May I introduce myself? Matthias Bettag, very pleased to meet you!
Hello, my name is Matthias Bettag. I started with Semphonic on the 1st of January 2012 as VP of Analytics, Europe, based in Berlin, Germany. It's an honor and an exciting challenge to work for the leading Web analytics agency as the head of the newly founded European office. Expanding Semphonic’s business to Europe is certainly a big task, but I am very much looking forward to working on this.
Let me introduce myself a bit.
Like Gary, I came to Web analytics from an IT perspective. After my studies of media computer science I was working as a webmaster at Schering (a pharmaceutical company which was later bought by Bayer) in Germany from 2004-2006. I had to maintain and (re)develop some 30 websites. Beside the coding itself and working on the CMS, I managed SEO, SEM, usability, etc. and quickly found myself being the interface between marketing/business departments, creative agencies and the technical implementation.
It was a pretty good background for Web analytics and it wasn't far from there to actually focusing on the success performance of the websites. I analyzed user segments, traffic sources, and (typical pharma) KPIs like engagement and awareness.
In 2007 after Bayer bought Schering I was promoted to work in a global E-marketing support department working on their international website migration project. My role was to collect the different business requirements coming from all kind of countries, for different types of websites and for different target audiences. I had to manage the platform improvements to migrate the respective websites. This process involved internal peers in the different countries, but we also established a worldwide agency network for the technical implementations.
Again my interest was on measuring the website’s success performance against the business goals. This affected maintenance and governance - especially optimization processes which needed to be aligned with the different stakeholders in different countries.
When I visited my first eMetrics conference in Stockholm in 2007 I gave Jim Sterne a “head scratch” (so he said after a few minutes thinking) describing to him the challenges and restrictions on pharma e-marketing. Like most of us, my first key learning was that nobody has the holy-grail perfectly tailored for everything and just waiting to be taken out of their pocket (however Jim had really cool WAA pins in there). Good to know I was not alone. And even better to know my approach was not wrong, it just takes time for changes, especially in large and complex environments.
I became more active in the WAA and ended up few years later as the German country manager and, new this year, the co-spokesperson of the newly founded WAA EU SIG (Web Analytics Association Europe Special Interest Group) which focusses on privacy issues related to Web analytics.
In 2009-2010 I was reorganizing the Web analytics platform and related processes on an enterprise level. Digital Initiatives became much more complex as pharma marketing evolved. Measurement became a regular part of the planning phase. Decentralized workloads and different role models required a SaaS platform, which replaced the in-house installation. Training and education was needed at every level - from the technical roles to the marketers and even the development agency network across the world.
I wasn't managing websites but instead analytics processes and keeping up to date with all kinds of new technologies, methodologies and learning how other industries are solving their challenges.
With that enterprise perspective, I came to deeply appreciate Semphonic's practice and methods as I read about them. The way they approached analytics just made sense to me. As an enterprise practitioner, the difference between people who just talk about analytics and people who are really doing it is pretty obvious. After a more than 4 years within global e-marketing support at Bayer I was again thinking of a change. It’s certainly a big change - going from an analytics practice in a very large global-multinational enterprise to starting a new office from scratch. But I'm excited and I have a lot of support behind me.
Working in web analytics with all its different touch-points, being part of the fantastic international #measure network, having relations to so many businesses, is more than great. Doing this from Berlin with the city’s truly unique spirit is even better. It's a great city. Berlin based startups are popping up like crazy at every corner, something I would never have imagined years ago. Berlin has become an international city; with so many visitors and citizens coming from all over the world who quickly forget (well, almost) all clichés they might have had about Germany. Working for Semphonic and in Berlin is going to be the best time of my life.
If you're interested in finding out more about our Digital Measurement and Analytics Program in Europe, feel free to contact me. Drop me a line and we can schedule a talk.