Marketing was one of the first areas to undergo a disruptive transformation due to digitalization – and still the transformation of digital marketing continues. Did you know that there are now 8 000 tools to choose from for various tasks from content generation to campaign management on social media channels – in 2011 the count was just 150 (sic!). So, you are spoilt for choice. Therefore, I will provide some guidance and introduce seven promising young companies in Germany with a business model that’s based on new trends in digital marketing.

B2BSmartData

How to get the right companies / contact persons for a B2B campaign. If you follow the traditional approach, you may use an address database offered by companies such as Bisnode or the German Postal Service (filter criteria: industry, legal form, company size, number of employees, …).

There is yet another (better) way. It starts wit a simple question: Which are your most loyal and most profitable customers so far? – You feed the websites of these companies into the B2BSmartData database, which contains more than 3 million websites in the German-speaking world. Based on the company profile of your loyal/profitable customers an AI will identify companies that show a high similarity to your existing customers. In short: It’s a matching portal for B2B campaigns.

Foundation in 2016. In Bonn. Website: www.b2bsmartdata.de

ChatChamp

The StartUp Chatchamp opens up a new communication channel for marketing: Instant Messaging, Chat (WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.). It is hardly surprising: In a smartphone-centered environment, users now spend significantly more time on instant messaging than on emails; click-through rates of instant messaging are also significantly higher in comparison with emails.

This means that Chat can be a channel for successful lead generation campaigns (which can be fully compliant with GDPR requirements); the chatbot can also be integrated into websites. With the help of the intelligent dialogue system, the chat bots can go live in a short time. Customers include L’Oréal, Telefónica or HelloFresh.

Foundation in 2018. In Munich. Website: www.chatchamp.com

RankingCoach

Did you know that approx. 65 percent of all B2B customers do not get in touch with a company’s sales department until they already have an intention to buy? At least that’s what a study by SalesForce from 2015 claims; the percentage figure may have changed since then – however, the key message stays the same. This underlines the relevance of content generation and of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

I’ve seen the days when armies of low-cost country geeks posted backlinks to unspeakable Russian blog sites … until a series of updates of the Google algorithm (around 2013) dried up this SEO industry or at least forced it to overhaul their approach completely. Some elements of the SEO methodology kit have remained, but a lot has changed.

RankingCoach does exactly what the name promises: Based on a detailed analysis of the website to be optimized, the “coach” tells you what you need to do to improve the ranking of your site. As a rule, the user receives the “coach’s” instructions in the form of catchy tutorial videos; incidentally, the recommendations of RankingCoach also include activities on social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter.

Foundation in 2014. In Cologne. Website: www.rankingcoach.com

Fanpagekarma

Today it’s all about Social Selling on LinkedIn, Twitter, XING & Co. – especially in times of Corona, when trade fairs and industry get-togethers are cancelled. In order to orchestrate activities on different Social Media channels efficiently, Marketing departments make use of Tools. Typical features: CheckUp of the own appearance, Sentiment Analysis, analysis of the competition, efficient communication from one interface, timing of posts, trend scouting and much more. Fanpagekarma is exactly about such management of Social Media activities.

Foundation in 2012. In Berlin. Website: www.fanpagekarma.com

Uberall

Amazon sets up physical retail shops, Walmart goes online Stationary, online, virtual, touch it … retail shops must allow for the shopping experience on all channels, smart transitions between the different channels are required: Where is my next BIO COMPANY store, do they have my favourite mango shake? What is the rating of the store?

This is exactly what the company Uberall has on offer: creating visibility at the interface between the real world and the online eCommerce experience. Reputation management is also part of the offering. The company calls it ‘Near Me’ Brand Experience.

Foundation in 2012. In Berlin. Website: uberall.com

Spryker

Online shops have been around almost as long as the Internet (Amazon came to Germany in 1998). And so, it is hardly surprising that there are numerous successful webshop software providers, also in Germany: Shopware for example (for 20 years, based in Schöppingen, more than 100,000 webshops) or the Websale AG (Nuremberg, pioneers in webshop-as-a-service). Nevertheless, there are still interesting new players in the ring, namely Spryker, which has the strong investor Project A behind it.

Foundation in 2015: In Berlin. Website: spryker.com

Stoyo

A shooting star for viral videos. Just click into: Video: “When friends help you move“.

Foundation in 2015. In Berlin. Gründung 2015. Website: stoyo.io

Sebastian Zang
Author

The author is a manager in the software industry with international expertise: Authorized officer at one of the large consulting firms - Responsible for setting up an IT development center at the Bangalore offshore location - Director M&A at a software company in Berlin.