I recently keynoted social media enterprise platform company Falcon.io's Spark conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on the topic of influencer marketing. I had a chance to meet with their founder and CEO, Ulrik Bo Larsen, at the event and get his perspective on all things social media marketing. Listen in for his advice.
[00:48] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Ulrik Bo Larsen
[02:27] Successful Things Jay See That Brands Do In Social and Digital These Days
[05:03] Falcon.io's Core Message of Marketing
[05:46] The Areas Where Marketers Need To Improve On
[09:01] Big Things That Marketers Miss Out Of
[11:13] Bringing The Content Team Together
[16:26] The Focal Points Marketers Should Focus On
[17:28] Three Centers Of Gravity
- A lot of these great things that people want to achieve on these channels, which is often starts with a marketing message, you want to want to get a specific message out, you want to set on specific product, you want to create a rareness around a brand, a lot of those things are now especially in I would say in the mid market and some of the more innovative enterprise companies, people are starting to realize that a lot of those things are very intertwined.
- I think that a lot of things are moving towards you know, visual content. And it obviously you know, sometimes changes the need for kind of the you know, the expertise you need internally to produce that is different than just writing copy but but it's all those things are coming together.
- So I think you need to engage with perhaps a new set of agencies to help you out produce some of that content and you need to staff your own your own teams in ways so that you can maneuver what is you know, the changing landscape of what constant formats are working and it's video it's visual video now it's portrait instead of landscape and all those things are constantly happening right and you write us need to be Ready for for that and embrace it as you know, an exciting line of work rather than oh my god, I thought I had it down, because that's never gonna happen.
- You may have some, some some difference of, of, you know, personality, and there are differences throughout the states of America for sure. But it is, you know, it's my new compared to the differences in culture over here. So I think that that's important. So you often get into a more more refined set up with, with regional and local markers, local activation, where you take some of those some of the content pieces and really want, you need to localize them to these to these markets over here.
- What you want to do, you want to bootstrap them with some tooling, and some platforms, and something to kind of hold on to create longevity, on all the, you know, customer interactions, all the profiles, you build up all those things you want to create, you know, you want to build up repositories of those types of things. And we think as a tool vendor, as a product company, having that mindset is really important.
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What's up, y'all? Let's go. Welcome to the maximize your social podcast. Follow me discover the latest social media marketing techniques from the world's leading experts from top to bottom. This is the podcast where business professionals come together to master social media without all the confusing mumbo jumbo. With no further ado, turn it down. Here's your host the one and only Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to another exciting episode of maximize your social as I like to do when I travel. This recording is going to come from the road specifically here in an old train or bus station, or a maintenance facility for train maintenance facility, a train maintenance facility of all places in Copenhagen, Denmark, hey, as they say here, hello, hello. And I am joined today I'm actually here to speak at the SPARC marketing and social media marketing conference did an amazing day of well, hundreds, if not 1000s, of European marketers here to to join in the festivities. And I'm here this conference is being run by the folks at Falcon now, if you are in the United States, you probably think about Hootsuite. If you're in Europe, you think about Falcon that is how large of a social media I don't want to say dashboard because they they have so much functionality. And I've been really impressed by how innovative their tool is. And I'm here with their CEO alrik Bo Larson auric Welcome to maximize your social. Thanks,Ulrik Bo Larsen:
Neil. It's, it's great to have you here. Thanks for coming to the event. And it's great to have you on and really like we're speaking about. So thank you.Neal Schaffer:
Thank you, it's been an honor and I enjoyed what you're speaking about. For some of you that know, I used to have a conference called the social tool Summit. And maybe a lot of you have invested money in a tool. And then a year or two later, you find out that the tool really hasn't changed. But social media has changed. And Falcon really represents a extremely innovative company, never sitting still and Alric gave an inspiring presentation on that of moving forward with their customers as they move forward. And in fact, I was talking about sort of throwing away organic social, throwing away your own content, and working with influencers, the topic of the business of influence for those of you that are following me, but today's podcast is not about me. It's about alrik. It's about Falcon. And it's about really understanding because Falcon works with so many brands here of the unique IP, that the folks that are talking about Oracle's in developing and innovating with this tool auric I don't want to date this podcast. So I'd like to provide content is evergreen. So what are let's start with what are the successful things you see brands doing in social and digital these days? And I know you're probably always focusing on the problems, but let's first celebrate the successes.Ulrik Bo Larsen:
