The Future of Craftzing: A look back and ahead at a digital growth story
Staying relevant in an ever-changing digital landscape requires making changes and adapting swiftly. A lot has happened at Craftzing in the past year and a half. Our newly appointed CEO Roeland Tegenbos takes a look back on the past 18 months and shares his vision for the future.
In the past year and a half, a lot has happened at strategic agency Craftzing: the merger with Nificent and Pointbreak, the move to a new office, growing the team from 46 to over 80 people, a second office in Ghent, and, since the beginning of this year, Ants Connect joining the Craftzing Group and your appointment as CEO. How do you view these past 18 months?
Roeland: 2021 was an exceptional year, everyone at Craftzing agrees on that. We have grown strongly, with many new people and experiences, new insights and new expertise. 2021 was also a year of reflection – reflection on how to stay relevant for our clients in a digital landscape that is constantly changing.
And we had to do the same exercise for our employees. How do we ensure that they feel good and can give their all for our customers every day? Thanks to their dedication and talents – always in the closest possible cooperation with our customers – we’re where we are today. I’m convinced that everything starts with sincere cooperation.
In what way does cooperation play such an important role at Craftzing?
Roeland: In three areas: working together with our clients; cooperation as colleagues; and finally, cooperation with other partners.
"We’re not just a supplier, but a loyal and strategic partner. Partners in crime, partners for life as it were."
When it comes to cooperating with our clients, we consciously choose long-term, sincere partnerships. It’s important to me that we are not just a supplier, but a loyal and strategic partner. Partners in crime, partners for life, as it were. We’ve worked with many of our customers for over 10 years. This creates a very different kind of relationship than when you only work on shorter projects or deliver one-offs. We don’t go for the quick wins – we go for the long-run. Then, you can create real impact, add value, and shape the future. But this is only possible when you work together for the long-term.
What does that mean to you: creating impact?
Roeland: You have to dare to think long-term and put yourself in the customer's place. What are their concerns, their goals, their motives?
"Craftzing's great strength is that we can translate and implement the strategy we propose. We’re known as the partner that is very strong in thinking up and drawing up future-oriented concepts. And we subsequently incubate them into results."
That's why we at Craftzing strive to be a business partner and why we put so much effort into the strategic aspect. That's where it starts. But we don't stop there. Craftzing's great strength is that we can translate and implement the strategy we propose. We’re known as the partner that is very strong in thinking up and drawing up future-oriented concepts. And we subsequently incubate them into results. It is precisely because of this integrated offer that we help our clients at every step of the process and take them with us from beginning to end.
Is this integrated offering also the reason Ants Connect is joining the group?
Roeland: That's right. Ants Connect has been our constant partner for years – we share the same DNA.
"We have to keep evolving if we want to keep biting off the top projects. That’s why we look for professional partners who share our drive to go for ‘the best of the best'."
Digital marketing strategy and data-driven performance marketing are increasingly becoming the new strategic challenges for companies. Certainly now that the whole landscape of analytics tools, cookies and the like is evolving so rapidly. So, with the expertise of Ants Connect's strategists and consultants, we can guide our clients further in that process.
We have to keep evolving if we want to keep biting off the top projects. That’s why we look for professional partners who share our drive to go for ‘the best of the best’. Ants Connect belongs to the top of Belgium in what they do – so joining forces was a very logical step.
Currently, there is strong competition on the labour market when it comes to digital profiles. How do you think Craftzing can attract the top talents?
Roeland: I believe everything starts with the right match. We want to make the world of tomorrow a better place, we want to pull in those top projects. Just as we surround ourselves with talented partners, we do the same with our employees.
"The ability to translate a strategy into practice attracts a lot of talent to Craftzing. Our people can really sink their teeth into challenging projects and go for the best result."
As an agency, we are very strong on the strategic level – that’s where our roots are – and on translating this into the right creative and technological solution. This strength – the ability to translate a strategy into practice – attracts a lot of talent to Craftzing. Our people can really sink their teeth into challenging projects and go for the best result. This also means that we have to offer them room to grow – which makes them happier and more self-confident, which in turn leads to more motivation and higher commitment. At Craftzing, we truly believe that quality is a process.
How do you stimulate and support your employees in their growth?
Roeland: I think it’s very important to work together in an atmosphere of trust. That’s where a stimulating work environment starts.
"There must be enough room for fun. It doesn’t always have to be too serious – laughing together and having fun is just as important."
In addition, we are now in the process of developing growth plans. Together, we look at where each individual wants to go, how to get there, and what support is needed to achieve those goals. Finally, there must be enough room for fun. It doesn’t always have to be too serious – laughing together and having fun is just as important.
What does the future of Craftzing look like from your point of view?
Roeland: In 2011, Maarten, Kenneth and I started Craftzing to make the world of tomorrow better with a group of talented experts. We are the strategic partner for our clients, and that’s how we really make a difference. That hasn’t changed – it will remain our focus even as we grow. And if we can do that with as much pleasure and dedication as we have shown in the past 10 years, I think we’re building a very nice story.
By Michele Stynen