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BR: All right, welcome to make the logo bigger. We’re an episode 32 and I’m super excited about this one. We’re talking about agency, client content collaboration. And this really brings together two of, of probably my most favorite things, uh, that we do as an agency and that is create content. Um, and then probably the most frustrating. Uh, but interesting. Second point of that is figuring out how we would do it together in concert with the client, uh, to make it relevant, to make it feel like a them, uh, and kind of pull all that together. Um, and so as we kind of kick into that, I’ve, I’ve got as always, just to kinda introduce if this is your first time on our podcast. Uh, my name is bill rice. I am actually the founder and CEO of Kaleido. We’re a digital agency focused specifically on lead generation.
BR: Uh, and then I have with me as always a Mike Carroll who is a, uh, head of growth for a SAS CRM company. So he’s on the client side. Uh, it makes kind of an interesting, uh, collaboration on the podcast to hear the agency and the client side of this. And my counseling is going like, it’s been awhile. It does, it does feel like it’s been a while. You’ve doing a little bit of vacation and um, have some dry, I will kind of talk to the drama, but, uh, your, your week’s been active as you, as you deal as clients do with all the moving parts of your, your marketing, uh, thing. So that’s probably caused a little stress level. Will be something we can talk about that we can just preview it now on a totally separate type podcast cause I will chew up an hours worth of time complaining about it.
BR: Totally. And that’s a, as we kind of go into this, um, and so just to give a little bit of color before we introduce our guests, cause we do have a gas and an expert at this, but um, agencies and clients are, are really kind of reliant on the tools that they use. And when that doesn’t work perfectly, it can really, uh, really blow up. Uh, what we’re trying to do from a growth and revenue standpoint. Um, so talking about tools and the right ones to use, um, are really important to our guests. Um, uh, and the, the, the folks of you who are out there listening and marketing directors and Cmos. So, uh, without further ado, let me launch in and, and talk a little bit about our guests. Uh, today. Uh, we are excited to have a Zena Moon Tan, uh, the CEO and Co founder of plannable.
BR: Uh, and this is exactly kind of what we’re talking about. This is a collaboration tool, uh, that allows for agencies and clients to work together, uh, in creating content and marketing campaigns and doing that, uh, review and collaboration, um, process. Um, she’s got some incredible brands, uh, that are using this platform and, uh, that she’s been involved with a Jaguar, Land Rover, Vipe, Viber, w a world food program. Um, and then before that she comes out of, uh, my world. Uh, so I’m curious to Kinda hear part of this journey, uh, in digital marketing where she worked with, um, huge clients, uh, doing social for the likes of th, uh, clients like Coca-Cola. Uh, also she is a Forbes 30, under 30. Um, and she’s got some, uh, another thing I want to hear about. She’s also a graduate of the Tim Draper Startup Academy in Silicon Valley. So, uh, for, yeah, for a young career. Um, Xena has definitely packed it in. So, um, welcome Zena. We’re so happy to have you here.
XM: Well, thank you so much for having me on the show. I already love the vibe of it.
BR: Excellent. Excellent. So I want you to kind of, um, uh, you know, jump in here and give us a little bit of your backstory in your journey. I think that’s as interesting as anything and just kind of tell us, um, you know, where you’ve been and how you kind of ended up at plannable and then we’ll kind of talk about the problems that you’re solving.
XM: Definitely, yes. So before plannable I started a social media marketing agency during my second year of university. Um, and you know, I was, I was never dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur, but it just happened. I’m an uncle. I’m Kinda an accidental entrepreneur. I say it just happened to me, but I love the industry. I would, you know, nerding on advertising since I was a teenager. You know, I remember when I was very, very young, I was reading all the billboards, you know, on the street, and I was imagining and trying to figure out how I could improve them. So I always loved the, the marketing industry. So when I started my first agency, um, when I started my first business, it was really inspiring to me to actually be able to do that. Um, but at the same time with my agency, I felt like it can never get actually big.
XM: You know, like with an agency, I felt like the biggest thing I can do with it is to make it, you know, the most, um, the most prestigious agency may be in the region. You know, any students who were up that was, you know, that was the top, that was the limit. And then Lincoln, like I wanted to do something that can truly be scalable. And it was always passionate about, you know, technology since I was, um, very young since I was a kid. I think, you know, I was as passionate about technology too because I was such an introvert and we moved around with my family. So I didn’t manage to me quite a lot of friends. Uh, so I spent, you know, my time, you know, playing on an hour computer and, um, you know, learning Photoshop. Um, so that was kind of my beginning off, you know, my passion for technology but also my passion for, um, the visual part of the advertising, you know, learning, Photoshop, [inaudible] a lot of things, um, about, you know, create TVT, um, the pose, visual art. And I also loved the writing. So this combination of writing, um, visual arts and technology kind of represents our advertising industry. So that’s how, um, I started with our space, with our industry.