Yeah, so I think what what a lot of folks have realized and I think would would, we've had a front row seat to kind of witness is that you know, a lot of these blood, these great things that people want to achieve on these channels, which is often starts with a marketing message, you want to want to get a specific message out, you want to set on specific product, you want to create a rareness around a brand, a lot of those things are now especially in I would say in the mid market and some of the more innovative enterprise companies, people are starting to realize that a lot of those things are very intertwined. So let's say you put out a piece of content or part of a campaign and a message or what what really has happened, which really was what started happening on social was that those nice, finely tuned marketing events would have somebody barf on them, by way of, you know, customer service event or something that happened in public that that people really, really like. And what I've, what thing would we've had a front row seat to is the development where that B siloing had to happen because of the change consumer behavior. And it's been a thing that we've been very vocal about, we build a tool platform that's really broad in the sense that it really wants to encompass a bunch of different use cases on quite a few different channels. So really kind of unifying, as we like to say D fragmenting the challenges across both fragmented channels and and silo silos within the within the organizations is what we've, we've seen a lot of companies move in that direction. And I think while that's not a specific shiny example, per se, I think it's a very big seismic shift. And I think it's kind of interesting that what ended up D siloing. Certain organizations wasn't you know, Accenture talking about it for it started talking about 20 years ago, nothing happened. And because of consumer behavior in these specific channels, it started to happen. I think we've had as I say, a front row seat of that.Neal Schaffer:
That's awesome. I mean, we talk about even some of the titles of people in your company, customer success, customer experience marketing, is that marketing is it customer support. It reallyUlrik Bo Larsen:
is a very specific story there were actually our Jillian who co hosts along with one of a team members here here. Here the event is our customer experience, VP, and she actually ran marketing what we what we realized was, well, the core of our message in marketing should be the customer story, it should be the examples of what we're doing and who better to lead. She's a great executive. But who better to lead that than somebody who has really understands that and can kind of kind of tie those two things together. So at the moment, we, we don't have VP marketing, we have a VP CX and demand gen as two separate things. And, and that's because of that dynamic, that we're really trying to live and breathe ourselves.Neal Schaffer:
Let me give a shout out to my friend, Dan Guinness, and I'll have to recommend the book to you because he writes about social customer care and social customer experience. And he's been talking about this very same thing for the last year or two. So that's great to hear. So what about, I don't want to say the failures, but the areas where you find brands can, that there's a gap there, there's more that they should be doing the greatest room for improvement? Where would you say those general areas are?Ulrik Bo Larsen:
Yeah, I think that's really, I think it's in a broad sense running things on autopilot. So, you know, doing the same things you did two years ago, and not, you know, kind of racing your eyes out and seeing that the landscape have changed. And I think that has a number of different, it's enough, a number of different permutations of that. One is just, you know, planning out stale content. And that's one of the things that our customer success folks, you know, we actually monitors specifically, the content performance of, of the brands that we work with, and the the strategist and the customer successful as we have, will engage in a conversation around the quality of the event, the content and the reach, and the, you know, the cadence and, and whether or not you're using ad spend in the right ways, I think we've been thinking a lot about as we also announced you today, in the event, we're really trying to do, you know, really trying to help, I think, a big phenomenon that that's happening right now, which is that as, as organic reach has declined, you know, the folks that would normally put out content in a certain cadence and get get a certain amount of reach, depending on how the rest of the that they're still really, really at depth and the best folks to really man and, and operate those channels to stand the tone of voice they, they know how