Ria Bosserhoff moves in digital and international worlds every day. As managing director of the Stolberg-based agency Wibo - Technologiekommunikation, she also knows how infinitely large and diverse these spheres are. In order to see where you are at the moment and where you actually want to go, it is sometimes best to get input from outside. At Wibo, this is provided by "digitSME". When Ria Bosserhoff read an article about the project in the Wirtschaftliche Nachrichten in 2020, her interest was immediately aroused.
What is behind digitSME? Since January 2020 and until June 2023, small and medium-sized enterprises in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine region have been given the opportunity to examine their international and digital orientation. Within the framework of the project, the status of digitalisation and international orientation will first be recorded. Then the companies will work in cross-border clusters and with the help of experts to improve their digital and international skills. In addition, the entrepreneurs receive support in the transition to digital marketing and in opening foreign markets. "It pays for companies to be digitally well positioned and internationally active. That's why the IHK Aachen, together with partners from the Euregio, wants to help companies gain digital competence and international strength within the framework of this INTERREG project," says IHK employee Claudia Simon. The fact that both areas are to be promoted at the same time is no coincidence. After all, digitalisation - especially digital marketing - creates opportunities even in international markets that were perhaps inaccessible until now. This is a great opportunity for companies from the Euregio to strengthen their international competitiveness. The initiative was launched by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, the Zuyd Hogeschool, the Agence du Numérique and Basse-Meuse Développement. It is funded by the European Union. Participation throughout the project is free of charge for businesses, and registration is possible at any time.
The company Wibo was already internationally active before registering for digitSME. Mrs. Bosserhoff knows from his own experience, however, that you have to put yourself to the test again and again in order to remain competitive. "The world is turning faster and faster these days. On the one hand, you must not miss trends, but on the other hand, you have to be able to choose the right one from the huge offer. In addition, you should not underestimate the differences in language and mentality in an international context. It is not only in Great Britain, for example, that marketing is argued in a completely different way than in Germany," she says. Started in the early 1990s as a classic advertising agency, the company focused exclusively on technology communication in the B2B sector a few years ago. "Almost all of our technology clients serve different industries in different countries," says Mrs. Bosserhoff." She and her colleague Ulrike Gerhards accompany them in the areas of target group marketing or as external marketing managers.
Through digitSME, the Stolberg entrepreneur was able to take exciting ideas back to her everyday professional life, for example different digitisation strategies, their possibilities and types of applications. "The valuable thing about this project is above all the active exchange both with experts and among the participants themselves - even if it was made more difficult by the Corona pandemic," says Mrs. Bosserhoff. She specifically participated in the online offerings relevant to her company - for example, lectures on "Growth Marketing" and "Social Media". Her summary? "The project has definitely shown that there is a great need for advice and exchange among each other in this area. I would be happy if there were more offers of this kind following this project."
Wibo – Technologiekommunikation GmbH – Mrs. Ria Bosserhoff