First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nic Ray : All things considered, we are doing well. As CEO, I’m grateful that I’ve had this time to spend with my family, particularly with my young kids. Of course, the challenge lies in balancing family time with work during this period.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company
Nic Ray : I began my career working in above the line advertising, thinking about how to build consumer loyalty with brands. From there I moved into the digital marketing world, focusing on the environments and channels where consumers were engaging with brands and having experiences with their products and services. That path ultimately led me to BrandsEye, where we’re using technology to understand what is driving consumer behavior and how that influences the digital transformation of large brands and companies.
How does your company innovate?
Nic Ray : We’ve built a technology that creates a symbiotic relationship between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. By using crowds trained human contributors to verify sentiment and analyse data, we’re able to produce highly accurate data. And in turn, build machine learning data sets that enable our AI to improve over time.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Nic Ray : We are doing well and fortunate that our data is particularly relevant as consumers flock to digital channels during this crisis. The adoption of social media as a way to communicate with brands is growing. So for our clients, many of whom are seeing an increased volume of social media interactions, our solutions enable them to prioritize and respond to their most important conversations. Critically, we’re helping our clients understand what is driving their customer experience and reputation in the midst of a crisis.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Nic Ray : The crisis has brought a perspective that is hard to gain when operating normally. On some issues, we’ve taken a long time to make certain decisions and the crisis has forced us to make them and made making them easier. It’s also shown us that they could have been made sooner. As a company, we have adapted well to working remotely from home and this I believe is testament to the strong company culture of working collaboratively with compassion across teams in the business.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and your company in the future ?
Nic Ray : I personally deal with stress by taking time to spend outdoors exercising with my family. I am very optimistic about the future of our company. As the world becomes more digitized and adoption of digital channels continues to grow, our data becomes increasingly relevant.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nic Ray : Our competitors typically use only AI to analyse social media data. We continue to differentiate ourselves by investing in our Crowd to perform data structuring work that is outside of the capability of AI. By using a mix of AI and human intelligence we’re able to produce levels of accuracy in structuring and analyzing data that our competitors aren’t able to.
Your final thoughts
Nic Ray : This is a really hard time for everyone, we’ve seen how this has affected many of our own clients. We’re lucky that our own business has not been impacted too much as many of our clients’ customers have moved to social media to communicate with brands and resolve customer service queries online. This has helped to drive digital adoption across most organisations, as people and consumers become more comfortable using online channels for information and customer service.
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