to finger on their feet. And, and do great content, that's, you know, even hyper topical, and all those things that we always say you want to do. And it would be great if that could be tied together with what the performance marketing guys are often doing. So they're set today, you know, they're often another end of the spectrum, you know, understanding their CAC to LTV completely, they you know, they work with DMPS and CDP to do all those things. But what they don't have is access to hyper topical really, basically could have a better payload on all the work that they're doing. And we think that bringing together the content guys with the performance marketing guys in in with specific unique tooling that we've done is one of the things that that they we think needs to be different solving a problem that we observed. over some time, we did performance marketing, once I do one thing, and the constant guys working somewhat siloed, even within this small segment of the org, and which was something we we act upon.Neal Schaffer:
I think the great marketing author, Seth Gordon, I saw him speak once he talked about the lizard brain that there is something in our brains that says we want to do repeatable things, because they make us feel good, I think we find that with social media marketers, we finally have an editorial calendar down, we have our mix down, we'll just you know, repeat this whole process and the content becomes stale becomes out of date, and the consumers moved on and the way we utilize these technologies has evolved. So I think that's a great message. And if you're, if you're still doing the same thing you did a year or two ago, you're completely missing the boat at this point, you miss on the opportunity sets a really, really good reminder. Any other big things that you see marketers missing out of, you know, I personally see that there's chances for to engage as a brand that very few brands do I see obviously the visual social, is where brands normally are underperforming. Any thoughts on that?Ulrik Bo Larsen:
No, I think that a lot of things are moving towards you know, visual content. And it obviously you know, sometimes changes the need for kind of the you know, the expertise you need internally to produce that is different than just writing copy but but it's all those things are coming together. So I think you need to engage with perhaps a new set of agencies to help you out produce some of that content and you need to staff your own your own teams in ways so that you can maneuver what is you know, the changing landscape of what constant formats are working and it's video it's visual video now it's portrait instead of landscape and all those things are constantly happening right and you write us need to be Ready for for that and embrace it as you know, an exciting line of work rather than oh my god, I thought I had it down, because that's never gonna happen. So I would say that that there's actually one of the things that we focus a lot on. So we, we work with more than 1500 enterprises now and in the conversations I have with with leaders in there is really that we talk a lot about how the orcs is set up. And, and a lot of people are, there's a reason for why we're already making the strides on the product side on combining, you know, paid ads and content. Because a lot of folks have built up constant teams and are now struggling with how do I get the the reads that I need here. And because of the changing tactics, they're what's one of the things that that folks will be doing. And there really is a lot of value in bringing those those folks together. And as I say, you know, get better payload to the ads, guys.Neal Schaffer:
You know, one of my clients was actually a social media team, and all their content was coming from a team that had done traditional advertising. So the content when they would post it Instagram, does it look like an ad, right? So there's definitely something to be said, for bringing that the content team together,Ulrik Bo Larsen:
those folks are great. And a lot of the, you know, a lot of the three letter acronyms, they really, they really understand them, you know, to the bone, and you need that stuff. And it's great to internalize those and your staff internally, and if you if you you know, or find an agent, you can do these things. But and even there's a way to collaborate with external agencies by way of the kind of mental model we think and how we how we build a product,Neal Schaffer:
or like, I know, obviously, it's a busy day for you putting on this event. So I won't keep you too much longer. But there are a lot of North American marketers, Japanese marketers that listen this podcast. Yep. For those Japanese North American brands, how can they best engage? What would be different for them engaging with a European consumer versus a North American or? Or an Asian consumer?Ulrik Bo Larsen:
