Stephan de Paly [stephandepaly]
Wie sah Ihre bisherige berufliche Laufbahn aus?
My career actually started in tourism. With tourism being one of the most e-commerce focused industries the interest for online marketing came sort of naturally. After some time in different roles (hotel reception, operations, sales) I finally decided that online marketing is going to be it for me. So I started a "hardcore" initiative to get the expertise: practical training in online marketing, a 3 month weekend course in online marketing management and webmastering for a student society. It appears that it was worth the lack of free time. Just had a really promising job interview today ...
Gibt es eine URL, wo wir Ihre Arbeit sehen können?
Welche Aufgabe haben Sie als Marketing-Experte? Auf welchem Gebiet sind Sie gut? Was unterscheidet Sie von den anderen?
In my current position I'm responsible for putting together an integrated social media marketing strategy for a small online travel business. The strategy is largely focussed on the German speaking market. The really interesting challenge in this is the upcoming launch of 2 new portals where we have to start from scratch. I don't know if I'm all too different from others in social media marketing for the simple reason that this kind of job requires a certain attitude towards the whole thing. In my personal network I probably stand out with my international experience from my stays in England an Australia. These really had some effect towards my personal an professionnel development.
Eine Mareketing-Strategie beginnt mit einer Idee. Wie bekommen Sie Ihre Ideen?
From market scanning and sitting on the toilet. Yes, the old clichee is true indeed. ;)
Auf welchem Markt, bzw. an welchem Produkt oder an welcher Dienstleistung arbeiten Sie derzeit?
The current product is an online portal for group travel. About the other products to be launched I'm not allowed to talk yet but I can tell as much: one is in tourism, one is something else altogether. Got to be interesting. ;)
Gab es dieses Produkt bereits vor zehn Jahren? Und die Marke?
The product on sale is as old as the tourism industry itself. The new thing is the channel where we sell it: the internet. The brand exists since 2005.
Wie sieht der Verbraucher oder der Kunde aus, den Sie für sich gewinnen müssen?
That's probably the most difficult question for us to answer. One dimension is the product owner which we have to entice to sell his products via our portal. This is pretty straight-forward. Yet, a portal only works with traffic and this should come from people planning to do group travel. This is the point where it becomes a bit more tricky. The market is extremely heterogenous and the revenue volume for 40-50 people is generated by 1 or 2 persons planning the journey. This means a significantly lower traffic volume in comparison to revenue streams. And targeting is difficult as almost every sort of organised group will make a journey this day or another. Societies might be the easiest target group to identify but even here you have significant differences you got to pay attention to.
Was ist der Schlüssel für Kundentreue?
Service, Price, Service and yes, Service.
Welche Art von Kommunikation setzen Sie ein?
We always try to use the communication channels our customers engage in. That means we have to stay in close contact with them and actual developments of the industry. Be there where your customer is and want's you to be.
Wie bewerten Sie die bisher erreichten Ergebnisse?
The company is running on fairly straight and stable tracks. There's always room for more and we think we lately found a way to increase speed.
Welcher Weg ist für die Vermarktung Ihres Produktes geeigneter? Der emotionale oder der rationale Weg?
How do you sell a product consumers can't sample? By making them desperate to have it anyway. That only works with emotion. Yet, rational aspects need consideration. Germany is a rather conservative market where people look for the price and the hidden print. So, give them both bundled in an attractive package.
Was antworten Sie auf diese typische Frage: Schafft Marketing Bedürfnisse, die nocht gar nicht existieren?
There are some good examples where this really is the case. As the product is a key part of the marketing mix, Apple is probably the prime example: No one really needs an ipad, yet millions have bought it.
Bitte nennen Sie einige bekannte Marken oder Produkte, die Sie für ihr brilliantes Marketing lieben.
Unfortunately some brands with the best marketing campaigns are cigarettes. Lucky Strike and West had some brilliant print campaigns in Germany.
Blendtec, a producer of extremely powerful mixers, started one of the most impressive viral marketing campaigns. They publish videos where they test of various products can be blended in their mixers. That went so far that companies now pay a lot of money to be featured. Perhaps the only company where the marketing department is a profit center by itself. Just look for "Will it blend" on Youtube or Vimeo. ;)
Bewegen wir uns auf eine Werbung und ein Marketing zu, das von Mal zu Mal individueller ist?
That's one of the key drivers for Social Media. Yet, consumers are still a bit sceptical. On one hand they expect that companies deliver tailormade products and solutions. On the other hand they are doubtful about the use of data they have to give for this. It's a bit of a conflict but an understandable one. I, however, think that personalisation will increase in the years to come. Facebook's social graph is a powerful element in this development.
Was ist für Sie besonders überraschend, das Sie in den letzten Jahren über digitales Marketing gelernt haben?
Perhaps the widespread naivity of many actors in the tourism industry. They all state that they "embrace" the internet as a powerful marketing tool, yet don't begin to understand the implications and mechanisms of the net.
Vor einigen Jahren sagte man, dass die Verkäufe online dem traditionellen Handel das Garaus machen würden. Dennoch ist dieser lebendiger als nie zuvor. Wie erklären Sie sich das?
I explain that with the increasing connections of internet and real life. The upcoming mobile web is an important facilitator for this. People can now check online and on the go what happens offline and around them. Especially for small businesses this is a great opportunity if they understand how to make use of this.
Keyword: location based services!
Wie bewerten Sie das Potential der sozialen Netzwerke für Online-Marketing? Glauben Sie, dass Marketing 2.0 tatsächlich ein neues Paradigma ist?
Social Media is hyped far beyond it's possibilities right now. This leads to a lot of businesses having exceeded expectations. Social Media alone won't make your business successful, it only helps getting you on track. Yet, especially in B2B environments there is a lot potential for social media marketing. Business contacts are personal contacts and with networks and integrated CRM solutions you can really reap some benefit from your online networks.
After all you need to look into your business and industry to find out what is the right way for your business. That's the difficulty with all these self proclaimed internet/social media experts. They might know the web, but they don't know you and people in the social web want to talk to you and not an artificial spamming bot.
Welche Industrie oder welches Marktsegment zieht Sie für Ihre kommende berufliche Etappe an?
Web2print. That's a fairly new branch of the printing business with plenty of developments yet to come.
Spielen Sie Prophet. Welches Phänomen wird Marketing in den kommenden Jahren revolutionieren?
The speed of development makes it difficult to really make an educated guess. I, however, think that the social graph will play a big role in the next ten years. Google knows this. Why else should they buy in with Zynga?
Sind Sie in einem sozialen Netzwerk für professionelles Networking vertreten? Nutzt Ihnen das etwas?
My experience is that for effective online networking you need an offline seed. Networks like Xing have indeed helped me but this was rather a question of follow up. Use it to stay tuned but don't think that all you need is a Xing/LinkedIn-Account and everything will work out.
Wie betrieben Sie Ihr persönliches Branding? Was würden Sie anderen Leuten aus Ihrer Branche raten, um einen Platz auf dem Arbeitsmarkt zu finden und sich zu behaupten?
Be there, be considerate and try to be an expert. If you got nothing to say, no one will listen to you. It's actually easier and more difficult than it sounds. Topics will come with your passion and increasing exposure is hard work which you must love!