Hello Carlo. Let’s start with the birth of your company. In 2004, you were just 29 years old. Can you tell us about how you came up with the idea of geo-marketing which, at the time, was still rather new?
The idea came from the experience that my partner and I already had in selling. Although we were working in two different fields, both of us realized that no scientific organized method existed in B2B to help businesses, unlike in the retail sector.
Sales teams were free to follow their own intuition. Sales representatives and retailers limited themselves to the same customers but struggled to find new ones.
So we decided to create our own method, taking a cue from some positive geo-marketing trends that were beginning to make inroads into the US market. In Europe we were, in some respect, pioneers. Also, perhaps, a bit naïve to tell the truth. But the results have proved us right.
Can you give a concrete example of how geo-marketing works?
Let's say you have a French company that produces tiles. The company has a showroom in Warsaw and wants its architect clients to know about the launch of some new wall cladding. What we do is provide the company with a contact management service which, according to a specific database, can contact all the local architectural firms and find a lot of useful informations: for example, ranging from those who deal specifically with wall cladding in that particular studio and what projects they are working on, to make contact with the person who is actually in charge of choosing the materials. With geo-marketing we can map an entire area of interest through a totally customized project.
In theory, couldn’t companies do this work independently?
For certain things, yes. But by themselves, it’s difficult to concentrate on several areas and other countries. A capillary structure at international level is needed with professional native speakers trained and updated in sales, able to approach the target in the right way. Initial data is also required to interpret and analyze. The evolution of the Internet has certainly given geo-marketing an extra boost. Today we have an incredible amount of information at our fingertips, but we must know how to use it with a scientific method. Specific skills are needed to save time and maximize results.
In your company, the human factor is therefore decisive. Can you tell us about what skills you consider fundamental in your field?
A project manager of geo-marketing must have a strong aptitude for selling, good organizational skills and a distinct creativeness on how best to sell a product or service. Knowing how to communicate and having the ability to empathize with others are fundamental qualities, much more than just being familiar with data and software, qualities that are learned along the way. Furthermore, it’s vitally important to be able to speak foreign languages.
What is the future of geo-marketing? In an increasingly globalized world, does your business not risk losing importance?
Far from it. Today, companies increasingly need to broaden their horizons outside their domestic market. Moreover, in a B2B world which is moving ever more towards specializing in niche products and services, finding the right niches to target is now of paramount importance to any business.