Meet CaptainDash, a French marketing solutions company and co-winner of the IBM SmartCamp European Regional. They’ll be competing for the title IBM Entrepreneur of the Year in NYC, Feb. 5-7! This is part 8 of 8 in our Meet the Global Finalists series. Register for the public session on Feb. 7th here.
1. Briefly, what is your company’s solution, how does it work, and where did the idea come from?
Our Dashboard lets marketers take advantage of the huge amount of data they receive from different sources, be it data on their company’s performance or external data, like weather or traffic jams. CaptainDash aggregates and synchronizes all the data to let the marketing unit highlight key performance indicators in the most friendly and efficient way. We turn big data into great statistics and wonderful data visualizations through a ready-to-use & flexible platform.
Initially, we noticed how lacking the information was on which marketing people were making investment decisions, and we felt it was time to change that once and for all.
When I (CEO Gilles Babinet) sold my previous company, I started to have some discussions about processes in marketing with Bruno Walther, my business partner, who was CEO at OgilvyOne and saw many companies struggling to understand their data. He was selling custom dashboards that had limited flexibility for huge amounts of money. We then felt that there was a business opportunity.
The company has thirty employees, but the four key players are:
– Bruno who heads up the product strategy as well as sales.
– Kilian, who is CXO, Chief eXperience Officer or product manager. His job is to implement the roadmap and make sure that the product continues to be the most simple and friendly to use.
– Nicolas, who is the CTO; he convinced us to move to Hadoop and also leads the Hadoop community in France.
– And myself (Gilles) who deals with business development and sales.
3. How will your solution impact people’s lives for the better?
Marketing is a complicated science which consists of saturating people with messages that align with their real needs. By better understanding each person’s needs, we will get the right message to the right person and stop bothering others with messages they don’t need. Additionally, we will change marketing once and for all by introducing ROI into companies’ marketing practices.
4. What is the best advice you’ve been given or the most important thing you’ve learned in the SmartCamp competition so far?
Advice: “We don’t understand what you do. It is much too complex. Make it simple please.”
Learned: Go to the hard fact straight. Push obvious messages.
5. In what ways do you hope working with IBM will help your company grow and succeed?
We have already proven it. In France we have already made co-sales and opened new IBM accounts since the IBM SmartCamp Regional in Berlin. We foresee millions of euros in joint opportunities in 2013 for France alone.
Frankly, we believe that we can change the way marketing works, forever. Additionally we can really be instrumental in helping IBM address CMOs’ needs.