Team announcement

Meet Yann A. Skaalen: Founder and CEO of Digtective

Meet Yann A. Skaalen: Founder and CEO of Digtective

The timing is finally right for Digtective, a targeted marketing company that provides cookieless conversion tracking solutions to banks, SaaS and eCommerce companies. Digtective was founded in 1999 by Yann A. Skaalen, but he sold the company in 2003. After 15 years working on other ventures, Yann has reignited Digtective to help businesses to solve the challenge of a cookieless future, cut their advertising spend, and scale their growth. Yann believes the company was ahead of its time somewhat, but says today’s landscape around cookies, privacy and target marketing is perfect for what he’d always wanted to achieve with Digtective. “I saw the things you could do with third party cookies, and how you could measure engagement and conversions. We actually need our privacy, and we're going to demand it. It's starting to get even worse now, in terms of people blocking cookies and customers not knowing which profiles to build on.” Yann has worked in tracking since 1998, and he’s driven by two things - helping customers to reduce wasted ad spend, scale their growth, and solve the challenges of data privacy, and helping to resolve privacy issues that come with collecting data so companies are compliant with the law. “Our customers, between 20 to 50% of their ad spend is wasted. We help them to identify which ads are underperforming so they can relocate that spend to the ads that do work. “But you have to do all that with GDPR and privacy in mind. Laws are changing now if a website collects privacy data from a EU citizen, even unintentionally, and it doesn’t have the person's consent, the website risks a fee equal to 4% of annual revenue. “Germany is now about to implement a new privacy regulation this year, and that's two years before the EU is going to implement it. If you get it wrong, you can be fined up to 20 million Euros, which is a lot of money.” Yann is an early adopter of all things technology, and he fondly remembers his first computer - a Commodore 64. He enjoys playing and experimenting with technologies, which is a hobby that has formed a large part of his work life. Yann co-founded MyBank in 2016, and designed its CRM system. He has also developed his own mortgage repayment calculator. He tests his SEO strategies on his own food blog, yannsfood.com. He says he’s not a hugely talented chef, but he enjoys cooking - especially American barbecue. His other big interest is maintaining bonsai trees. As an entrepreneur, Yann has a lot of experience trying to balance his work and his private life. He admits to not quite getting the balance right, but says he’s better than he used to be. “When you work, you work. And when you're off, you're off. That's my rule. You have to be focused on what you’re doing - so if you're with your family, you have to be focused on that. Or you're working, you have to focus on that. I'm not saying I have a 100% success rate on this issue, but that's the goal.” Yann believes being able to call himself out is important in order to improve decisions. However, he’s also a firm believer in not letting that hold you back from making decisions in the first place. “As one of my mentors says, I always make the right decision. Later on, if I find out it actually wasn't right, I will change it. But you have to trust that you’re making the right decision in the moment.”

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