Interview with Mauricio Brentano, COO of Seekr, a social journey company in Brazil
Hi Mauricio, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Seekr?
My degree is in the area of information systems, so I have a background in technology. My current role at Seekr is COO, and I am responsible for everything having to do with operations in the company, such as technology and customer success. Essentially, the tech team develops and maintains the product, and the customer success team is responsible for contacting and training the clients who will use our platform, as well as helping to fix the technological issues that come up when they use our product.
What differs Seekr from other social media intelligence companies in Brazil?
Seekr is much more than just a social media intelligence company. We believe in a process that we call “Social Journey,” which means that we understand that engagement in social media involves four steps, which are:
1. Listening/Monitoring - We have to find/identify data that provides insights and helps our clients solve problems.
2. Solving the Problem - We offer applications that are useful for customer service on social media. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well as email and chat, all have their problems; customers have questions and complaints in these channels and Seekr helps our clients to solve them.
3. Engaging – After solving problems, the company has to make the clients happy. We offer features like publications, which enable our clients to communicate with their clients better and we have social CRM so our clients can see a 360- degree field of their customers.
4. Analyzing - After completing the previous steps, it is important to understand what worked and what has to be improved. For this purpose, we have more than 100 reports, which help them to analyze this entire process.
We are not just a social media intelligence company, it’s just the first step, but we are more complete than that. We have an entire strategy process about how we engage the clients and solve their problems, making them happy.
Which type of companies benefit from your services?
We don’t have a specific type of company that benefits from our services; our clients are in different kinds of industries, such as telecommunications, insurance, television, drink/food, as well as politicians. Everyone wants to make decisions driven by data, and everyone wants to improve their customer care. Any company can use our monitoring platform to get insights on what's happening in their market and improve their customer care.
What are your greatest challenges ahead at Seekr when it comes to developing your offer?
The biggest challenge is the dynamics of the market, and the fact that it constantly changes as people need more information. It’s really hard keeping up to date with what happens in the market and technology. We have to follow the evolution of the market and social media, and what people want to do with social media.
Do you have any specific plans to expand your business in the near future, like new markets or products?
Next year we are planning to release Spanish and English versions, which we are developing for the global market.
In our products, we want to bring more intelligence about analyzed data and more information to help our clients make informed decisions; as well, we aim to increase our channels of providing customer service.
Can you give specific examples where one or more of your clients have made changes in their communication, organization or similar, based on the information or analysis you provided?
We helped a Brazilian telecommunication company implement a strategy that allowed all stakeholders and responsible parties to receive an email alert when a relevant person with a lot of followers and social presence said something negative about their brand. By alerting these individuals, the company was able to manage crises better and faster.
You have recently moved more from collecting data yourself to relying on external suppliers. What have you found most challenging in this transition and why?
We realize that it’s a great effort to collect data ourselves, and some of that data isn’t part of our core service; therefore, we hired an external supplier to provide reliable data. The most challenging aspect of working with a supplier is understanding what kind of data they bring, what the quality of the data is, how it will help us, and how much it costs. Then, we have to make the decision if it is better to keep the data here or to have a supplier that we pay.
Which social platforms are the most important for your Brazilian customers?
Facebook is important, and Twitter sees a lot of interaction between people and brands. Instagram, YouTube and ReclameAqui, which is specific to Brazil, and means “complain here” in Portuguese, are also highly used.
Which social platform do you see having the most potential in the future?
That’s a hard question; I think Facebook will lose users because it's too global. I think that social media platforms will become more specific, like TripAdvisor for traveling, YouTube for videos, Instagram for photos, etc.
Three years ago, we didn’t have all the platforms we have now; that is why it's so hard to have any forecast for the future in this market.
Are there any social platforms that are closed today that you would be interested in tapping into for monitoring that would benefit your customers?
I would be interested in Facebook opening their API about public data, which they closed in April of 2015. A lot of customers that made data decisions based on this platform couldn’t do that anymore. Even using companies that sell Facebook data is not sufficient because it’s not in raw mode, but in aggregate mode. We can’t give reports that so and so posted this, just anonymous identifying data, such as the location and gender of the person.
Are there specific or typical needs in the Brazilian market for social media monitoring that you think differs from rest of South America or the world in general?
Other global social media monitoring services, such as Hootsuite, failed in Brazil because they didn’t understand what kind of customer service our clients require. Our Brazilian clients like us to treat them with a “warm” feeling. We prioritize keeping our clients happy by getting in touch with them and becoming close with them, which they like. This limits other companies from coming into Brazil, as they don’t know how to provide this type of customer care.
How do you think the media monitoring and social intelligence industry will change in the next five years?
It’s really hard to forecast, but social intelligence will change greatly. Artificial intelligence (AI) will have many consequences and provide more information to make decisions. Image recognition, personality insights, relationship extraction, and things that take massive data sets, analyze them and convert raw data into good information to make decisions will benefit from AI.
By Renata Ilitsky