Using data to power your next step: Fueling 40% annual growth

In this episode, Kate Gleeson, our Global Head of Brand, sits down with co-CEOs of Supermetrics, Mikael Thuneberg and Anssi Rusi, to talk about why data has been the foundation of Supermetrics’ success and how others can utilize it to propel their businesses toward growth.

You'll learn

  • Why Mikael founded Supermetrics as an answer to a common problem
  • Advice for CEOs on how to use data effectively
  • The importance of working with high-quality data
  • How to use data tools to propel growth

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Transcript

Kate Gleeson:
Hello, I am joined today by our co-CEOs, Mikael Thuneberg and Anssi Rusi, and I'm going to be talking to them about using data to power your next step. Mikael, Anssi, it's great to have you both at SuperSummit, welcome.

Mikael Thuneberg:
Thank you. Great to be here in our first big SuperSummit event.

Anssi Rusi:
Thank you. Likewise. Exciting times.

Kate Gleeson:
So I'm going to get straight into it. So Mikael, especially as the Founder of Supermetrics, I want to talk to you about the company stories. You've had some really impressive growth. Can you talk to us a little bit about the company overview and what has led to that?

Mikael Thuneberg:
I think the foundation of our success has been understanding the problem that we are solving. And that initially comes from the fact that when I started the company, I was solving a problem that I myself had encountered. I used to be an analyst and I was really struggling with the amount of data I had to collect and how frustrating and time consuming it was to collect all of this data together.

So I knew the problem, and I also had a really good idea on how I think that problem should be solved for people like me. I think that's at the foundation of our success, understanding a problem and being able to solve that for people who work in a similar role that I was working.

It just turned out that this problem was very common. And the solution that we built to solve it seemed to provide value to a lot of clients, a lot of companies around the world. And that's kind of been driving our growth, providing value to our customers.

Kate Gleeson:
That's amazing. And you've had Supermetrics 10 years?

Mikael Thuneberg:
Yes. Supermetrics, by that name for 10 years.

Kate Gleeson:
Yes. So I imagine there's been a lot of, and we've talked a lot about it during SuperSummit, data decision-making decisions, using data. So when we think about the success that you've had, how do you see data as a crucial part of the success you've achieved with Supermetrics?

Mikael Thuneberg:
Yes, it's been very crucial for our own business, of course. Initially, I didn't use data much, so it was a lot based on intuition and just understanding the problem and figuring out solutions on my own and with a small team. But of course, then when the team starts growing, not everyone has that same experience of the problem.

And also, the fact that our product portfolio started growing. So it wasn't only targeting analysts, but it was targeting all kinds of marketing people and also higher ups in these companies. And that meant that we couldn't just trust our intuition anymore, but we needed a more data-driven approach to our product and business and we've been using data a lot and we actually use our own product a lot.

I use our Google Sheets add on daily to gather our own business data, also our own marketing data, doing analysis of that data, drawing conclusions and we use the Google Sheets add on for all kinds of ad hoc analysis like that.

But then we also have a data warehousing solution using our own connectors to power our own marketing data warehouse. And then using that for driving reporting and analysis of that data.

Kate Gleeson:
So, we have a lot of CEOs attending SuperSummit today, and I'm wondering what advice would you give founders and CEOs?

Mikael Thuneberg:
I think you can get started without using data, but pretty soon you should be using data a lot in your business. Otherwise, you are missing out on opportunities. You may be doing the wrong things. And a lot of the investments you are doing may not be directed optimally if you don't use data to guide your decision-making.

Kate Gleeson:
I want to talk a little bit about, let's say, businesses that are looking to improve their data integration capabilities. What advice would you give them? They know they need to improve something. Where should they start?

Mikael Thuneberg:
It's of course, very important to start thinking about this. And there's a lot of data, a lot of different platforms, and usually these platforms do have API. So it is possible to get the data out of these platforms and put it into a tool where you can really analyze and report that data. The big question there is, of course, for many companies, is whether they should start building these integrations themselves, or maybe they should be buying them from another software vendor, like Supermetrics or one of our competitors.

I think the decision comes to whether you want to dedicate all the resources in building these integrations and continuously maintaining them because also, these APIs change constantly. So that's a costly thing to do.

So of course, at Supermetrics, we would recommend you use a company like us who is specialized in this. And here, of course, we have a big team of professionals who are working with these integrations every day, building new ones, improving the existing ones, and maintaining the integrations we have.

Kate Gleeson:
Awesome. So let's talk then about the three big shifts. So we've talked about the changing landscape of measurement. We've talked about privacy, big data, AI. And I'd love to hear from you on what marketers should do to take advantage of these big changes.

Anssi Rusi:
Yeah, it's exciting times and also scary times now for marketers, because the ways that we have worked for so many years are changing. So they challenged the marketing people in all organizations, like you need to rethink how you're doing your marketing, you need to rethink how you're measuring performance as now. The cookies are going away, and the signal loss is gradually happening all the time.

So naturally, we advise everyone to have the right sense of urgency, start taking actions already at an increasing pace if you're not doing them already. Make yourself prepared for all the upcoming changes. And challenge your way of doing things. Have a very, very open mind. Evaluate new tools, evaluate new methods of doing that. We see that the starting point actually for everything is that you have high quality data delivered in a secured way, in a reliable way, and that's something that we as an organization have helped our customers for many, many years already.

That high quality data enables you to take advantage of all the upcoming technologies, for example, AI, or setting up your kind of like performance measurement in the right way.

