Miruna Ursache (SmartBill): It’s the more creative brands and authentic influencers that will have the most to gain from influencer marketingcodrutnaw /
We had the privilege to chat with Miruna Ursache, Content Manager at SmartBill, the leading solution provider for Billing and Handling in Romania.
So we talked about the challenges she had to overcome in the 3 years spent in the company, about the future and more specifically, about their latest marketing project – a brand awareness campaign, achieved through the 2Performant Platform, by collaborating with 5 influencers.
The interview speaks volumes about how B2B influencer marketing can be a great promotional idea. Also about consistency and what we can expect from SmartBill in the near future.
“It is essential, both personally and professionally, to cultivate an “I can” attitude. Throw your negativity out the window, don’t be afraid to try something new – because there’s always something to be learned.”
Pentru varianta în limba română a interviului, click aici.
Miruna, you’ve been a part of the SmartBill team for over 3 years now. That’s a quarter of the business’ life! 🙂 What are the biggest differences you notice between now and 2016, when you started?
There are more people :). We’re definitely wiser, but equally proud of what we’re doing and where we’re headed. We’re also more mature and understand the market better – because we listen to the feedback we receive from our customers.
About change – what are the biggest challenges you’ve been through in order to adapt to the changes in the market?
Not a lot, really. We’re paying attention to the changes in the market and we’re good at preventing issues. Our main challenges are related to the fact that the domain is still young and developing.
By the way – how would you define your target group?
Without a doubt, we’re working mostly with Romanian entrepreneurs; IMMs to be more precise. That’s because large companies have their own in-house financial solutions.
Our app is created to help entrepreneurs be efficient and save loads of time – time that they can otherwise use for themselves or for their businesses.
We target people that have vision and understand that a healthy business environment is collaborative, interactive and dynamic. We’re building the first business ecosystem in Romania and trust me – you’ll want to be part of it!
You have a new influencer marketing campaign. Tell be about the process of creating it and how you chose which people to represent you.
The campaign was proposed by a collaborator and gained our interest – naturally, because we are online people.
It wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing in the world to accomplish – as in, to choose which people to represent us. There’re a lot of aspects to consider, like their areas of influence, their number of followers and their unique visitors. Communication was also a key characteristic – we have a bias towards nice, polite people.
How was the communication? Were they involved, proactive?
Absolutely. Everything went fine, the influencers already knew us and used our product, so we really spoke the same language.
What were the KPIs of the campaign and what were the results?
Our main goal was to raise the popularity of the brand, which is a hard thing to measure. We did gain some new clients as a result of this campaign, but we primarily wanted people to talk about us, about their experience with our product, and let others know about their positive opinions.
What are the main 3 lessons learned as a result of this campaign?
I’m not sure I learned them in this past campaign, but they were certainly reinforced.
Firstly, it is essential, both personally and professionally, to cultivate an “I can” attitude. Throw your negativity out the window, don’t be afraid to try something new – because there’s always something to be learned.
Then, that a good product you believe in will definitely find its audience. You just have to work hard, be determined and be passionate about it.
Lastly, that communication is key in any relationship. We were open minded, we talked with everyone that wanted to collaborate with us, and adopted a very fair attitude, even when we had to reject some applicants.
How did you choose to collaborate with influencers through the 2Performant platform? How did you hear about us and what attracted you the most?
We were drawn to the novelty, we found the platform very interesting. We weren’t aware of these types of campaigns. We don’t really work with influencers, to be fair, but we were excited about the experience and enjoyed it very much.
What were the key benefits of working with 2Performant?
We met cool people, even if just virtually. We reached new audiences. We had fun.
In general, we hear that it’s difficult to use influencer campaigns in B2B marketing. How was it for you? Would you recommend it?
Why difficult? I’m not an expert, but logically speaking, behind every B there’s a human being that’s making the decisions, right?
You just have to reach that person and make them trust you. And here’s my input: the influencer’s reputations, their characteristics – like consistency and rigor – are what matter.
It’s also relevant to be aware of our expectations. If you launch an influencer campaign expecting to sell, you’re going to be disappointed. Selling is a bonus – influencer campaigns for B2B are designed to create brand awareness, as I mentioned before.
Decisions, when you have to run a business, are not as easy to make as when you’re buying something for yourself. Therefore, the right expectations are important if you want to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Be realistic and understand what you’re doing and what to expect from it. Choose to be surprised, rather than disappointed.
As an expert in this field, you know the tricks of the trade. Taking this into consideration, what grabs your attention? What elements make you trust a person or a brand?
It’s a beautiful and complex question. Trust has a certain vulnerability and fragility that give it value. It’s hard to build and easy to destroy. In business, we call it “reputation”. In personal relationships, it means taking responsibility and being consistent. For brands, it translates to quality and consistency. As you see, consistency is a common trait – at least as I’m concerned.
How do you see the future of influencer marketing?
It’s hard to estimate. I believe that Romania will have a consolidated marketing sector, but we’re not there yet.
I believe the most successful businesses will be the ones that are creative and brave. For influencers, authenticity, consistency and ethics will be key. The relationship between a brand and an influencer is very unique, because it needs a lot of mutual understanding. It can be developed to a degree where an influencer will be able to generate value for a brand, even if they’re not in the same interest area.
Also, such a brand–influencer relationship will be more beneficial in the long run, rather that a one time shot. And the number of specialized platforms will rise, since the trend is a collaborative one.
Which industries do you believe have the most to gain from influencer marketing?
Creative ones, probably. Fashion & beauty and travel, without a doubt. B2B will use the most from this type of campaigns in the future.
Without spoiling SmartBill surprises, what are 3 words you’d use to describe the last quarter of 2019?
Interconnectivity. Growth. Improvement.
The 2Performant marketplace is dedicated to influencers and how they make content – simpler, more efficient, more original. This section of the platform allows brands to easily create influencer campaigns. For more details, visit this page dedicated to influencers.