BR: Yeah, very, very neat. Very. I, it’s, it’s amazing and, and all these kinds of stories. I think especially in the digital marketing space, there is such a tight, uh, intertwining of technology and creative. Um, and so I think there’s a lot of exposure and, and so as a part of that, I’m, I’m kinda curious because this has happened, um, or does I see it happen often? You know, agency is definitely a, a business that’s full of hustle. Um, training priorities. There’s a lot of kind of stress in it. Um, we’re always on tight deadlines and that sort of thing. Um, and so to some degree, um, a lot of people, you know, want to try to switch into something that’s more kind of reoccurring revenue software specifically. Um, but sometimes it’s hard because there is so much a priority and, and an urgency in what an agency does, um, every single day it’s hard to make that transition, uh, and actually build a piece of software. So tell me a little bit about, uh, how you went from sort of the agency side, uh, to actually developing a software
XM: product. Funny that you mentioned the recurring side and you know, uh, looking for more stability coming from the, from the agent space. I remember I was thinking the same thing. You know, how nice would it be to build a software that saw something in my industry and I can just create it, put it on the market and it just brings everything in. It’s actually really not that simple. Uh, my life always way more complicated than the life I had during my agency time just because there’s, you know, there’s so many issues with building the product, uh, with putting it on the market, with finding product, market fit, you know, always telling. There’s so many metrics you need to look at, you know, churn, LTV, cock. And it’s, it’s just a lot, a lot of complexity that I, I never knew about it when I was building my agency.
XM: And I’m not saying that the agency life is easy. It’s definitely not. Um, but you know, as tying up life is, it’s even even more complex now. We have investors and I am, you know, I am responsible in front of someone who else? Someone else, not just myself. Um, and you never, you never with a started out, you know, you started a start up with this big, big ambition to make it huge and there’s this pressure pressure to actually make it a huge, so you get to this point where you never stop, you never stop improving, you never stopped growing it. Um, and you know, you don’t get to that piece and that you are looking for when you transition from phd besides to the startup life. Um, but I definitely loved the transition and I think the startup life suits me better. Um, because just because of this complexity, uh, it’s always, there’s always problems to solve.
XM: Uh, there’s no routine. Uh, I mean there is a type of routine, but there’s always new challenges and new problems and you know, maybe I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie and that’s why I love, love the startup life. Um, before me, the transition was I finally felt like I found what I liked doing. You know, it still combines my teenage passion for advertising. I still get the chance to read about everything that happens in the industry. And, you know, stay in touch with the industry and learn and grow in this space. But at the same time, I build technology that is scalable, that solves problems, um, and that has, you know, this souls, you know, an organizational problem. Um, and it makes sense for me to, to transition into this space. So I think the transition was, I wouldn’t say easy, but it was a good fit. So you’ve
BR: lied to me, Mike, you said when you switched over to the client side, it was blissful over there so that not
MC: Mike’s Mike speechless on that one. I’m here. Audio problem. Yeah. It’s funny that I, I find it really interesting as Xenia says that right? Because, because I did find it quite blissful. Um, clients are challenging in a unique and always interesting way. And what I loved about the agency side and when we work together, VR was that, you know, you get to solve kind of like a different problem every day. I think what’s challenging from an agency’s perspective and Zany, I’d love to know what you think about this without, when you switch over to software, it’s fun to put your brain and resources and energy behind like making a single thing go and you’re dedicated to that and like that’s what I’ve loved about. I agree with all, it’s not like necessarily less stressful or you know, there’s a board of directors to answer to and every quarter I’ve got to do that, but, but that to me is no different than sitting before a quarterly review with the agency client and like that’s all the, yeah, the same thing.
MC: And so to me, the deal to focus on selling a single piece of software and talking to like a singular audience and really get to explore creatively, like how to do that, that’s been the, the relaxing part, the agency side, to me it was always hard because you never get the chance to like, or the two things that ended up happening. A, you never get the chance to really focus on a problem until it’s actually solved. And then not to be harsh on clients as I am one now, but ideas coming out of the agency of the client is kind of where they go to die. Like you never get to execute your idea to, it’s 100% right. You only give you about half of it or 65% or whatever. And like that became a little frustrating for me.
XM: I can’t agree more with you. I remember feeling exactly the same way that you were describing it. Um, and I feel, you know, that now with my startup, I feel like I have more ownership though the agency was fully owned by me and now, you know, I have investors and Co founders. I still feel like I have more ownership with my startup because I can see the results of everything I’m doing straight away. And I feel like I’m, uh, I’m working 100% on my stuff rather than with the agency. I feel like I was, you know, contributing and growing someone else’s business rather than mine.
