Zurich, 10 March 2014 Sandro Prezzi (47) is responsible for marketing at the photo-sharing community piccing.com with immediate effect. As Chief Marketing Officer, Prezzi will be leading the global marketing and communications effort from Zurich.
Prezzi, who was previously managing director of MEC Mediaedge:cia Switzerland AG (GroupM) for eight years, has more than 20 years experience in marketing, communications and advertising. Previously, Sandro Prezzi held numerous management positions in Swiss media agencies, including Optimedia Schweiz AG and Publimedia AG. He was responsible for national and international accounts and also worked in an advisory capacity. He shares his knowledge as a lecturer at Swiss universities (CAS Cross Media Management) and since 1997 has been an expert examiner for integrated communications in the marketing and communications departments. “With piccing, something very exciting is happening in the e-commerce space. I am proud and happy to be contributing to the project and am looking forward to the new challenge”, said Sandro Prezzi, CMO of Piccing.
“I am delighted to have attracted Sandro Prezzi to our company, because he is a consummate marketing and communications professional”, said Dirk Spielmann, CEO of piccing.com. “The constant development of the community, the growing number of members and the continuous expansion of our product offering requires a team of professionals who support this growth with great motivation, passion and a strong network”, added Spielmann.
To read more about Sandro, view his bio.
It doesn’t matter how good an idea is: the product is only a success when users adopt it. So for the photo sharing community Piccing.com the fact that six million people have now registered as members is a major milestone.
At the end of last year the number of registered users passed the five-million mark and now six million people already have an account with the interactive photo sharing site Piccing.com. “In my opinion, young people have had enough of Facebook. It’s not hip enough any more”, is how CEO Dirk Spielmann explains the large number of new registrations. “Nobody wants to be friends with their parents or other relatives in social communities. Young adults need a space in which they can depict themselves as they wish – without perceived control and in order to discover new things for themselves.” At the moment the number of new registrations is running at 80,000 to 100,000 per day.
Piccing members use photos to recommend locations, fashion trends, lifestyle products, restaurants and clubs to one another. By means of the matching tool “Picc it. Live it!”, users can tag products in photos and are shown similar articles from shops in real time. The network gets a commission if a purchase is made. In early February 2014 more than one million products are said to be integrated. And in the near future members of Piccing.com should also be able to earn money from the site.
Since December 2013 the start-up based in Palo Alto, California, has also had an office in Berlin. It is primarily from here that the sales activities for the European market are to be managed and coordinated. Ten sales experts have been recruited for the job and will be making contact with potential affiliate partners, fashion and lifestyle brands.
Pinterest for your daughter
US start-up for the younger target group opens office in Berlin
The American social photo sharing community Piccing.com is coming to Germany and has opened an office in Berlin. CEO Dirk Spielmann confirmed a corresponding enquiry by Kontakter. Members use the platform, which is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, to recommend locations, fashion trends, lifestyle products, restaurants and clubs to each other and to share their favourite tips. The site is aimed primarily at a younger target group – you could say that Piccing.com is Pinterest for your daughter. The number of users is already in seven figures and has more than doubled over the last few months, as Spielmann explains.
With its launch in Berlin the platform will be starting its matching tool “Picc it. Live it!”, which enables members to tag their favourite products in pictures and receive real-time suggestions for similar products. This also enables members to earn real money from the site. If their recommendation of a favourite product results in a sale, the member gets a commission. “Piccing has affiliate deals with various online shops”, continues Spielmann. His platform shares the commission with the user and makes a payment to a Paypal account.
The company intends to integrate this monetarisation model in Q1 2014, when enough online stores are linked with Piccing. “Our aim is to cover around five million products”, says the CEO. At the moment the platform relies heavily on fashion, but that is set to change. “We want members to be able to cover all their areas of interest”, says the manager, who spent part of his childhood in Berlin. Spielmann still has a lot planned: the platform developers in Cape Town are currently working on an app, and the site is also to be translated into various languages. First up are German, Spanish and French. The Piccing founder was recently able to raise a seven-figure sum to advance his project.
From photo-sharing network directly to the shop.
Shop faster: tag the products on photos and find the matching stores via the Piccing network. It’s a hit in the USA and now it’s coming here too.
An internet start-up from Palo Alto in California (USA) that wants to combine a photo-sharing network and shopping: those buzzwords are enough to put dollar signs in some people’s eyes – this has to be a hit! Or does it? In any case, the founders of Piccing are so convinced of their business that they have already opened an office in Berlin. They plan to bring the service to Germany in the spring. What can we look forward to?
