A day at the office with Trigger01

The first company 4i-Magazine visited for this new article series is Trigger01, based in Stuttgart, Germany.

Trigger01 is located a few kilometers southwest of the city centre. The company offers marketing services to technology companies and start-ups. They help with sales cycles, reducing acquisition costs with a unique end-to-end marketing and sales approach for B2B companies in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).

Trigger01: We increase your lead quality, shorten your sales cycle and reduce acquisition costs through a unique end-to-end marketing and sales approach for B2B companies in the DACH region.

I had the chance to interview Nikolai Gogoll, CEO and co-founder of the company, and staff members.

Trigger01 has 15 staff between three offices, Stuttgart (HQ), Munich, and Vienna.

Trigger01 – Company

What is the main focus of the company?

Nikolai: We are helping b2b companies in the German-speaking area adjust their digital channels marketing to get better lead quality and results in their marketing execution.

In three words, tell us what it is like to work here.

Nikolai: Adventurous (I would like to say exhausting, but that’s only from my point of view at times!!) Collaborative – we have excellent team spirit. Educational – we are learning every day.

Diverse because every day is different. Fun – I love my colleagues, and we have a good time. Educational – you learn a lot when you work in an agency.

Teresa, Content Specialist

Stefan: Interesting. Inspiring as we have a different approach to other agencies. Honest is also a good word to describe Trigger01 because we have a very honest approach to customers, even if it’s not what they necessarily want to hear.

Michele: Flexible. You learn a lot, and I think it has a modern work attitude.

What makes the team stand out?

Nikolai: Everyone has their talent and brings something to the table. I think it is very special to work here. Everyone’s trying to get the best out of the project, no matter who does it.

Stefan: The expertise we have and the relationship between the team – we are always supporting each other. We have a great team spirit.

Michele: Everyone is an expert in their field and good at their job. And if you have a question, you can always go to someone, and they will respond immediately and help you. I think the teamwork is excellent.

Workday and Working Hours

What does a typical workday look like?

Nikolai: We start with daily stand-up at 9.30 am; the time before 9.30 am is flexible – you can come in whenever you want or log in if you’re remote and log out when you want. We don’t believe in typical working hours. We believe in results, and we want to get things done. And I think you must adjust to a digital workplace to stay motivated. We have weekly goals we want to reach, and if you get this done by the end of the week, it doesn’t matter when you do it, but you have to do it.

What are the usual working hours?

Nikolai: Trigger01 – Our official business hours are from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. But we have softphones on our laptops and three colleagues, including me, have the app on our mobile phones, so there is always someone answering the phone. We have got colleagues who are most productive in the afternoon, so it doesn’t make sense to me to get them to start work at 8 am if they work from 1 pm to 10 pm, that’s okay.

Stefan: I start around 9 am, maybe 8.30 am when the train allows it. And I finish about 6 pm.

Name some of your clients.

Nikolai: Meta:Proc a robotic process automation (RPA) company and Montana Tech Components.

Team Meetings

Which meetings take the longest?

We try to shorten it down to what is really necessary to do in a meeting or what you can handle over a Slack channel. We try to keep client meetings to a maximum of 60 minutes. Our weekly stand-up is 60 minutes on Monday from 11 am to 12 pm, and then someone shares something creative for about 30 minutes.

Nikolai, CEO & Co-founder

Michele: We have a weekly meeting on a Monday that takes the longest, but it is interesting.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you are now?

Nikolai: I think I would be a good teacher. I have studied education at university – for the workplace – to prepare and set up and execute workshops in companies – I think I would be pretty good at this. As it turns out, I am here to educate others in another way.

Working Conditions

How did the pandemic affect the team and the working conditions?

Nikolai: Not at all. We are a fully remote company; we are thinking digital first. We founded the company the September before the pandemic. It didn’t hit us that hard. Maybe it was even a bonus or a silver lining if you can say because companies had to change the way they do marketing and sales.

Teresa: Trigger01 – I joined during the pandemic. We tried to come to the office because we were only a small team then, and it was good to see them in the office. I learned how to work remotely and the way that I communicate with clients.

Stefan: It did affect me a little bit, but I was quite surprised how well it went – we had the digital structures and processes built from the start. We found a way to get personal contact but also used remote operations to overcome the distance barriers we had to solve.

Team Bonding

Do you have any team bonding activities?

Nikolai: Yes! Wine on Wednesdays. And starting this year, we have bi-annual team workshops – we started this in April, next one is in September. We went to a blind restaurant at Christmas.

Teresa: Yes, once a week, we have Bergfest (Berg means mountain) on Wednesdays because we are over the top of the mountain – we celebrate that half of the week is over. One person buys a bottle of wine and introduces it to others. In the summertime, we drink it in the area outside the office because it is beautiful. We also try to have lunch together at a restaurant a minimum of once a week. Our favourite place is a Thai restaurant next to the office.

At the moment, I am planning our offsite event we do every six months; we may rent a house in Austria for this.

Michele: Trigger01 – We are planning some at the moment, we have different activities we can choose, so I’m excited. We’ve talked about escape rooms or paintball.

Team Growth

How do you see the team growing in the next three years?