MC: Well, actually I have a question for you. Maybe it would be helpful for audience br and like, I’d love both of you to chime in on this, which is, you know, how, what advice would you give to, uh, you know, those of us on the client’s side. You know, cause I imagine you guys might even use an agency now and you know, um, at plannable or maybe not, but, um,
XM: there’s was mostly but at some point in agency maybe,
MC: right? So, but what would be the advice like that we would all give to the marketing director, someone to hey, get more out of their agency and also collaborate better with them. Um, so to resolve that pain point that I just kind of described because I think sometimes, um, and I try to be a good, uh, client citizen as it were now that I have an agency and be a little bit easier to work with because I just remember what it was like to be on the other side and I want to leave them free to do their work. So I wonder what you would tell other people now that are in our positions, right? Which are either, you know, running a company or doing the marketing, uh, you know, at a solar company when they’re working with an agency, how can they do it better to help them do their jobs so you get better results? Cause that’s what I’m, the frustration just results in poor results in my team.
XM: Yeah, that’s, that’s a really good question. So I think the overarching, the big, big problem here is a problem of, of, of trust really. Or at least from my own experience, I saw that there was a problem of trust and we, you know, with hiring in general, you know, when you hire an aid base, when you hire a freelancer, when you hire an equally, you chose them to do that job. So just trust them to do it. You know, obviously there are check marks that you need to, you know, review and you know, from time to time, make sure that they’re delivering results and all of that. But otherwise just trust them, give them the independence and the power to deliver what you agree. That one. Um, I feel like there’s a lot of micromanagement in the industry and I feel like there’s a lot of miscommunications and obviously, you know, if you have a good starting point with an agency, if you have good communication, um, cause there’s no, no reason not to trust them. Um, and I think it’s, it’s really hard for the agency to also do their job when they’re under this type of, you know, unhealthy, uh,
BR: pressure. Totally agree. What do you think they are? Yeah. To Watch your tongue a little bit because like your current, yeah, yeah. No, no, for sure. But I think [inaudible]
BR: um, Xena definitely hit on it like the trust, the fact that you hired them to do a job and to rely on the expertise because, um, and, and again, I, I wouldn’t say this, um, not, not to be taken the wrong way, but, but generally we have more expertise or we see the problem set that they’re trying to solve, um, more frequently and consistently than they do in house. So allowing us to kind of go with our recommendations and go with our expertise and leverage. That is something that we see a lot because oftentimes, um, as, as you all saw, um, probably when you were on the other side of the agency is just that the micromanaging of the strategies can take a lot of the bite out of what actually can be accomplished. And so, um, you know, obviously you want to collaborate. Uh, it’s, there’s, it’s important because no, no agency knows their customer or the, the client’s customer as well as the client.
BR: Um, and so we want to listen to that on the agency side, but when, then when it actually comes to the, the mechanisms by which we kind of execute, um, that should largely be left to the agency because we know the patterns that, uh, and we just need to tune it to, uh, to the tone and the voice of the, you know, the particular client or brand. And so I think, I think that’s the, the biggest thing is, you know, oftentimes we get micromanaged down. Um, and then as a result of that, we don’t get 100% [inaudible] and you don’t even need 100%, well, we don’t even get sort of 80% of the, um, creative input, but we get 100% of the accountability for the results. And that’s where usually tensions arise. Yes. Yeah, that’s very diplomatic. VBR uh, it’s a constant. We’re, we’re trying to, one thing that I’ve actually started to, to preach a little bit and then I want to definitely get back on topic, um, but is, um, one thing that I think gets agencies in trouble a lot of times and to some degree gets co, uh, clients kind of bent out of shape is that agencies, um, often come in and try to be the hero and kind of save the client and be the focus of attention.
BR: Uh, on the flip side, I think oftentimes clients in particular, our sponsors are, are wary of someone kind of embarrassing them or showing them up in front of their leadership. And so what I’ve tried to impart on us as an agency and us as account managers and I think other agencies should do, is to look at our role as a hero maker, not the hero. Um, and really being the advocate and making that whoever that sponsor, um, or that client, you know, um, counterpart is a really making them shine. Uh, we’ll just make the relationships so much.
