Limburg entrepreneur launches web platform to sell marketing software in US
When Limburg entrepreneur Jo Gielen launches his web platform for the online sale of marketing applications today, he will focus on the US as his biggest target market. Gielen is co-founder and owner of the Hasselt-based marketing software company Addemar, which developed a softward package for the management of e-mail marketing campaigns. “In 2009, about five years after we launched, we reached the mark of 1 000 customers and positioned ourselves as market leader. I had hoped to double the customer base, but that was no longer possible via the existing channels. Moreover the economic crisis caused American competitors to dump their products here,” says Gielen. He therefore decided to explore the possibilities on the American market. This led to an online platform which allowed Gielen to offer his marketing software in various separate modules, with customers paying only for the functions they needed. When other Flemish businesses gradually started to become interested in selling their software to the US market, the App Store Marketingappexchange.com was created for businesses who were in search of online marketing applications. The concept is similar to Appexchange, the apps platform of software seller Salesforce.com. Gielen stresses that their platform is more than a mere store, as they will promote, market and sell their apps to customers actively. When it is launched today, Marketingappexchange will not only sell their own Addemar software but also the applications of other Flemish companies such as Bubobox, Zentrick, 8seconds, SurveyAnyplace, Tapcrowd and EventOnTrack. At this stage Gielen is also looking for a few American app firms to offer their apps on the platform. The 30% commission on sales which he takes for himself is as much as Apple takes from its App Store. “Selling through our platform gives you access to an enormous American market,” says Gielen, who hopes to eventually offer similar apps stores for a number of industries in partnership with American companies.