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Intervista a Heiko Rauch - fondatore di zanox - news originale

Intervista a Heiko Rauch - fondatore di zanox

Condividi:         webmaster 12 Novembre 06 @ 20:00 pm

2. English version


1. The best way to start off this interview would be to say something about yourself. Our readers will be familiar with zanox, but it would definitely be interesting for them to understand something of your background: what you studied, where you worked and what experience led you to setting up zanox.
Sure, my name is Heiko Rauch and I am one of the 3 co-founder’s and the CFO of zanox.
Previously I held a broad range of high-level management capacities including Bankgesellschaft Berlin and I have a degree in Computer Engineering from University of Applied Sciences (FHTW) in Berlin.


2. Ok, for the few people out there that do not know what zanox is can you give summarize it in a few sentences?
zanox offers performance-based online marketing solutions and services on a global scale. Besides affiliate marketing and search engine management, zanox also offers e-mail marketing, online shopping and customer loyalty programmes.
The zanox business model is founded on commission-based marketing and sales activities by the zanox sales partners or publisher. The zanox clients respectively advertiser pay only for successful broker activities through the publishers thus, they can maximise they ROI and online marketing spend.


3. What is your role in zanox today and what are your strong points within the company?
I am the CFO and I am responsible for all finance, IR, organisation, infrastructure, service, internationalisation and business development for zanox. I drive the growth strategy of the company and I am also overseeing the US arm of zanox.


4. Let's now go back a couple of years to a time before zanox existed. Can you tell us something about it's early history when you, Thomas and Jens were drawing up a plan for an affiliate network? What opportunities did you see? What difficulties did you face? What did you fear most at the time?
I first met Thomas Hessler when we were working at the datacenter of the German Railway (Deutsche Bahn), we both studied Computer Engineering and both had a common fascination with the Internet and its possibilities. We met Jens Hewald who bought some technical expertise and we drafted our first business plan in 1996.
Our goal was to create sales subsidiaries and realise a network community on the Internet combining it with the possibilities of e-commerce. We founded zanox in March 2000 at the same time as the New Economy bubble bursting worldwide. Since 2001 our annual turnover has doubled year on year


5. One last question regarding zanox. The affiliate marketing arena is already quite crowded, yet new players seem to join the market every year and old players are expanding abroad. adcatch (Deutsche Telekom group) has just launched in Germany and LinkShare is opening offices in Europe. What challenges does zanox face? What competitive advantages does it have and how is zanox going to react to these challenges?
Our business is based on a clear strategy and we are the number one in performance-based multichannel commerce. Besides affiliate marketing we offer a wide range of other online marketing solutions and services. We are currently the only company with a true global reach that can offer our customers an effective route for worldwide trade. When an area is successful, it is normal for companies to copy the model and try and compete, we are at a phase now where consolidation is happening and there will probably only be a handful of big players left.
We now operate in more than 30 countries with more than 1,000,000 sales partners and publisher in currently 168 countries.


6. Advertising on the Internet has had it's ups and downs. There was none at the beginning, then simple banner advertising was commandeering exorbitantly high prices, the media lost faith in online advertising next, but is now somehow regaining trust thanks in part to Google AdWords. What do you think is the future of online advertising?
The internet landscape has evolved at an unimaginable rate, our market is set to grow from around 78 billion euros in 2006 to more than 167 billion euros in 2009 in Europe alone! With such a fast past, of course there are highs and lows, in the past best performing ads were simple text links placed on websites and in e-mails. The future is definitely ‘pay per performance’ and ‘pay per sale’.
zanox is ready for this future – among others we already offer:
- Millions of customisable data feeds with detailed product information
- Individual configurable ads which allow to choose categories, colours, sizes as well as to exclude certain programmes
- Self optimising ads which have to be integrated only once and thereafter will be updated automatically
- High relevance ads for more promotional effectiveness and transactions
- zanox AdServer allows to manage complex campaigns achieving maximum revenues

7. Marketing on the Internet is still a very young field and business models are changing very fast. Is affiliate marketing as we know it today in it's most mature form or will it evolve further? If so, how?
I see the future of online advertising in blogs, podcasting, ingame, communities as well as RSS feeds. I also think that affiliate marketing will integrate even more with the other online marketing channels, the entire business will be even more international and clients will be working globally and requiring services for dozens of countries from one single source. The performance-based approach will be largely diffused in the market.


8. For our final questions I would like to extend the scope of our interview and have your opinion on a more general topic: the Internet.
In the last 10 years the web has undergone incredible changes yet is still based on the old TCP/IP: what do you think has been the greatest innovation and why?

I think the greatest innovation is a functioning, international e-commerce with a genuine added value for vendors. The fact that you can map and easy sell products and services in a virtual online world is the revolution, it is only now that the internet is a true sales channel dreamt about by the pioneers in the early 90’s.


9. The Internet has survived dotcom booms and dotcom bubbles and is now on the verge of a second boom while at the same time been threatened by a net neutrality bill in the USA. Where do you think the Internet is headed?
Undoubtedly user generated content is the next step. All of the market figures indicate that broadband is already used by the majority of the Internet users and these users experience “online oxygen” – that is, the more they use the Internet the more they want to use it. We are seeing changing patterns in media usage amongst the younger generations with more Internet than TV watching and the grouping of Internet access, TV and telephone services into one subscription on a broadband connection is helping push up adoption rates.
zanox is Web 2.0 ready: With our innovative solutions advertising can be fast and easily used in blogs, podcasting, ingames, wikis etc.


10. Let's finish this interview with a hypothetical question. Imagine you could go back 10 years with your current know how: with the exception of zanox what company would you like to have set up? Why?
Honestly I would not change a single thing, during the last ten years we were followed our own vision. We are market leader in performance-based multichannel-commerce and we have an unique global standing in our industry. Everyday, I get up excited and motivated to go to work and continue to pioneer in a category we created.

Indice
1. Intervista in Italiano
2. English version

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