MC: I mean that’s, before we move on, that’s a quick note for every marketing director living listening to this podcast. Your agency, by the way, we’d love nothing more than to make you the star. They don’t care if you take credit for the work that they’re doing because you hired them and you know, own the credit, I guess, whether you think you deserve it or not and the relationship’s going to go a whole lot better. And then if they’re screwing up, by the way, cause you know, the agency is always the first dog that gets kicked. You know, that’s sucks by the way. But, um, you know, then you think you could ask fire in agency, hate to say it with like, let them do their job, leave them alone. And if they do it well, great. You look awesome. And if they don’t blame him for firearms, yeah, we say that all the time for not generating leads, you should fire. That. Makes it super easy. Okay. So let’s, let’s keep moving forward here,
BR: but I’m, Zena kind of get us back on track here a little bit and let’s, let’s dig specifically into the problem that you’re trying to solve for agencies and clients. So you’ve, can you, uh, give me, uh, uh, uh, our audience a little bit of an overview as to the specific problem you saw and you’re trying to solve with your software. Plannable
XM: definitely. So I think what we’re trying to solve is a problem of creative workflow. Um, and I’ll get back a bit to my old agency, um, because that’s where everything started. Uh, so I remember with my agency, the way we were working with a client on content was very messy. Um, the way we were doing it, you know, we were planning content for social media for the next week or the next month and this very clunky and ugly spreadsheet. Um, and we were sending that spreadsheet, you know, back and forth to d internally first, you know, for approval and then the client for them to, to approve the content. Um, and I felt like the entire process was very fragmented. You know, we were keeping, we were planning the content in a spreadsheet. We were showcasing it and gathering feedback via email that the actual files, you know, videos and nudges, Jason, all of that who were keeping it in a drive or a Dropbox holder.
XM: So I felt like everything was very chaotic and a lot of time was being spent not on strategy and actual creation, but on, for with tanks, spreadsheets and building decks. Um, and you, I feel like powerpoints were just killing my creativity and excels 12. Um, and I felt like I need to just to better assist them. Just a more streamlined system, you know, uh, spreadsheets are a terrible way of showcasing work, uh, visual work because there’s just no way for anyone to understand how that content is going to look like in the end. Um, you’re trying to, you know, you’re building content that is graphic moving, um, and you’re building it to inside the spreadsheet and then you’re relying on everyone else’s imagination, both internally and externally on the client’s side to just imagine how everything is going to look like. India. So something that I remember I was doing back then with my agency was I was creating fake Facebook pages and I was going in there creating posts and taking a screenshot to sending it took up to the client, you know, this is how over at your booth is going to look like Indiana.
XM: It was a total waste of time. Um, and I, you know, I was looking for some other tools to help me, um, streamline this entire and just simplified this entire process. And, um, I tried, you know, scheduling tools, like, you know, tweetdeck and buffer and some of the other ones. And I felt like they were really good at helping me solve my publishing problem. They were automating scheduling or they were taking a real good care of, you know, just publishing the content. But everything else in terms of aligning myself with my team and with my client, making sure that we all have visibility over what is going to be posted in the next, uh, weeks or in the next few months. I’m making sure that what we’re publishing is, you know, has been approved and like that the client is happy it making sure that the client understands how the content is going to look like.
XM: In the end I felt like all those collaboration problems and all those workflow problems were not told by any tool on the market. So that’s why we built plannable to do just that. Um, and if I think, you know, our industry really does have, you know, uh, an operational problem and I think it’s just because we focus on my wish. So, um, you know, right. The brain heavy. We’re so, you know, about creativity and we don’t focus on the how part of the, you know, the equation, how are we actually do that? What’s the structure? What are the processes, uh, what’s your operational side of it? You know, it’s a very boring and not sexy at all conversation to have. Um, but I think we do need to have it because the more, you know, the amount of content we are creating is escalating, you know, it’s going year by year.
XM: Um, and I think, you know, the more we are producing, the more people we have, the bigger our marketing head count is the heart that it is. It is going to be to sustain and scale all of this if you do not have a strong operational foundation. Um, so I think, you know, there’s this lack of visibility over content. There’s this lack of, you know, efficiency and productivity in the way we work. And there’s also a misalignment, um, between, you know, both internally, um, in India on the agency side, uh, both internally on the client side, between the agency, the full entitled, obviously. Uh, so I think there’s quite a lot of communication and workflow issues that we could solve.
MC: Yeah. You know, and I find really interesting about that VR. I think a lot of people think it’s, you know, I don’t want to maybe call it counterintuitive, but the, if the process is wrong, I don’t think that people recognize no matter what side of the coin you’re on, um, that the more you get mired in process, the less creative you become. And the more knowing and like this is the attitude that comes out. It’s like if the process is hard and the review process is challenging to go back and forth and edits are challenging to go back and forth on, is that what you end up doing with his like is, is the the frustrated compromise? Oh, that’s good enough. Ship it out. Tired of working on this thing. Like I just don’t want to look at it anymore. Um, that type of thing. And then that stifles creativity, stifles your ability to test and iterate quickly which social demands. Um, and it’s, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s an interesting way to solve the problem that most people think is a creative problem. Like how to get social to work for my business when it’s probably more of a process problems. And I think it’s a really interesting way to, to attack the issues, you know, that’s better.
XM: I 100% agree. And there’s also, you know, the, the creative side, you know, internally in the agency when you’re producing content and you’re forced to work in assistant, that is frustrating and annoying for, and it’s just an unpleasant experience. The results are diminishing because of that. You know, it’s really hard to keep up with your creativity just, just by itself. But when you’re forced to work in tools that are, you know, clunky and unpleasant, it becomes even harder to do it.