Where do the clothes come from?
At first glance, Piccing is just a normal photo-sharing platform: anyone who registers with www.piccing.com can upload as many pictures as they want and share them with others.
The unusual thing about it is that if someone sees some nice clothes, a car or a mobile phone in a picture, they can mark the product and tag it. The platform then links the information with the databases of online shops.
After clicking on a product, users immediately see a selection of shops that have the article on sale – or something similar. So the idea is that this enables you to get hold of the elegant outfits that some of the people in the pictures are wearing…
Personal advertising banners
So far the service has not been optimised for Germany and most of the links are to American shops. Computer Bild says: Once Piccing speaks German it will open up completely new shopping experiences here too. But all users should be aware that their pictures make them into advertising banners without their knowing it.
At first sight Piccing is a kind of photo network like Instagram or Pinterest: private users post their photographs there. It gets interesting when users mark the products shown. Then Piccing can find the right shops for each motif and take users directly to their websites.
Searching for the right path
The marketing year 2013: the business was defined by differentiation, small data and the fight against advertising regulations.
Walter Jens certainly wasn’t a marketing specialist. However, the author and academic who died this year still said something that should actually be a principle of all marketing work. “The people who really change the world have always swum against the current.” At first glance the sentence may seem banal, but it is true nonetheless.
The Jens quote is a call for differentiation, which seems to be urgently required. Up and down the country critics bemoan the mass of interchangeable products and similar creations. Instead of clear statements there is a lot of wishy-washy and arbitrary nonsense. It was like that in 2013 and it will stay like that in 2014. Because swimming against the current requires courage, endurance and strength. Not everyone in marketing has that. Decision makers have share prices and investors at their backs, or sometimes just their own sales director. They want to see results. In other words: faster growth, more sales. Maybe a better image too, but only as long as it boosts sales. More fans on Facebook, 50,000 participants at a crowdsourcing event or a content platform that even beats the contents of the Encyclopaedia Britannica are definitely not what these numbers-driven groups are looking for. Marketing has to face up to that: things that may be exciting for the marketing community ain’t necessarily so for the CEO or the majority shareholder. For them the only thing that counts is the return on capital employed. So marketing efficiency will continue to play a major role in the marketers’ agenda.
Nor is that the only reason. Although massive budget increases are unlikely, the tide of media channels continues to rise. Piccing.com has just announced its launch in Germany. The photo sharing community is based in Palo Alto, California, and wants to take its place alongside Instagram and Pinterest; two platforms that marketers are only slowly starting to look at. The Chinese internet giant Alibaba, which is bigger than Ebay and Amazon combined, is preparing its IPO in order to raise funds for further expansion. Messenger services like Whats-App or Snapchat do not feature in strategic considerations at all, but are used more and more by young people. Then there is the increasing volume of smartphones and tablets. Market researchers at International Data Corporation (IDC) expect sales of swipe and touch devices alone to go up by 22.4% in 2014.
As a result the marketing team has to decide what to leave out when planning its campaigns. It is already apparent that managers will be even more flexible in 2014 than before when it comes to choosing and budgeting. But the product and target group should be the benchmark and no longer just the cheapest rates. So TV and web may well be up in front once more, but we could also try some print again – differentiation being the watchword – to the extent that the data justify it. The traces that customers leave behind when shopping, surfing, using their smartphone or visiting an outlet are becoming the most important guide. And at the same time they are a curse. What is true today is a fond reminiscence tomorrow. The volume of data on Earth is doubling every two years. By 2020 it will have reached an unimaginable 40 zettabytes – according to researchers’ estimates that is 57 times the number of grains of sand on all the beaches in the world. That is really big data.
But what is really important is small data, so the stuff known as customer relationship management that used to lead a shadowy existence inside companies. That doesn’t sound particularly sexy or impressive, but rather wallflowerish. In fact CRM is nothing other than the art of aligning a company with its customers. Exactly what marketers should actually be wanting and trying to do. Data is indispensable for this, as long as a company knows which figures it has to fish out of the stream.
But ultimately both big and small data are condemned to fail if governments and consumer protection hawks keep on hogtying companies with more advertising bans and regulations. The tobacco industry knows all about that and may soon be followed by the alcohol, healthcare and cosmetic sectors. Here too, cringing conformity would be the wrong choice. Instead, companies must take a stand, fight their corner and emphasise the importance of advertising freedom. That should also be on the marketing agenda in 2014. Walter Jens would like that.
View all of our press releases here.