Recently our CMO, Carlos Botero, had an interview with CMS TestLabor, a German blog focused on the topic of CMS and website builders.
The original interview in German can be found in here:
Bellow there is the English text of this interview, enjoy!
Interview with Webnode’s Chief Marketing Officer Carlos Botero (Voucher inside!)
We are very happy to interview Carlos Botero (30) today: he is Webnode’s Chief Marketing Officer and will give us interesting insights into his job and the development of the Webnode website builder. Robert our “chief executive tester” talked to Carlos.
Carlos, thank you very much for letting us do this interview. Would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m Carlos Botero, originally from Venezuela and born to Colombian parents, then that makes me a “Vene-lombian” (laughing). I’m currently the head of the marketing department for the website builder project called Webnode developed by the Czech company Westcom, s.r.o. Previous to Webnode, I worked in an US Internet marketing company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and previous to that I worked at the headquarters of Skype in Tallin, Estonia.
Wow, you are quite a globetrotter!
Yes, I enjoy traveling and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds from all around the world – thank you Internet for giving me freedom! In other aspects, I’m a very relaxed person as in I don’t like/wear suits or a tie often (smiles).
What do you find the most compelling reason to choose Webnode over a different website builder?
The system is really thought to provide solutions, especially for SMBs. It is not just a website builder or CMS system, but Webnode goes to the next level, being optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which helps the websites to be easily found by the most popular search engines. The way you can create/edit your website is really intuitive in a drag-and-drop way, without complicated configurations or any programing involved. And especially, because we are constantly innovating and looking forward to improve the system to provide real solutions to our users.
Moreover, now going beyond the system itself, our support team is always ready and willing to help, providing solutions and really listening to our customers needs. In fact, many of the new features we are constantly making are result of the feedback our support department gets from our customers.
Some people say that these hosted website builders are not flexible enough for proper business use? What do you tell these people?
Indeed there are systems that are not good for business, and the team at Webnode has seen this in previous systems and that is why it has added, and is constantly adding, special features in the system that makes it more suitable for business use.
For example, one of the main challenges that companies face at the moment of creating their website is the lack of traffic they get, and many don’t realize that an important factor that influences this is in the way the website is structured, or also if the website is “Search Engine Optimized”, and that is a big advantage that Webnode offers over other systems.
Also to those who believe that our system could not be flexible enough, I would just tell them that they can contact us at anytime at our support e-mail making their comments, questions or suggestions about it. We are ready to show them all the advantages and possibilities our system offers, and we are also ready to hear the feedback to make of Webnode a much more complete solution.
You have just released mobile web pages for everyone which is certainly a fantastic feature. Would you mind telling us something about upcoming features?
Our mobile version was a very exciting project for us, especially because we are the first in offering this feature without the need of installing any plug-in or any extra software in mobile devices, and all our users enjoy automatically a mobile version of their Webnode project.
It is clear to us that mobile Internet is already taking a big step, and we were not going to be left behind. Our intentions with the mobile version of Webnode is not only to let visitors see a website from their mobile devices, but even to let the website owners build the web “on-the-go”, wherever and whenever they want.
About new features…
About new features… can’t really comment much – we don’t want to ruin the surprise for our customers… and competitors (smiling).
And more than new features from the system, there will be a new restructure and direction from the inside, all for good changes which will have as an end result solutions for our customers to manage their presence in the Web successfully in a very simple way.
Webnode is a young startup, how is the atmosphere in this company? Do you like living and working in the Czech Republic? Any major cultural differences?
The team is amazing, they are really brilliant and also it is fun and positively challenging to work together. Perhaps an advantage I have also is that even I’m a marketer, I can also enjoy and participate from more technologically oriented (geeky) humor and behavior.
About Czech Republic, I do enjoy it very much. It is different, but that has never stopped me. Also having a Czech wife makes it a lot easier
About cultural differences, I think that the main challenge for me at the beginning was the language, mainly because I had in my head that “Czech language is hard” but after a while I started to see that this is not the case.
Webnode is offering a lot, even the free plan features hardly any advertising on the site. How do you manage to be profitable? And how is Webnode funded? I am asking this because it’s always very important that the company where you host your website stays in business.
Our business model is called “Freemium”, meaning that we offer some basic solution for free and then for more advanced features we offer Premium packages that brings the Webnode projects to a new level. Our free offer is already very complete, which helps us to bring many new users daily, and an important percentage of them later on decide to move forward with a Premium package to take their website to a higher level thanks to the Premium features.
This model has been proved for us to work very well, and we will keep it and also add more special features that we know our customers will love, especially those who want to have a much more customized solution that can really stand out.
Webnode started in the Czech-Slovak market where it became very strong. Nowadays it has spread overseas, becoming the most popular website builder in Brazil, rapidly growing in the Spanish speaking world, US and China.
How important is the German speaking market for you? Do you see great potential there?
Certainly the German speakers are important for us, and this is why we have our system and also support in the German language. The German public tends to look for solutions that are not only good looking but useful, and this is why Webnode is a perfect fit to this market, in both our free and Premium offers.
But I prefer not just to talk about how great is the system and instead I would like you all to try it, so this is why we have decided to give you a special incentive to try out or Premium service for free for three months. Simply use this voucher code:
IMPORTANT: You must use this voucher before April 30th, after that moment the voucher will not be valid to be redemed. The offer is also valid for existing FREE customers.
To redeem it, simply go to www.webnode.com and register a website project. In your customer menu under Premium Services you can redeem the voucher (not valid for eShops).
Thanks a lot Carlos, I think our readers will like that!
You are welcome!
One last question: I have seen that the English website has a very classy new design (see screenshot). When will German Webnode users enjoy this new layout?
Of course, and German users will enjoy of this new design very soon. But there is much more than just a new look, there are new options and features attached to this fresh look, some can be seen already and some other will be launched soon.
Thank you very much and all the best for the future!
All of the more than one million websites running on Webnode got their mobile version absolutely free of charge today. Visitors using iPhones, PDAs or other portable devices can now view optimized web pages or e-shops using their mobile phones. Furthermore, Webnode users can now also easily manage their websites and e-shops directly from their mobile devices. The Webnode Internet service launched its mobile version at m.webnode.com.
“Mobile Internet is currently on the increase. That’s something everyone knows. But we’ve moved it to a brand new dimension. Instead of just page optimization for mobile browsing, we made another step – we’ve allowed everyone to manage their websites on the go. We are the first company in the market making this happen in such a complex manner and range,” says Vit Vrba, founder and co-owner of Westcom.
Smartphones today offer sufficient computing power, speed and display resolution suitable for web browsing; they currently generate 14% of overall mobile phone sales and according to Gartner in 2012 the smartphones’ share will increase to 37%. In conjunction with smartphone sales increase, the usage of mobile Internet usage also increases. According to mobile operators, the number of mobile Internet users in the Europe has doubled to 85 million users since last year, which means that one out of every nine SIM cards in the Europe today is being used to access the Internet. This is an opportunity not only for big enterprises, but also for smaller companies. Offering their goods and services on the Internet should be a natural part of their marketing strategy.
“The current trend is obvious – in just a few years there will be more users accessing the Internet from their mobile device than those from their PC,” continues Vit Vrba. “This was definitely the reason for us to make this fundamental step – make the mobile Internet available to users through Webnode free of charge.” He adds, “Although being a company established in the Czech Republic, we’re becoming a world pioneer in this new trend.”