BR: Yeah. And I think one of the things that, that I’ve kind of noticed in this all, it’s kind of take us on a, a little bit of a tangent, but I think it’s one Mike you were kind of curious to talk about, but because of the state of kind of social media, the proliferation of channels, um, just the amount of, uh, of content that is flowing past, uh, users every single day. And, and they’re kind of ingrained in that. One of the challenges that we’ve run into that, uh, that it feels like that you solve is when we’re trying to serve a client as an agency. Um, one of the things we run into is because there’s all this clunky process involved to kind of make sure that, you know, images are right, copy is right, it’s all packaged and put together right into the social platform. There is such a delay in the actual approval process that you can’t actually run at the pace that you need to run. You can’t produce the amount of content you can produce, the frequency of content that’s actually necessary to even be observable in social media today. Um, so it was kind of talk to that like, um, how does plannable uh, it sounds like it does help to kind of allow us to, to get more content through the funnel and out into the channel. Um, specifically.
XM: Definitely. So it’s an interesting point that you just mentioned. Um, we actually released a, an industry report on the content marketing space and, and we found out, you know, we always knew or assumed that that’s the truth, but we interviewed about, um, 200 marketers in space and we found out that, you know, 61% of them, um, are suffering from delayed projects. And I think that doesn’t, it’s a surprise to anyone. We know that that’s the industry we live in. That’s the world we live in. Um, but we do have, you know, the numbers actually support that. So think, you know, I think that’s a problem of, you know, multitasking than productivity in efficiency and, you know, just broken systems. And the way we’re trying to approach this is by building, you know, a work space that is flexible enough to adapt under any kind of workflow because every team has different ways of working.
XM: So what we did with fileable, we built this fury, um, adaptable software that really, you know, you can customize and you can, you can create whatever type of workflow you’re using at the moment. We do an inch rock, the way you are doing things at the moment. We just want to speed them up and we want to simplify them as much as possible. We want to add visibility to the way you working at the moment. Um, and we’re doing this by allowing you to create content and while you’re creating content, you can actually see how this is going to look like in the end. You know, what you see is what you get. Um, so you know, posts are pixel perfect. The final version, it’s an actual preview of how it’s gonna look like after you published it. So this type of visibility to makes things simpler because you know, the client can see exactly how things are going to look like in the end.
XM: Everyone can see and there’s just no misunderstandings. Um, everyone is kind of aligned, you know, when everyone speaks the same language and sees it, everyone are seeing the same thing, things, there’s less of a risk for misunderstandings to happen. Um, and something else that we are doing is, you know, just by bringing a lot of clarity into the process, uh, when content is approved inside plannable it’s crystal clear that it was approved and there’s no, you know, I remember I, I always had, you know, because there was no system of, you know, straightforward approval. When I was working in my agency, I was always asking myself, what is that boast actually, you know, by the client. Did it give the chest, I know that I sent them, you know, an entire spreadsheet with everything. They see this one specifically and you know, the clients, it’s easier to give feedback because you know, it’s in context.
XM: They can see the posts, they can approve it or they can leave, you know, comments and start to conversation about the post and actually explain, you know, when they don’t like, or what they like about it. Um, so it’s a lot of clarity that we bring into the process. And I think, you know, clarity is crucial for communication and for an efficient work. Um, it’s something else that we bring into the mix is alignment. Um, because we help the teams that work on plannable, um, work in real time together. So no matter, no matter if they’re in the same office or if they’re a distributed team, you know, across business units and times zones, they can be on plannable. They can iterate in real time on that content. They can actually, you know, move fast from an idea to a draft through review will, um, and find a, you know, to publishing to content that that can happen because the product is simple, uh, because we don’t have any bottlenecks, uh, any clunkiness, um, you know, it’s just really simple to use.
XM: Uh, and I think, you know, simplicity is underestimated nowadays. People want software with a lot of things, you know, US copied this possible with as many as possible, but if you want to do something fast, um, you need, you know, something simple. You need something simple that you can avoid fast. You need something simple to show it to your clients. I think that doesn’t feel like they need to learn, you know, an entire technology and have, you know, seven weeks of onboarding. They can just, you know, instantly log in and instantly start using it. Um, so I think that how we help, you know, teams be, be more agile. We just make it very clear, very straight forward, very simple to use.
BR: Yeah. Another problem that we, I’ve actually wrestle with it and it sounds like you guys solve is increasingly, not only do you have to have a higher frequency of content and a higher quantity going out in order to be observable, but you also need to be omni-channel. So, um, you know, in an agency’s case, um, you know, any given client, uh, needs to be in probably three, four, maybe all of, you know them, uh, social media platforms. So they need to be on Facebook and they need to be an Instagram. They need to be on linkedin. And then you multiply that times 10 or 20 clients, uh, and now you have, uh, you know, five times 20, you have a, you know, you’re literally going into a hundred spaces to do your actual work. So how do you go to help with the omnichannel problem? So, giving the ability for an agency to, to, to, to support a client that wants to be on multiple social channels at high volume.
