Truffles, brand humanization and the sweet taste of success – an interview with Michał Sadowski from Brand24
Entrepreneurs often mistakenly perceive business analytics as something that is useful after the company has already spun off. Why it is a mistake, what else you should do to be successful, and what advantage the Polish entrepreneurs have over their colleagues from other European countries – this is what we are talking about in our interview with Mike Sadowski, the founder and the CEO of Brand24.
Paulina, E-commerce Capitals: Brand24 bursts into foreign markets like a boar into truffles – this is not just a quote from you Facebook profile, but a fact supported by the sales figures of subscriptions to your monitoring tool. How do you do it?!
Mike Sadowski, Brand24: It is difficult to identify one golden rule that would work universally in every single business. In our case, we were able to develop a scalable method of acquiring customers, in which the contribution that equals X generates a 4-5X return. Thus, we gradually increase our spending on marketing activities and thereby increase the number of clients acquired. It is business analytics that has allowed us to develop this scalable method and that is why I encourage any entrepreneur to use it too. Based on the new tools we are able to "be with the client" and analyze all their movements at any stage of contact with our company. This way we identify the source that the client comes from, its effectiveness, quality, etc. Thanks to this we know better than ever what works and what does not. Many entrepreneurs approach analytics as something that they will need when the company develops. They often perceive it as a set of small corrections to something that generally works well. They often have no awareness that based on analytics we can work out simple amendments that will suddenly help us earn 3x more customers with the same money spent on their acquisition. Therefore, analytics should be implemented as early as possible – ideally, before the commercial product is launched.
E-commerce Capitals: Since the very beginning of Brand24 you became the ambassador of your own brand. For many people, you have literally become a personal brand. Looking back, do you see it as your conscious choice or maybe it happened “by chance”, alongside the company's development?
Mike Sadowski: It definitely happened “by the way”. I never calculated this potential. I did not try to trick like “OK, let’s humanize the brand by promoting me and other guys from the company”. It came naturally, and only years later did I realize how it works or even how it's called. Fortunately, however, it seems to have worked out well and now I recommend this “brand humanization” to other entrepreneurs. This approach helps create much better relationships with customers and allows you to quickly build a multitude of real brand ambassadors who are not affiliated with the company.
E-commerce Capitals: For this reason too, you are certainly one of the most popular and most frequently invited speakers in the industry. On April 27th, 2016, you will give your talk on the first edition of E-commerce Berlin Expo – can you tell us a bit more about it?
Mike Sadowski: I will talk about the techniques of business analytics, some helpful tools and the practice of building relationships with customers based on what has really worked in my business and in the businesses that I am close with. The topic of analytics has long been my fascination – and quite a hot topic in our company. On the other hand, building relationships via the Internet is probably the thing that I can immodestly say that I know a lot about – hence the choice.
E-commerce Capitals: E-commerce Berlin Expo is also the venue of the exchange of experiences between people from different European markets. In your opinion – is there anything that the rest of Europe should learn from the Polish online businesses?
Mike Sadowski: I think that Poles are much more hungry for entrepreneurship than any other nation –especially in the Western Europe. In Poland, it is more difficult to set up a business and it is harder to break into other markets with your product. All these difficulties make us stronger. They make each and every success – even a small one – much sweeter than in places where it is very easy to access the know-how, get funds or simply start a company. That's why I do not like to complain and I perceive all adversities as something that will make the success of Polish entrepreneurs making their ways into foreign markets even sweeter.
Mike Sadowski will speak to the audience of E-commerce Berlin Expo that is taking place on April 27th, 2016, in Postbahnhof, Berlin. The title of his talk is “11 Growth Tips for taking your online business to the next level”.