Kate Gleeson:
So would you say that it having data is the fuel of all of this and having good quality data is more important than ever?

Anssi Rusi:
Yeah, I think the cliche saying of “garbage in, garbage out” is true here as well. And AI is a great example of that. If we think about it, you now have AI tools out there and everyone's so excited about them. And they're great, they're really showcasing what AI tools can do. But still, all the general tools that are out there, they're the same for everyone. So how can you really draw competitive advantage for your organization through the AI? And the answer is simple. Data is the fuel for AI. So providing high quality data enables that, but you need to do it once again in a way that high quality data for the AR in a private, secure way.

Kate Gleeson:
Yeah. So you talked a little bit about a competitive advantage, which I think a lot of people attending SuperSummit are really going to want to know about in relation to data and that three letter word ROI, return on investment. Can you share specific strategies for maximizing ROI through data?

Anssi Rusi:
Yeah. Well, it all starts from that high quality data, as we discussed previously. So you need to first have reliable, secure, compliant, safe solution that provides you with that high quality data in real time all the time. Mikael talked already a little bit about it is always an alternative that you build things yourself, but you need to also maintain those things. And we've seen that especially in this domain where a lot of changes are happening, you should consider whether to give it to some professional like us.

But then on top of the data, that enables things, then you need to have tools and methods in place to figure out what is the best way for our organization to measure performance, because companies operate naturally in different domains, and they sell different things, they operate different ways, how they measure their performance, how do they determine their return of investment almost depends company per company.

But in order for you to come up the best way for your company to measure the return of investment, you need the right set of tools of doing that one. And I think here, kind of like our approaches, for example, that we give you the tools that enable you to do quick ad hoc analysis, do different kinds of tests very fast so that you can constantly experiment and incrementally improve your measurement.

And then when you find those things that really work, you need another tool so you can scale that. And we have solutions as well for the marketing organization. So we talk about decentralized ways of doing things. So you can quickly do ad hoc things, and then you go to centralize things where you standardize and productize those solutions and make them available for the broader organization.

Kate Gleeson:
Do you think a business needs both?

Anssi Rusi:
We believe business needs both. I think marketers know that the success of marketing is always in constant experimentation. So you need to all the time find new ways of improving performance, find new ways how you can do better than you did yesterday.

And that's why you need at least two types of tools. Something that you can do things very on a quick ad hoc basis. But then something where you can also productize and scale those solutions, so that they are easily usable for the broader organization, not just only for the expert.

Kate Gleeson:
And I think that when you say experts, is it a case that you need the right tool for the right person? Is it a case that maybe people that are watching right now are a little bit worried about using data tools? They might feel like they don't have good data literacy. Do you think that that helps kind of having like a few solutions in an organization?

Anssi Rusi:
Yeah. Our thinking is that we want to power the whole marketing organization, and we know that there's so many different people in different roles in the organization. Having the same tool for everyone is not the best way. Every person needs the right tool that fits for their role and what they need to get done. And that's why we see that some tools, for example, sheets, it's very good for more like analytical hands-on people who can work very, very quickly, experiment new things, but then for the rest of the organization, a data warehouse solution which has a visualization layer on top of it, is a nice and scalable way of making that data very easily accessible.

Kate Gleeson:
Yeah, nice. Makes sense. So, let's talk Supermetrics from a product perspective. So, we've talked about those big shifts. And there's definitely a change, there's definitely been some significant changes that have happened in the marketing and measurement world over the past year. So how is Supermetrics evolving to stay ahead of the curve there?

Anssi Rusi:
Yeah, I think we stay focused on the reason the company was founded, like Mikael mentioned already from his personal point of view, that he solved the problem that he had as an analyst, and we've been always focused really deeply on solving the marketers’ challenges. And the luxury we have with 16, 000 paying customers is that we get a lot of that feedback. So we're all the time thinking, how can we best help the marketers, analysts, all the people in the marketing organization? How can we help to solve their problems and achieve their goals? For the past 10 years, that has been really delivering high quality marketing and sales data, secure, in a reliable way, and a compliant way. We will continue doing that in the future.

Our philosophy has always been that we deliver it to the tool where the marketers are already, whether they're sheets or some visualization tool or a data warehouse or something else. New destinations are added all the time. And this is Supermetrics connecting the data, making it very easy, but going forward, we will continue providing even more value-added services on top of that data and that it will be a broad range of people we will help.

Our customers take ownership of their data instead of that data being scattered around in those different platforms. We help you to get ownership of that data. We will help you even more to get that data in a meaningful format. So transforming the cross functional data in a way that you get to utilize it much better.

We will help you to draw more insights from that data. And eventually we will come to the kind of holy grail of marketing that you can use data not only to look past. But use data to look into the future and then data will power your next step.

Kate Gleeson:
Awesome, great. And Mikael, you've been in this industry quite some time now. So, is there anything that you're very excited about in relation to the product, in relation to keeping up with the changing landscape?

Mikael Thuneberg:
I think it's a very exciting industry to be in. There's constant change and that makes it quite fun to develop products in this industry. Of course, that change is something of a threat, but it also is an opportunity. And things like signal loss, now AI, I think that offers a lot of new development opportunities for companies as well to improve what they do.

Kate Gleeson:
Awesome. Thank you both so much for speaking with me today and for joining us at SuperSummit. Thanks a million.

Mikael Thuneberg:
Thanks.

Anssi Rusi:
Thank you.

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