XM: Definitely. So that aligns very well with our vision of plannable. You know, our vision of [inaudible] is this world where content marketing teams can work together better on any type of content and on any type of channel. Uh, so the way we are helping them as by obviously no, we support Facebook and Twitter and linkedin and Instagram when we want to, you know, branch into more channels and we support the majority of content formats on those platforms. Um, you know, both regular posts, um, ads, but also stories so you can create, you know, every type of social content directly in plannable. Um, and we have quite the powerful attitude that allows you, you know, if you have a similar type of content that you want to distribute on all channels, you can doubly Kate it inside plannable but you will have the opportunity because we do want to, you know, encourage posting the same thing and every channel, I didn’t think, you know, I think, you know, every channel deserves its own, um, its own piece of content.
XM: Uh, and they meant different content. Uh, we give, you know, you know, we gave our users to power to doubly create content but also to tweak it, um, to edit it, you know, to change it and adapt it to different types of channels. Uh, so it’s very flexible in this regard that you can, you know, copy and distribute, you know, work in a very, in a very flexible way with content on, you know, different channels, um, everything from one single place. Um, and you have, you know, the opportunity to see how the content is going to look like on every, on every channel. You know, you can see the content is going to look, um, you know, on, on a mobile device. If it’s stories you can see, you know, how content is going to look like on linkedin. And I know that, you know, so many times I see so many posts more specifically on linkedin.
XM: Um, I don’t know if the format has changed, but I remember, you know, at least last year I was seeing, you know, those posts that are all obviously published, you know, uh, through some tools directly on multiple platforms at once and no one checks if the post is going to look, look good. And remember on Linkedin, you know, if she posted a certain type of dimensions of a photo is going to have, you know, those great bars, great whites, you know, on the side because there’s not the met dimension and no one checks. Um, so in plannable you can create those posts and you can check how everything is going to look like on different channels. So you make sure that everything is gonna look good on older classroom.
BR: Yeah. And that looks really bad for our client too. You can see a client like, okay, you can tell, oh, they’re focusing on this channel and they’re kind of phoning it in on all the others and just pushing it out. And so it looks beautiful on Facebook, but you know, if you encounter it on linkedin or something like that, you don’t want to convey to your audience that the channel they prefer you don’t really care about. And it’s obvious. Um, so a couple of things that I definitely want is we kind of get towards the end. I want to make sure that we get in here is, um, tell me a little bit about, um, or be specific, I guess is what I’m looking for is, uh, when you’re, when you’re looking for collaboration tools or just actually the, the a reason that you need a collaboration tool. G, give me kind of the, the case for what helps an agency or why an agency needs a collaboration tool like plannable. Um, and then also tell me why a client, uh, should compel an agency to use a tool like this or use it even in house. So just give me the different reasons, uh, and benefits for agency and client to use a collaboration tool like this.
XM: Yeah, of course. So if you ever need to see, and do you have, you know, let’s say let’s talk about social media teams. If you know any agency and your social media team is not, you know, not just one intern or one good social media manager. If you have an actual team of two, three, four, five and more people on the social part, then you definitely need some sort of cooperation system. And I’m not saying necessarily accountable though, you bet at check us out. Um, but you know, if you have more than one client on the social media side, if you have, you know, a team of social media managers, you need a collaboration tool by default because it’s just gonna be very hard today. If you have one person managing social for one client, then it’s doable. But once you have more people involved in this entire process, it gets very messy.
XM: So you need to find a way to actually organize it. And I think the benefit for you is that it just makes things simpler. It just saves a lot, a lot of time for your own team, a time that can be used, you know, in on different things and time that can be used on building better content and better strategies so you can better impress your clients. Um, it also helps you have some sorts of accountability. Uh, you know, when you’re working with clients, everything in terms of their feedback in terms of their approvals is centralized and it’s, you know, it’s, it’s very clear and very straight forward. Um, and you can have new, you know, this kind of trail of activity log of activities where you can go back and you can see, you know, what has been approved and what not and walked feedback has the client’s given and you can actually learn on that feedback.
XM: So it just saves for you. Um, for the agency side, it’s a lot about being productive and being efficient. Thinking a lot of time for the client side, I think it’s a matter of having you want to, you want your agency to use the collaboration tool, um, because all of this that you want them to be efficient and to, you know, use your money on content and strategy and not, you know, building excel spreadsheets and decks. Um, and you want, you know, an agency to use some sort of visual preparation tool because it is going to help you understand what they’re working on. Um, and if also going to help you visualize their work even better, it’s going to make your life easier when you’re giving feedback and when you’re giving approvals and you just going to have more transparency, um, with your agents, you’re going to be able to see your work in progress and not just, you know, a deck at the end of the day or at the beginning of the month, you’re actually gonna be able to see how the content is growing and evolving and you’re going to be booked to see everything in real time.
