Our profile feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing, shedding light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry. This week we head to Paris, to meet Herbert Knibiehly.
Job title and company:
VP Marketing at Twenga.
In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
Twenga provides advanced acquisition solutions for e-commerce players to achieve ROI improvements across key online marketing channels and has its own shopping search engine sites in 15 countries.
What are the company’s unique selling points?
We believe Twenga is the most advanced AdWords and Google Shopping bidding and automation platform available. Twenga’s predictive engine evaluates the customer’s buying intent for each click based on user segmentation and a massive database of 400 million products. The fully automated platform updates keywords, creatives and bids in real time, which results in unmatched campaign performance.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
The past year has been a very exciting one for us. We spent months working on our internal SEM tools for Twenga’s shopping sites. Because we have properties in 15 countries, we realised that we couldn’t manage search marketing manually and decided to invest data science and engineering resources to build our own fully automated AdWords bidding and user segmentation platform. Once we were happy with its performance, we decided to make the platform available to our e-commerce customers as a SaaS product. Last September, we officially launched our new Twenga solutions platform, which now allows e-retailers to acquire traffic on multiple online channels while simultaneously optimising ROI.
After attracting over 200 major new customers with these new marketing solutions, we received a new round of investment of 10 million euros from Idinvest Partners, one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe, with a view to accelerating our growth on an international scale. This investment will allow Twenga to significantly reinforce its workforce by recruiting additional data scientists, engineers and account managers to the UK, France and Germany. We’re also planning on opening new offices in Italy and Spain very soon. I guess you could say that the coming year will be just as exciting as the last!
Duration in current role:
I have been working at Twenga for four years now, overseeing B2C Marketing, Product and Content. In 2015 my role expanded to B2B Marketing, PR and CRM.
Where are you based?
At Twenga’s headquarters in Paris. Located in the “Silicon Sentier”, it’s the most vibrant place for a start-up, in my opinion.
Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:
Before Twenga, I worked at eBay for about eight years where I held several product management and marketing roles in France, the Netherlands and the USA. One of my key projects at eBay’s HQ was to build up the in-house marketing, segmentation and optimisation platforms.
What are your main job responsibilities?
I am responsible for developing user acquisition and services for our consumer properties in 15 countries. My team leads the B2C roadmap for web and mobile products, managing content, merchandising, PR and social media. Recently my responsibilities were expanded to also include enterprise topics, with a focus on launching our new B2B website Twenga-Solutions.com and spreading the word about our new e-commerce marketing platform. You could say that my job role is quite varied!
Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:
No Monday is ever the same, but I generally start the day by browsing through the weekend’s high level performance metrics for our 15 countries: traffic mix, CTR and conversion rate per channel. We also run A/B tests at Twenga so on Monday I’m always eager to check in on our current test progress. At 11am the whole marketing team gathers to share our key figures and progress. It’s a great part of my week where we discuss and update everyone about the company’s priorities, performance roadmap and other related issues.
During the afternoon we usually dive into SEO projects, then take a detailed look at the traffic and performance level of our e-commerce customers and check in on the Twenga publisher network. If needed, we sync up with the account management and data science teams to optimise campaign settings or plan algorithmic improvements.
What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?
I usually have a glance at several tech news sites such as TechCrunch and Frenchweb. I also love Quora… which becomes a real time drain as soon as I start browsing for marketing hacks.
What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?
- Be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them.
- Set yourself realistic goals and stay focused on achieving them. Then set a goal at the next level and again, focus on achieving that.
- Always strive to know more and never lose that hunger for knowledge. Our industry is about optimisation and on-going improvements. It’s true for marketing campaigns and it’s also true for general skills.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
Twenga recently received a significant round of investment to develop its e-commerce traffic acquisition solutions on an international scale. I would really like to be a part of the company’s expansion. Hopefully in three years’ time we’ll have expanded from Europe to all five continents. Who knows, maybe I’ll open the Twenga office in Hawaii!
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
Since my time at eBay, I have been collecting film cameras. I have a cupboard full of vintage shooters: classic Nikons, Olympus’, Canons, Minoltas etc. I especially love rangefinders such as Leicas, Voigtlanders and Kievs. I use them now and again but it is getting more and more difficult to develop the films since digital has also transformed the photo industry.