Nikolai: Our goal is to grow the company to 50 employees. That is pretty much the game plan. We are currently looking for new offices. We have three big clients in the pipeline to realise that goal.

Do you offer any special days to your employees?

Nikolai: We don’t at the moment. We close the office at Christmas time to allow everyone to spend it with family and friends, take time for themselves, and start the new year with new energy.

Give a shout-out to a competitor.

Nikolai: If you look too much left and right, you get distracted from your own path, but I think the work of YOYABA in Hamburg is pretty good.

I would not say I admire a specific company, but I admire a thought leader in the industry, especially in my area of conversion rate optimisation; I would say, Talia Wolf.

Stefam, Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist

What has changed in the company since you started working here?

Nikolai: We have grown our team. We all started in a home office and now have an office. That allows us to provide better results because our internal processes are well defined. There is also more structure in work, and I don’t have to do it all myself because we have a team now, and that’s pretty cool.

Teresa: We have fewer clients, but the companies are more prominent, and that was what we were aiming for. We also have new team members, and more people are coming.

Stefan: we have all grown a lot, which is an achievement.

Michele: we got more plants which are pretty nice!

What were your expectations when you started here, and have you met them?

Work Expectations

Nikolai: Yeah. Our first expectations were exceeded in two months, so we are continuously setting goals and trying to reach them. Sometimes you reach the goal, and sometimes you have to adjust it; it’s ongoing.

Teresa: Trigger01 – College was all theory, but you don’t get to learn how to work in companies. I really wanted to learn new skills, how to do online marketing, how it works, and how to make all of these strategies, and I have learned a lot. I also grew personally – Nikolai gives us a lot of responsibility; I have my own clients, which I think is nice because I am only 24, and if I worked in a larger company, I wouldn’t get this.

Stefan: I would say that my expectations were surpassed. I also expected that the agency business could be stressful, but it didn’t come true, which I’m happy about.

Office Work or Remote Work

What do you prefer, work from home or work in the office?

Nikolai: Depends on the work I am doing – if I have to do creative work, like writing, I love to work from home or anywhere else, not in the office. Right now, because we have a six-month-old baby, I would like to come here!!

Teresa: Working in the office. I am a huge fan of seeing my colleagues and talking to them. I like personal communication. For me, it’s essential to have a good connection with them.

Stefan: Depends on the tasks. In creative tasks where you can benefit from the input of your colleagues, I find it is easier to be in person. But when I am working from home, I can structure my day a bit easier, and I don’t have the time-consuming travel to Stuttgart because I live a little bit outside the town.

Michele: I like to go into the office because if I have to do creative tasks, I can talk to my colleagues about it and get creative together – it is much easier than getting reviewed faster and changing things. But I also like staying at home if I’m not feeling so good or have private appointments.

Marketing B2B

How does your product change the world?

Nikolai: I think our work has no direct influence on changing the world, but we help companies get seen, get their products or services into the world and change the world. We are trying to get our clients to understand that being digital means being more buyer-centric, not seller-centric.

Michele: We think about our marketing differently and try to help other companies get better and become first in their field.

What is the most fun activity you have done while working with the company?

Nikolai: Trigger01 – The most fun is always the client workshops; in my opinion, despite all the digital ways to communicate with people, it is like you have another energy if you are with them. We had one in Tuscany in July.

Teresa: Our last Christmas dinner was great fun and a good experience. It was not my first time in a blind restaurant, but I was there with my colleagues, and my other colleagues joined us from Munich and Vienna – it was good to be all together.

Stefan: To be honest, our get-together on Wednesdays is quite fun. Also, the breakout sessions are in a co-working space where we leave our normal environment and get creative.

When I started, we did a workshop where we discussed all the company goals, company ideas, and philosophy – that was interesting and fun because I got to know all my colleagues and the company.

Michele, Content Specialist

Coolest Place

Where is the coolest place to hang out in the office?

Nikolai: I think the kitchen because we share it with the other offices here. Also, you can see the sun rising in Spring if you come to the office early.

Teresa: I really like to sit outside in the sunshine at lunch.

Stefan: There are not so many places to hang out in our offices, but the coolest place would be the kitchen if you want to get your mind free and leave your workspace.

Michele: I like my workspace because it is next to the window and we have a nice view – I enjoy that.

Who is the worker who always stays late?

Nikolai: Oh, that is me!

Teresa: Trigger01 – I always stay to the end, so I would say that is me and maybe Stefan. But Nikolai is always online on his way home or on the weekends. He is always working, and he is not working.

Stefan: I would sayit is between Nikolai and Teresa

Michele: Usually we leave together but at the moment maybe Nikolai. 

Fiona Alston is a freelance journalist based in Ireland covering tech, innovation, start-ups and interesting SMEs. Alston is also passionate about athletics, health and horses having competed in triathlons, equestrian events and horse racing, and her lived experience comes through when covering sports personalities or fitness features. Growing up on the family farm in Scotland, Alston graduated from the University of Sunderland with a BA (Hon.) in Broadcast Journalism, and is frequently published in The Irish Times, The Business Post, RTÉ and 4i Mag.