XM: So it adds a lot of transparency. So I would say for the agencies it’s about saving time and for the client it’s about transparency with their agency.
MC: You know, and I think the consequences of all that, which I really love. Um, and even while we’re sitting here having kind of checking out the tool a little bit, but the, the one complaint you get from the client side most often, particularly when it comes to social andZ , I’d love to know if you agree with this, is that like, well I get the strategy, you know, the creative is okay, it’s good, but it doesn’t match our, excuse me, it doesn’t match our voice. It doesn’t match our brand. And the only true way for an outsider technically to come in and understand the brand is going to, it’s not a document, it’s not a brand book. It’s not like, you know, I know the teams go to great lengths to like send over all this documentation to an agency and be like, Hey, this is how we do things around here. But it’s in the collaboration that the agencies really gonna learn how the brand talks about itself and like what creative is okay. And all that kind of stuff. And it was like that collaboration is critical. And I love that this tool seems to make it, well I haven’t use it just yet, but I’m going to give it a try. It seems to make that a really easy proposition to make that real time collaboration painless, which is, is a big deal.
XM: I agree with you so, so much. And at one to add something else to this, um, what I like about, you know, Shashank and an open and democratic collaboration and the fact that, you know, we encourage agencies and clients not just to have, you know, daily, you know, transactional approvals. You know, I like this, I don’t like that and so on. But if you have an agency you want to, as a client, you should want to invest in that agency as well. And by that, I need you, it’s in your best interest to help that agency better understand your brand. And if you’re just saying yes or no, there’s no way for them to actually understand why. So you need to put some effort in and actually give feedback. You know, I don’t like this post because this and that. No, just you know, a tool rejected. You actually need to put some effort in best in the agency, you know, growing and better learning what fits your brand best because obviously you’re the one who go with the brands, you know, the most, uh, but you need to help them understand that and you can only do that to, you know, actually constructive feedback.
BR: Yeah. That and you Kinda, you kinda actually Zena hit on something that I wanted to have you articulate and maybe you’ve kind of just summed all that up. But I think something that we often don’t talk about when we’re talking about collaboration and tools and just building a really solid client agency relationship is it lifts the, not only, um, kind of the making the trains run on time, so to speak, but also list the quality of what we do. And so can you talk to a little bit about how collaboration, obviously getting in their tuning voice, you know, investing in understanding the brand and that sort of thing. But maybe talk just a tiny bit more about how this improves the quality of your actual deliverables and in the campaign itself.
XM: So I think that ties or something that Mike Maybe motioned earlier, you know, then when you have assistant that sucks. No one really want to go in there and contribute and get themselves. But if you have a system that is very well established and everyone knows how to use it, how to navigate it, what’s the workflow, what are the steps? And if everything is really, really simple for everyone to contribute, um, then people are more open to do that. And when everyone contributes, you know, better, brighter ideas can be born out of that type of collaboration. You know, you can have different points of views. Um, and you can get people involved, not just from the marketing department but from, you know, product sales, PR, um, when we’re especially, you know, even even from the product side, you know, people that can actually say, okay, well that’s what presents, you know, the product well or not.
XM: So I think when you have multiple points of view involved from across the company and from across the agency that can create, you know, better results, you know, the client can also, you know, put in a bit more effort to actually contribute and give feedback. You know, constructive feedbacks. I mentioned, you know, before, um, is this, you know, good, why is this, you know, I don’t approve this, why you don’t approve it, how can we improve, you know, the next pieces of content that we’re building. Um, so I think, you know, if you build a, an efficient and effective collaboration system and you use a very simple tool that’s, you know, straightforward and pleasant for everyone to use, I think you’re going to have more diverse, um, you know, more diverse feedback and more diverse points of view on this. This gonna everything is going to lead to just better results in the end.
BR: Okay. And so one of the, probably the hardest, uh, moments is to, um, and we have processes like this as the transition from some clunky process as disconnected and probably inefficient as it is. It’s kind of the known, um, but kind of what are some specific steps or preparation, uh, that an agency or an in house marketing team that wants to use a collaboration tool like plannable, they’re like, what should they do in order to make that transition? What are their next steps to move from, from spreadsheets and PowerPoint, uh, into a collaboration tool?
XM: Yeah, I mean it’s very straightforward. You’re just need to look at your own processes and make like a quick, you know, audit, I don’t want to say odd. It sounds very serious. Yeah. But Bahrainian just reviewed the way you work, try to kind of map it, you know, what happened, what are the steps, you know, you’re going through every day when you’re building content and you’re working with clients. Um, what are, what, what does your workflow look like and what are the bottlenecks like where do you find inefficiencies happening? Um, and then once you know that you’re probably going to figure out, you know, what you need to solve it, you know, um, and once you understand that you can move forward and choose, you know, a tool that works best for you and its position, you know, from spreadsheets to look, collaboration tool is usually very straight forward.
