I bet that if you are reading the Avangate blog, you would love to hear how things are going around here. As head of the Avangate Marketing Department, I’m in the position to know a little bit about everything, which probably makes me the right person to talk about it.
Not sure if you know, but before starting Avangate, we were in the security business, with the RAV antivirus that we sold to Microsoft in 2003. And that included a lot of selling and marketing expertise we gathered during RAV’s 9 years. I know you might not perceive an eCommerce provider this way, but we are still in the business of selling software, just like you. In a way, everything that we’ve learned about selling software before applies here on a greater scale.
So, how does it feel to work for an eCommerce provider?
First of all, we are dealing with software vendors around the World. Besides dealing with cultural differences, different business environments and requirements, staying near the Sales Department is a little bit like Babylon. You will get a funny mixture of English, German and Russian and, on a more “exotic side”, we have colleagues from Taiwan, Indonesia and USA. And that’s music to my ears. Our newest colleague is Casey Potenzone, VP of US Sales – Welcome on board!
Secondly, we are talking about the buyers and that means payment interfaces in about 10 languages and around 16 currencies to support. The numbers might not say it all, Therefore, think about the fun we had updating the Chinese or Japanese Shopper FAQ.
OK, we might get some sleep over here at Marketing or Sales, but the colleagues from Customer Care and Anti fraud are working 24 x 7. We are calling the people doing these things as the Operational Department, but behind this name there is a lot of dedication, working nights and wonderful people that take a challenge in making sales support a breeze for our software vendors.
Developing a complete eCommerce platform takes hardcore programming and the best software engineers in the field. Development started even before Avangate was launched and it still goes strongly to implement the most advanced features requested by the software vendors. But most of the time, they’re not talking about features, they are talking about the pride to work on one of the most advanced eCommerce platforms or about how the software vendors are using the features to boost sales.
Our Sales Manager, Laurentiu, always says that the software vendors are not his customers but his partners and he is working with them to make better sales. He and his team of online sales consultants are the Marketing Department’s biggest clients, so sometimes we love them (mostly when they sign-up a new client) and sometimes we hate them (especially when they need more and more marketing materials).
Online software sales are also about Web Marketing: usability audits, landing pages, SEO and paid advertising campaigns. Adriana, our Web Marketing Manager, is a specialist in everything related to the Internet promotion for our software vendors. She built the web marketing department and they all take pride considering themselves the young and creative team of Avangate :). Designers, web developers, SEO specialists, usability guys and web content editors challenging the “traditional way” of marketing..
Well, we are spending the money Sales guys are earning. We are good at this (well, actually my future wife is better than me at spending :) ). I’m getting help from my team: Alexandra, Manuela and Cristian – I’m the most envied manager in the company because of “my girls”. We are doing marketing on very different markets, different targets and different media. It’s a challenge to be continuously creative but it’s also so much fun :).
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