Using digital magic, Mackevision creates imaginative new realities. How to...

Using digital magic, Mackevision creates imaginative new realities. How to...

As marketing moves increasingly online, computer-generated imagery (CGI) and virtual reality (VR) are disrupting established ways of selling goods. Having pioneered this approach for its automotive customers, Mackevision is now set to do the same for clients accross a wide range of sectors. A unique position in an expanding market leaves no choice but to grow rapidly worldwide, bringing scalability challenges. What can we learn from Mackevision about mastering this growth?

Digitalization impacting marketing: why CGI brought high added value to the automotive industry first

First-class CGI combines technology and talent, explains Sander van Vreumingen of the Gimv Smart Industries team. “It’s done by highly skilled specialists who have a very specific focus.” But despite the cost this entails, CGI was attractive to the auto industry, which was the first to use it.

Take the online car configurators that allow you to visualize a model with different colors and options. Producing these convincing images requires the complex management of CAD data provided by the auto manufacturer, and digital visual modeling of an entire car in all its possible configurations. Using clever algorithms a seamless image is created that responds almost instantly as online shoppers switch viewpoints and options to design their dream cars.

Images say more than words. Check out the video to see how automotive marketing works today.

In a market where the customer journey is increasingly digital, CGI-based marketing makes good sense. Today the main reason to visit a dealer is to experience the feeling of being inside the car and to take a test drive. But as technology improves, this will change, says Sander. “In a couple of years you’ll be able to virtually take your car for a spin without leaving home.”

The auto industry isn't the only sector being revolutionized by CGI. Manufacturers of all types of products – from luxury yachts to fast-moving consumer goods – want to move marketing online. The home furnishings sector is a good example. Instead of visiting a crowded showroom, why not wander through a digital home where you can have fun choosing curtains, couches and coffee tables? 

How is Mackevision handling its growth on a global scale?

These radical changes have brought both opportunities and challenges to the German firm Mackevision. Founded in 1994 as a video post-production company, it quickly expanded to include 3D animation and visualization. Focusing on the automotive industry since 2001, and located near big OEMs, today the company is the world market leader in its sector. Recognizing the importance of being close to customers, Mackevision has a dozen offices on three continents. In addition to working with carmakers, the company produces animation and visual effects for film, print and interactive media. It even boasts an Emmy Award for its work on the TV hit Game of Thrones.

Mackevision has a very attractive business model that combines technology, efficiency, good customer relationships and a unique ability to produce volume on a global scale while maintaining uncompromising quality. This unique positioning in an expanding market leaves no choice but to grow rapidly worldwide, leading to scalability challenges

Mackevision’s success in mastering this growth is due to a number of factors. It starts with the drive of CEO Armin Pohl, supported by strong local management. An efficiently steered, expanding network of international sites is combined with a focus on attracting the best CGI experts. Also critical is ongoing technology investment. For example, Mackevision is leading the shift from traditional CGI to gaming technologies. This VR approach provides the most powerful means of generating lifelike images in real time. 

Chemistry and true partnership created solid foundations ahead of the curve

In December 2014 Gimv took a majority stake in Mackevision. “The management wanted to bring in experience and support to help professionalize the company and cope with international growth,” Sander recalls. Strong collaboration between Gimv and management reinforced the organization and helped establish a solid global network. Additional management – at headquarters and locally – has improved the control and steering of the business. The whole process was guided by a transformation plan drawn up by Mackevision, assisted by the Gimv operating team. 

The additional capital provided by Gimv was invested 'ahead of the curve' in order to open new offices and recruit personnel to cope with projected growth, and to invest in new technologies. It also gave the firm breathing space in which to carefully focus on the right commercial opportunities in order to pursue its ambitious growth path and global expansion. 

Gimv’s effort to truly understand Mackevision, its business and its people brings real added value during our business and strategy discussions.

Armin Pohl - CEO, Mackevision

Entrepreneurial tips

  1. Invest in a strong management team and the quality of the organization to facilitate further growth.
  2. Growth on a global scale is about focus: choose one area at a time and excel in it.
  3. Make sure you keep a step ahead in the technology or specialty that makes you a leader. 

Would you like to know more about this partnership? Watch a short movie to learn more about Mackevision. And don’t hesitate to contact Sander van Vreumingen, Partner with the Gimv Smart Industries team, or one of the colleagues within the team.


Gimv Smart Industries

Our Smart Industries (SI) team focuses on Industry 4.0: the fourth industrial revolution currently driven by automation and data. With a distinguished track record of successful investments, the SI team helps transform companies into market leaders. It creates value through the equity themes of sales acceleration, internationalizing, product innovation and operational improvement.

The team presently has 13 portfolio companies under management. They include B2B companies in the automotive, aerospace, industrials, instrumentation, oil & gas and electronics sectors.

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