Text: BBP Media | Image: Pure Image
“What typifies PI?” Jos Meiling, Chief Technology Officer at PI Marketing, repeats the question. “Everyone here has a performance mindset. That is in the DNA of PI, which started as a performance-based marketing company. We think in terms of solutions and with the customer; our aim is not to write as many hours as possible, but to grow together. When they grow, we grow. This is also reflected in high customer satisfaction figures. “
“We also strive for the same atmosphere internally,” says Mascha Soors, Chief Commercial Officer. “We like to create hapPIness for our customers and employees, because we believe that happy people perform better and stay longer. At least, that’s our experience. We never had to do sales either. “
But no matter how well it goes – PI has 17 FTEs (excluding flexible shell) and dozens of customers including the ANWB, e-Luscious (the largest online retailer in wine and coffee in the Benelux), Auto.nl, Pauw, Prijsvrij and Reshift ( owner of platforms such as Kieskeurig.nl, Computer! Totaal and Zoom.nl) – it wants to continue to grow. Why now, now, now that the world is turned upside down?
Soors: “We already started to devise a new strategy in 2019, because we wanted to be less dependent on – of all things – the travel industry, in which we had many customers. So when the corona crisis broke out and we lost 75% of our sales, we immediately went full throttle. “
Meiling: “Fortunately we had just started the organization, with Mascha, Jeffrey [Munster] as new Account Director and myself in the leadership team. We managed to acquire many new customers within 3 months in the e-commerce corner, where there was of course growth, and in the B2B market, where our approach to data, personalization, automation and high ROI campaigns ( from SEO and SEA to email marketing, customer retention and paid campaigns via social channels, i.e. the entire customer journey) is also successful.
PI (Performance Intelligence) Marketing was founded almost 10 years ago by CEO Willem van der Steen, who now operates more in the background. Van der Steen previously worked on the customer side, including with his own webshop, and saw that it could be “much better” in the field of online marketing. For example, it bothered him that if an agency had delivered something and something had to be adjusted, a new invoice followed immediately. His adage: see the customer as your own company.
He then focused on “travel” as a niche, because he believes that is the Premier League of online marketing – due to the sheer volume of data, the long and complicated customer journey, high purchase value and high consumer engagement. In addition, he had, not unimportantly, experience as a marketer in the travel industry and thus also a large network.
What else sets PI apart from other online marketing agencies? Munster, who, as mentioned, is closest to the desk and therefore has the most objective view: “PI really makes the difference in terms of personalization and technology. Very simple example: suppose you know at a given moment how often someone orders a pack of coffee, when and how do you make such an offer to someone? Anyone can think that that is a good idea, but how do you integrate that into the customer flow in a smart and technically perfect way? PI can do that. “
Meiling, who has worked at PI since 2015: “We can also communicate well with the IT department of customers. At the same time, we can help them translate into what yields; most IT people don’t really think in euros. “
Soors, who started as an intern at PI 8 years ago, adds: “And we have – derived from“ PI ”- a Pioneer of the Week every week. That says a lot about the appreciation we have for our employees and it says a lot about our mentality. From the interns to the leadership team, everyone here is a pioneer. We continuously want to make everything better. “
How exactly does PI want to grow further? Meiling: “Our new strategy means that we have two business lines. Full service high tech, high ROI online marketing consultancy and support. We already did and will continue to do so. Technology is becoming an increasingly important component in companies.
We also develop scalable solutions or products, which we then have on the shelf and can offer immediately. Like our e-mail cockpit, which goes beyond the usual, reactive e-mail dashboard that provides “only” an overview of all individual parts. The self-learning e-mail cockpit combines data from multiple systems, from the entire customer journey, and thus automatically adjusts campaigns; you have to monitor that, but it goes much faster. “
“And”, says Munster, “we have a new logo, new corporate identity and communication. Everything is in place, we have scalable products, so we can handle rapid growth. It’s time for our own marketing. “
The goal is crystal clear: PI had 10 customers in 2018, 21 customers in 2019 and currently 40 customers, by the end of this year the Bossche online marketing agency wants to have 50 customers and even 500 customers by 2025. Soors: “And 9+ customer and employee satisfaction. We absolutely want to remain hapPI. “
Growth in customers also means growth in people; talent that is not always readily available in this field. How does PI intend to deal with this? Soors: “With the PI Academy. By offering top talents a solid online marketing training at the start of their studies through a side job or internship. We are also considering setting up a PI Campus, with which we can also offer them housing. We also recruit through our own network; After all, talent attracts talent. “
Meiling adds: “The marketing landscape is changing so quickly. Experience does not say much, with old knowledge you will quickly fall behind the facts. Whether our goal is not very ambitious? “With a smile:” I seem to remember saying at the beginning of this interview that everyone here has a performance mindset, that it is in PI’s DNA. So we like a challenge. “
This article was created in collaboration with PI Marketing