XM: Uh, you know, just move your content. You do a quick demo. If the tool is very simple, it’s probably, you know, gonna it’s not gonna be any issue for you and your team to learn it. You do a quick onboarding session with your client. Um, so everything is pretty much very straight forward. We like to say that, you know, if you know how to use Facebook and social media in general, you’re going to know how to use plannable because if the locusts a bit similar, you know, I was telling you about the, the fact that implantable content looks like in the, you know, on the platform, so it has a familiar logo. Um, so if you know how to use, you know, simple, you know, Google drive, uh, type of, uh, tools, it’s going to be very easy to use plannable as well. Um, so the transition is not that hard. You just need to figure out where your problems are.
BR: Very cool. So as we kind of close things out, I want to talk a little bit about, or give an opportunity to talk about the plannables roadmap. Um, you know, social media is one aspect depending on the size of your agency or the size of your in house team. Um, content, uh, is definitely a content collaboration and creation is definitely problematic for social media. Um, but like I said, we’re always omnichannel and sometimes that’s not like a dedicated team. That team might also be responsible for a content that goes to wordpress or content. Um, this is when we run into all the time is where we’re doing things on social media, both organic and advertising, but we’re also running, uh, say display campaigns or re remarketing campaigns and ad words and the creative needs to be consistent in some ways. Um, and so from a roadmap perspective, um, are you looking out into other channels and other types of content, but what kind of does the tool look like in the future?
XM: I feel like you just read my mind because we just had a vision like a few months ago and I don’t think, I don’t think we’re, you know, we spoke that much about that online. So that’s probably why I agree. I want to know I’m going to be quiet. We have a good head start with social because that’s where my expertise is. And I had, you know, social media marketing agency, so we wanted to solve this, this problem. But then, you know, while building the company, we realized that, okay, social is just one part of the entire marketing mix. But everything else in terms of content has the same type of flow, the same type of issues, know collaboration is efficient, you know, when you’re building display ads or newsletters or blog articles and so on. So now, you know, we see plannable less a social media management tool, you know, we don’t want to add then and listening and monitoring the direction that we want to take with our product is, you know, content, uh, creative collaboration.
XM: Um, so the same way that you can now build, you know, posts for Facebook through linkedin and Instagram inside plannable and gable to cooperate with your team with a plan and publish it, uh, in a very visually accurate way. We want to do the same thing for display ads, social ads, muse letters, long form content, video, audio and so on. So our vision is to become this, you know, home of everything, content marketing in the future and that yet, first step, first big milestone is to start with, um, ads. So that’s what’s coming up in the knee in the, in the very near future.
BR: Very nice. Yeah. Um, I, I love all that cause it is a real pain point. We’d love for you to solve podcast you even saw on ours. Like we use a little bit of notion, we do a little bit of a Zencaster and turned to all these weirdo tools together to, to kind of build this content. So I definitely want to close this particular particular episode out. It has been packed with stuff. Um, and I don’t want to kind of overwhelm the audience but a Xena as we close out, uh, can you tell us, um, how people can learn more about you personally, but also, uh, your company and plannable? Uh, where do we, where do we find Jeff?
XM: Yeah, definitely. So I spend most of my time on linkedin now, the days I need there. And then about plannable, it’s plannable with one and plannable.dot.
BR: Io. That’s super popular. What does everybody do? The dot. Oh, now I should ask.
XM: I see. Yeah, this sounds so startup, startup friendly, kind of, I think it stands for Indian Ocean actually. People use it. People use it for like innovation.
BR: Totally. I get that. It’s also kind of a smart way to get around the all the dotcoms in the world being bought until you’ve got enough money to actually buy out the.com for two main pirates have forced you to go. Yeah. Awesome. Well, like I said, you know, we were so excited that you were here with us today. There’s so much packed into this episode. Um, and encourage everyone to kind of check out, um, what [inaudible] is doing with plannable. I know we’re going to check it out because everything she described we, um, have as pain points. Um, so it’s definitely something I would encourage agencies for sure. Um, but even in house teams, uh, I think the quality of what you guys produce, uh, by improving that collaboration and workflow, uh, between business managers, even sales, Mike tells it, talks about that all the time as marketing and sales working together.
BR: Uh, I think there’s a real opportunity to use a tool like this. So I encourage you guys all to check that out. Also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, subscribe to it in all the different tools that are out there. Um, and would really love for you a cause as we, we kinda gained steam here and we start to grow, um, is really just kind of take a moment to share this podcast, uh, with another, a colleague marketing director or COO that, you know, could be helped with this. And we’ve got tons of great ideas and content coming down the pipeline. So, um, catch us on episode 33 and we can’t wait to have you back.