Well, no, well, I don't think it's, first of all, there's this thing about Europe where, at least, you know, a lot of also our American friends and people who build technology companies who want to go to Europe to kind of land in the UK, and then just, you know, just a bit of walk higher than our island. Yeah. And then you're kind of there. And it's just, you know, you may have some, some some difference of, of, you know, personality, and there are differences throughout the states of America for sure. But it is, you know, it's my new compared to the differences in culture over here. So I think that that's important. So you often get into a more more refined set up with, with regional and local markers, local activation, where you take some of those some of the content pieces and really want, you need to localize them to these to these markets over here. I think that that's the big challenge often for, for American brands. And so we've had a front row seat also to really have kind of this multi brand, multi region, kind of setup. Some of for instance, our larger b2c customers at that challenge really starts in Europe. And I think we have a unique vantage point on working with, with international brands and multinationals because of that experience, sometimes ahead of some of the our colleagues in the US, right. And I think in terms of one way to kind of promote that is that we set up shop in the US already back in, in 2014. And we you know, have have a size of a team that we're we're growing out of the New York City, city, it's kind of tri state area. Hey, do you know, dinos? Exactly. And we're growing that team? Pretty quickly. We're in a fourth US office. So we wile out it in Broadway, we went to Williamsburg because, hey, we want to be the cool kids. And we're kind of pointing at the other guys on the other side of the river. And, and now we've gotten real scale that way. And the L train is shutting down. So we're moving back into to Manhattan, and we're now in, in the financial district and growing out of that office kind of already, which was a flexible lease. So that's good. So we what we find is that what we're doing is pretty ubiquitous, you know, it's it's not that we certainly don't see ourselves as a European specialized vendor. And the growth that we see we have the fastest growth in the US actually currently. And I think, I think in terms of network usage, parity between those two things, there's a little less Twitter over here. Okay. There's a little more WhatsApp and Europe. Definitely, yeah. And but I think if you squint your eyes, those are some of the bigger differences from a channel standpoint. Then there's different levels of sophistication in the markets, where you folks in the US, definitely ahead in terms of the experience level on teams. How many tools have you tried, how many tactics have you tried just a general experience level? There's certainly, you know, headstart in the US. So it's exciting for us to to work with a growing amount of brands over there.Neal Schaffer:
So it's not one Europe, even though there's one EU, it's Norway and just having come having come from Dublin, to Berlin to Copenhagen, it's three different countries, three different cultures, you're going to be engaging inUlrik Bo Larsen:
the south of Germany is very different from the from the north of Romania completely. And, and they're in there, you may be operating within kind of the, the realm of difference that you also see in the US. But then as soon as you go out of that and go to France, you go to Eastern Europe, you go south, and to the Latin countries at around the Mediterranean, then it's very different.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah. And it's funny, because often, when I'm in Japan and ask about tools, I will try to point them to European tools, vendors, because the American tools vendors have this American first perspective. And if you want to use it outside of English, the United States, you're screwed. And I'll never forget a friend that worked at a very, very large fortune 50 software company. And they were trying to push a tool and American tool that did not handle the Japanese language. So he had to find a Japanese partner in sight, we can't use it. And I think, in Europe, you understand the need for multilingual capabilities, and in being able to target local communities, and you're way ahead of American tools in that aspect.Ulrik Bo Larsen:
Happy to hear that. That's preaching to the gospel there.Neal Schaffer:
Alright, so I just want to ask you, we are recording this at the end of 2018. So we're also looking ahead to 2019. What does the year hold? And I like to say when I do these, you know, I always get asked, What do you see happening in 2000? I don't, it's just continually evolving. Yeah, there's nothing that's going to radically change cuz it's 2019. I'm sure you'd agree. But where are the focal points that marketers should be focused on as we begin this new year? And how is Falcon going to help them through thatUlrik Bo Larsen:
the way we think about the kind of near term and midterm future for these for these platforms is really that whatever tool, I mean, there's a bunch of different tactics, we just talked about some of them, and what you want to do, you want to bootstrap them with some tooling, and some platforms, and something to kind of hold on to create longevity, on all the, you know, customer interactions, all the profiles, you build up all those things you want to create, you know, you want to build up repositories of those types of things. And we think as a tool vendor, as a product company, having that mindset is really important. And also thinking outside of the immediate, you know, the types of things we look at, which is right now social and messaging, and we're looking, we're looking broadly on some other things. And, and what we're really doing is basically three important kind of types of