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This is how dirico became reality

Welcome to the dirico blog. My name is Sascha Böhr and I am the founder and managing director of 247GRAD Labs GmbH, the software company behind dirico. In this post I would like to tell you about my most difficult business decision. And how it became dirico.

This is how dirico became reality

You already know our history of origins, as you have been observing our development from the very beginning? Then you might be interested in what has happened in 2019. Why we went among magazine publishers and founded a company in Romania, we will tell you in our review of the year.

And if you would like to get an impression today of how dirico can improve your content planning, creation, publishing and analysis, sign up for a free trial account.

Dear reader,

To do this, I have to take a step back and return to 2010. That was when I founded the social media agency 247GRAD. We were able – fortunately – to quickly acquire major clients such as Procter & Gamble and Nestlé. Looking back, I think that our willingness to experiment was responsible for this success. At that time we were one of the agencies that realized complete marketing campaigns on Facebook.

And then there was our Facebook CMS “TABMAKER”, which we released in 2011. In two years TABMAKER was installed more than 300.000 all over the world and was a very successful marketing tool for us.

There was no tool that met our requirements, so we developed our own

However, when working with our clients’ social media teams, we were always looking for a tool that would make our life easier. But we could not find one that met our requirements. Therefore, we decided at the beginning of 2013 to develop the first version of “247GRAD CONNECT” – at that time still called “PUBLISHER”. First, we used the tool only for ourselves. Later we found out that other companies had similar requirements as we did. We introduced the “PUBLISHER” to the general public and our first version of the software was immediately well received – the testers loved working with it.

At that time we had two own products, the PUBLISHER and the TABMAKER, which we had to develop and support in addition to the daily business in the agency. An almost impossible task for a small, self-financed team. We had to make a decision.

The only way to continue was to spin off the products from the agency business and start a software company.

With this plan I started looking for investors and fortunately I was able to raise venture capital relatively quickly. We founded 247GRAD Labs GmbH and built up our own team to take care of the further development of our software. The PUBLISHER became 247GRAD CONNECT – an all-in-one software for social media management.

As we were confronted with the demands and challenges of social media marketing every day in our agency 247GRAD, we developed the “CONNECT” primarily for ourselves. To this day, the software helped us in managing social media communication and in working with our clients.

In German-speaking countries we have successfully established 247GRAD CONNECT in our market segment and helped more than 100 enterprise customers to successfully manage their social media marketing.

But then something happened that none of us could foresee at this time

In recent years, online communication has experienced a boom that has fundamentally changed the work of marketing teams and communications departments: content marketing.

Content marketing has turned our world upside down. Large companies and corporations in particular have developed into true media houses, employing numerous people in their marketing teams who are busy producing stories and interesting content.

This development had great consequences for us:

  • Companies are looking for complete solutions to manage their content marketing. That means: their own blog or website AND the social media channels.
  • The content strategy is becoming more important than ever in order to stand out from competitors and to provide users with relevant content through stories and topics.
  • Larger teams are desperately looking for solutions to professionally plan and publish their increased content output.
  • More content and interaction require a better infrastructure.

What do these changes mean in practice? A short anecdote helps to understand it:

When we started CONNECT back then, most of our customers only had one Facebook page to manage and small teams of between two and five people. On average, our module called Helpdesk – the social media ticketing system – received maybe 100 tickets a day.

Today we have customers on our system who manage over 300 social media channels. Our customers also include companies that get 70,000 tickets per hour at peak times.

Seventy. Thousand. tickets. Per hour! With just one customer…

And in addition to the sheer volume of data, large teams have other requirements for planning, workflow and publisher functions.

As a social media tool, 247GRAD CONNECT can no longer meet the increased demands for a long time.

But how should our small team react? Developing a new software costs a lot of time and a lot of money. And in Silicon Valley there are hungry tech start-ups that want to enter the German market…

We have been thinking for a long time about how we can go on. Whether a start-up from Koblenz can really manage to develop a fundamentally new software once again?

A bold step and one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make…

Fortunately, courage and the willingness to experiment are what has always distinguished us. We were eager to continue and make dirico a reality!

Why not? We have gained a lot of experience over the past years. We have started, made mistakes and learned from them. We have grown, under our own steam and with every single customer.

Today we know that the challenge for marketing teams lies in the cross-channel orchestration of their content. That efficient collaboration across departments and teams has become a key discipline. And that social media and content marketing belong together. 

With dirico we make teamwork more efficient

But despite all the optimism we had to realize that we could not do it alone.

So the tech start-up from Koblenz needed more employees and more investors – with the same vision and the same goals. And we had to do it fast.

Were we really able to do this?

UPDATE: The following information is from the summer of 2016 and a lot has happened since then.

We have summarized here the rapid development dirico has undergone in 2019, including a doubling of the number of employees and turnover as well as the founding of a company in Romania.

We could! Since January 2016, a team of 10 employees has been working daily on the realisation of dirico and we are close to completion.

This week our closed beta test phase starts with a limited number of user accounts. Of course, not all desired features have been developed yet – but dirico can already be used productively to its current extent.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has signed up for the beta test phase and who will be giving us a lot of feedback over the next days and weeks.

Special thanks go to my team, who have done an extraordinary job in the last months. I am proud of you!

This is the story of how our vision of dirico became reality. Next, I would like to tell you about what makes dirico so special. 

What is dirico actually?

  • dirico consists of the word components “diri” from conductor (german: dirigent) and “co” from content. dirico can be used to direct all social media and content marketing activities.
  • dirico is designed for all those who manage professional social media and content marketing in a team.
  • dirico maps the entire workflow of modern marketing teams.
  • dirico is flexible and adapts individually to the needs of its users.
  • dirico has the right solutions for global brands, franchisors, chain stores, media companies, agencies and other marketing teams.

UPDATE: Of course, the following remarks today – in 2020 – also only reflect a long past state of affairs. The beta phase has been completed for a long time, but dirico can still be tested – with a much greater range of functions than back then – but still.

Click here to register for a 14-day free trial license.

If you would like to be a part of dirico, too, I would like to invite you to our limited beta test phase. You can simply apply for your personal license on get.dirico.io. As soon as the test phase starts, we will get back to you.

We are curious about your first impression and look forward to your feedback!

See you soon

Sascha

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