“The biggest misconception is that influencer marketing just means paying someone to post about you on Instagram, and that it might be a temporary fad.“
1. Tell us about your role in Sideqik?
As the CEO and founder of Sideqik, I am responsible for ensuring we have the best people, helping to define and align the team around our vision, and ensuring we have the resources to innovate and move the market forward while building a great company for our customers and employees.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I founded Sideqik after being a leader at Mobilization Labs, where we built online communities, and Vitrue, an enterprise social platform that was acquired by Oracle in 2011. I felt brands needed better ways to engage their customers online and understood the need for marketers to be able to measure the impact on their brand. Building relationships with influencers in their market provides brands a more engaging way to connect with their consumers in the places where they are already spending time and attention.
3. How do you think technology is changing the Marketing Sector?
Technology is having a massive impact on Marketing. I’ve been involved in the marketing technology space for about 15 years, and have seen the way brands talk to their customers evolve across web, email, social, and smartphones. Technology has changed the way people communicate, how they become aware of products, how they consume media, and how they purchase. As consumer attention shifts, brands have to quickly adapt and engage new methods, or be left behind.
4. What are the Misconceptions according to you companies have related to influencer marketing?
The biggest misconception is that influencer marketing just means paying someone to post about you on Instagram, and that it might be a temporary fad.
The reality is we’re experiencing massive shifts in the way consumers find out about brands and decide which products to purchase, and that those shifts will never reverse. The democratization of media across many channels will continue, and consumers will continue to engage across a variety of online channels. The best brands are adapting quickly to where their consumers’ attention is going, and finding new ways to authentically engage with them there.
5. In What ways according to you, AI is developing Influence Marketing?
The amount of data and content available to marketers has grown and continues to grow exponentially, to the point that many CMOs report being overwhelmed. But what good is that data if you can’t use it to build a better business? Sideqik is using AI to sift through that massive amount of data to extract actionable insights for our customers that help them make better decisions about their market, their customers, the influencers, and partners they engage with.
6. You being the pioneers of enterprise business intelligence solution for influencer marketing, can you share some of the remarkable solutions that you have provided to your clients in the past?
Sideqik began by providing a product that let our customers engage directly with their biggest fans and measure the impact they had. We realized that our customers could reach even more people if they used us to partner with other businesses, and ultimately social influencers. We’ve now built out a platform that allows our customers to close the loop on the entire end-to-end influencer engagement process, from finding and vetting the best people in the world, to managing and measuring key relationships, and ultimately engaging with their end customer in ways that are engaging and authentic. Our platform helps our customers do this efficiently, measure the ROI of their efforts, and continuing to optimize everything as they grow.
7. While researching we came across a news that Sideqik raised $5 million for innovation in Influencer marketing platform, can you share with us some of the interesting developments on which you and this fund will be focused?
I’m really excited we found an amazing partner in Greg Gretsch and the Jackson Square Ventures team – as well as Tom Noonan, founder of Internet Security Systems and currently serving on the board of ICE/NYSE. This round is being used to invest heavily in our platform, continuing to use AI to provide intelligence on their market, automating and streamlining influencer workflow, and developing predictive analytics to help our customers make better business decisions.
8. What advice about Influence Marketing you would like to give to the StartUps?
Don’t view influencer marketing as just “paying someone to post on Instagram.” While that is a tactic that can work, you’ll get much more value by building authentic relationships with people who love your product. And focus on building long-term relationships with those people.
9. What is the Digital innovation according to you that will mark 2019?
Our daily lives continue to be more and more impacted by the technology we use – as we adopt smart watches and voice devices in our home, and as the other devices we use become connected to the Internet. I think 2019 will be marked by a continued trend of regular devices that become connected and embrace technology like 5G so all of these devices become connected to high-speed internet. It can be hard to see the impact these small changes are having on our lives week by week, but if you look back 10 years it’s dramatic how much our day to day lives have changed.
10. What is the vision, on which you and Sideqik are working on?
This newly connected world we live in is democratizing the way media is produced and distributed, so that anyone can now build a community around any topic. This is resulting in a huge shift in how people consume information and thus how brands connect with them. Sideqik’s vision is to be the platform that helps our customers adapt to this rapidly changing world by helping them build more authentic and engaging connections to their customers.
11. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
We’re currently focused on releasing additional workflow tools to streamline our customers’ day-to-day work, as well as AI-powered dashboards that help them make smarter decisions. We’re also looking at ways to use our technology to provide more value to the creators and influencers out there.
12. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
We have an incredible leadership team supporting our sales, marketing, customer success, and engineering teams. They have built a culture where everyone listens to each other and is not afraid to challenge and push each other to do our best work.
13. Which Book are you reading these days?
I’m currently reading The Advantage, a book about the importance of organizational health, along with our leadership team – some of whom have joined since our fundraising round closed. We’re focused on ensuring that as we grow the team we continue to preserve the great culture we’ve built at Sideqik.
14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
Sure, here’s a screenshot of my home screen, a mix of productivity apps, games, personal health, and informational apps: