Het DNA van een kampioen

Column zoals verschenen in De Tijd van 26 mei 2015.

“Ann, weet jij nog waar RNA voor staat?” werd me onlangs gevraagd op een investeerdersevenement in Brussel. Zonder verpinken kon ik me de volledige naam van de macromolecule zonder iteraties voor de geest halen: “RiboNucleic Acid of ribonucleïnezuur” zei ik, “op school geleerd, heel lang geleden.”

Maar eigenlijk ben ik meer geïnteresseerd in DNA (desoxyribonucleïnezuur) en dan vooral in de figuurlijke betekenis van het begrip: een unieke set van kenmerken die je maakt tot wie je bent en die je onderscheidt van anderen. Een begrip dat ook steeds meer bedrijven en merken gebruiken om duidelijk te maken waarvoor ze staan.

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Competition: forget about the usual suspects!

When we talk to CEO’s and marketing & sales directors about competition, we often feel they are most worried about their closest competitors. Competitors that do exactly the same stuff as they do. Virtually every company gathers loads of information on direct competitors.

At first sight, there is nothing wrong with that. Following up on what your main competitors do is just fine. But only “just” fine, because it is the Olympic minimum. You will hardly find out more than the things you already knew. In the first place, it will give you a good understanding of what decisions or actions brought other players to the point where they are today. Secondly, it may help you to see your assumptions being confirmed.  In other words, you are looking into data of the past. Whereas the future of your company is… ahead of you. In the future. Exactly.

Stop focussing on the competition you know
Why? Because analyzing the past and analyzing the things you are more or less aware of,  will in no way show you your competitors’ next steps.

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Every visitor a homepage

Web Analytics are great, they produce a lot of valuable data. But what you really need are actionable insights in what brings people to your site. What you need to know is what drives conversations, what motivates people to stay on your site, what makes them come back, or what tells them to leave or never come back altogether.

Far too often, companies and marketers see their homepage as their most important webpage. They see it as the virtual front door of their company. Which it is, up to a certain extent.
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Waarom Kito Electrabel niet kan redden

Column zoals verschenen in De Tijd van 26 maart 2014.

Kito, de grappige energieverspillende hond van Electrabel, is weer helemaal terug. Kito die feestjes bouwt als de kat (lees: het baasje) van huis is, en daarvoor naar hartelust allerlei energievretende toestellen aanspreekt. Onlangs werd hij de trotse papa van vijf schattige puppy’s, wat hem meteen veel oh’s en ah’s opleverde bij iedereen die hem zo al schattig vond. Mezelf incluis.
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Why you should stop doing marketing

We stopped doing marketing. We didn’t stop just now ; we stopped already a while ago. Because marketing the way we know it, is no longer relevant. The 4Ps are no longer a big help because they tell you to promote products to people at a set price at the places you pick. And that is what people are running away from. The same is true for the artificial split between B2B and B2C. You do not do business with businesses or consumers, do you? No, you do business with people. People with emotions and ratio.
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Ann Galland
My office is where I am