First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Alessandro Bogliari: My family is based in Italy (my country). Italy has been one of the first places in the world that have been affected, but that luckily took it seriously. I live in NYC, and the number of new cases is less than in other states. Overall, so far, so good, even though 2020 has been hard on everyone in terms of having a routine or a “normal” life.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded The Influence Marketing Factory.
Alessandro Bogliari: I co-founded The Influencer Marketing Factory 2 years ago, a global influencer marketing agency that helps brands and companies get in front of Gen Z & Millennials. Our team has people both in the US and in Europe too, and our clients are all over the world, from medium companies to Fortune 100 brands. I am proud to say that without any external funding, our influencer marketing agency became a multi-million dollar company after 1 year and a half of activity just organically without any support of VC or angel investors.
How does The Influence of Marketing Factory innovate?
Alessandro Bogliari: We have been one of the pioneers of TikTok influencer marketing back in 2018 when the majority of people were still thinking of TikTok just as a “kids app”; instead, we saw its big potential and focus a lot on it. We innovate being in the loop of social media trends and always proposing to our clients new ways to get in front of the right people, using influencer marketing accordingly. Nowadays, Gen Z and younger generations want to see authenticity on social media. We help companies create relatable storytelling that can really speak the right language and get better engagement: we do this for music labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music, for great brands such as Dunkin’, Bud Light, and Amazon, and a lot of apps, starting from the influencer identification and KPIs analysis, passing by contracting and campaign management, to reporting and ROI analysis.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Alessandro Bogliari: Luckily for us, and knocking on woods, our business has not been harmed during COVID-19, especially because TikTok saw a huge increase in terms of downloads and brand deals. And since we have always been a remote team, the pandemic didn’t change our structure.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Alessandro Bogliari: As mentioned before, instead of laying off people as many agencies have done, we actually hired more. This means that we didn’t have to make any difficult choices in terms of our team, and I am really proud of that.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and The Influence Marketing Factory in the future?
Alessandro Bogliari: Is important to talk about mental health, especially for marketing agencies that are fast-paced companies; we are trying to create an environment that is professional but also people-first oriented; if you think about it, an agency doesn’t count on technology but mostly on people, and if you create a toxic working space it will be normal to have low morale and a high employees turnover, and this is something my co-founder and I want to show to the others: another type of marketing agency is possible.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alessandro Bogliari: There are other influencer marketing agencies here in the States, but to be honest, I don’t think anyone of them focuses that much on TikTok as we do; there are bigger agencies than us, but that still offer the same Instagram promoted posts you used to see in 2015. We prefer to innovate and provide our clients with the latest influencer marketing opportunities, tools, and features.
Your final thoughts?
Alessandro Bogliari: Agencies around the world need to change their way of doing business: be remote, lean, and less toxic. Not only because of COVID-19…