data that flows through a platform like ours, okay. And we like to call that the three centers of gravity spoke about this this morning, as well, I love that it really is people content and performance data. I think performance is less novel, and in terms of digital marketing was about performance. Now we can finally measure stuff. Sure, so let's not talk too much about it. But I think the first part, the peep, the people part is really want this kind of a middleware type category today called CDP customer data platforms. And I think every tool you use needs to have its own little customer data platform, because it needs to aggregate certain things that happens within the realm of that. And then it needs to play frickin nice with everything else in your stack. And that's really important. on the people side, I think the CDP moniker customer data platforms have kind of build out the narrative. And there's a lot of lot of things that's kind of been developed around that, I think for us, which is a little bit interesting is perhaps slightly more novel, even though it seems mundane on the surface, is that the content piece out of that that middle layer, is something that people are often thinking about when they use tools like us or some of our colleagues who also help content marketers. They use tools like ours, because of the distribution power, and the planning is nice and get the calendar and we can collaborate. Fantastic. Let's do this. And we go off and create all these good things. What's really happening is that the content being created in those scenarios are really in many, many cases, the lifeblood of a bunch of different things. Absolutely, I think it is, you know, the lifeblood of influencer marketing, a subset of that, as you said yourself, you know, employee advocacy is really a type of influencers that you have close, close to already, I think the entire employee advocacy category is also operating on that same atomic unit of content. So you thinking about your constant production as a brand and as a company, as something that you need to have, you know, a central repository, I need to think about that you need to have a tool that really understands the lifecycle of that content. So you can, you know, activate it in different ways. That's how we think about so that's kind of the the center of gravity, we're looking at it with the announcement we have today on the ads piece is really taking all that great content that your content teams are doing and make it very easy for for the performance marketing guys to set up stuff, and to seamlessly integrate the way that this gets reach on all of that. So what I'm saying and those announcement this morning, I think last night in San Francisco time where send us came out and said we're not we're announcing the sunshine CRM platform, which really is them saying, well, we don't want to be you don't want to compete with a bunch of others. The CRM will probably do, but what we're saying is, we're creating something that plays really nice with every, every other profile, every other CRM vendor, and we completely buy into that that type of view, I think you need to have tools that handle that in a really good way. That kind of, you know, integrates whatever happens within the realm of that tool that could be very narrow, niche tools, or it could be, you know, a wider platform like ours put those platforms need to get their stuff together. Yeah. And, and, and, you know, integrate that serve that data for a platter for you or other system of record you may have in place.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah, I can't say enough about that. It's been great exploring your platform, as I was invited to speak here and prepare my own content. And knowing that you have that CRM, whatever you want to call a piece, because that is going to be so critical. And companies want to work with influencers, and yes, their influence marketing tools, but at the end of the day, you shouldn't have to use 10 different tools. And if you're already engaging through conversation through content, why can't you capture that in the same tool, and it can help you not only with the lifecycle, your content, but the lifecycle of your engagement with different people. So I think that's an awesome direction. Obviously, if you're listening to this Falcon, I think your business models more for the medium or large enterprise, I don't know how many solopreneurs are going to be able to use your platforms, obviously, very enterprise grade. But definitely, if you're in that category, you owe it to yourself to check them out. We'll drop a link in the show notes. Or thank you so much for inviting me to be here in Copenhagen. It's awesome to get you on and share your views. Thank you very much.Ulrik Bo Larsen:
Appreciate it. Thanks for coming out.Neal Schaffer:
And that concludes another exciting episode of maximize your social. We'll be at you from another interesting location here in Europe soon. But until next time, as I like to say make it a great social Day. Bye Bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to the maximize your social podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and rate the show on iTunes so others can enjoy it to continue the conversation and empower your business through social media. Visit Neal schaffer.com right now. Have a great week. Let's go we'll see you on the next episode.