments are of course always when our customers are able to celebrate successes thanks to our solutions.
gateB also advises customers in the USA and Singapore. Can we learn something from the companies there?
Yes. Your openness to new things. Your speed when it comes to tackling new things. The degree of digitization will increase massively in all industries. There will be a tipping point where simple, repetitive tasks are completely automated. In Switzerland, in Europe, we cannot oversleep digitization. We at gateB want to make our contribution and specifically support companies in the transformation of relevant business processes. That is why we always keep an eye out for new technologies and constantly conclude new partnerships with software manufacturers. In this way we can always supply our customers with the latest and leading technologies.
Transforming Digital into Value, is your claim. You are driving the transformation of business processes in various areas - from customer engagement to resource & content management to sales enablement. What is your favorite subject?
I can fall in love with all topics as long as they have to do with numbers and efficiency and are clearly measurable. But I'm in good hands in these times of digitization.
Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
We want to continue to grow, as early as 2020 we will open a branch in New Delhi, India, and we also want to open up Singapore as a market in an even more focused manner, where we see great potential. As far as technologies are concerned, they will become more and more integrated and comprehensive. You can already see that, for example, the boundaries between CRM and ERP are disappearing, and such “mergers” will also take place with other technologies, including the aforementioned penetration of technologies with data analysis, which is becoming more and more central for all areas of marketing.
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