May You Live in Interesting Times

Robert Stalmach

Robert Stalmach, CEO of Newspoint, tells us about monitoring digital media.

First of all, how are you and your family doing? 

Robert Stalmach: We’re all ok, thank you! So far, fortunately, all our relatives are well. However, as always, not had enough time to take care of yourself. Actually, all the restrictions and prohibitions related to Covid-19 have already been lifted in Poland, and we are slowly forgetting about the pandemic.

Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Newspoint.

Robert Stalmach: I started 2 decades ago in consulting, where I dealt with tax advisory and accounting audits. It was definitely not my dream job. The turn of the millennium was the crazy time of the dotcom bubble. I also got carried away and ended up in a media corporation, where I dealt with new ventures, mergers, acquisitions, internet business development, and mobile services, and finally founded a content licensing department for various platforms from scratch. Then we noticed that from the customer’s point of view, it would be much more functional to have access to all relevant content, not just from one publisher, in one place. What’s more, conversations with clients indicated that they would like to analyze online volumes of publications over time, sentiment, the share of Voice, value of communication, reaches, impact, contexts, etc. This is how the idea of ​​building an online media monitoring and analytics platform was born – i.e., Newspoint.

How does Newspoint market its product/services online? 

Robert Stalmach: In many ways. The industry in which we operate requires that innovation be encoded in the company’s DNA. We monitor all types of media (press, radio, tv, social media, blogs, forums, websites) globally in almost all languages of the world. We have huge technological possibilities, and brands have a great need to constantly analyze the perception of their behavior and products by recipients, and yet explaining to brands how to get the most out of the tool we offer is not trivial. That is why we invest in content marketing (e-books, webinars, case studies, tutorials, newsletters, etc.) and all classic methods of promoting products such as SEM, SEO, and mailing.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?

Robert Stalmach: It may sound strange, but the pandemic is a development impulse for us. Coronavirus has caused a rapid increase in the popularity of online services, and the difficulty in managing teams of people on-site prompts companies to use outsourcing of many tasks to a greater extent than before, especially those not constituting the core business. This is good news for us because access to our services can be obtained remotely, without the need for personal contact. In addition to media monitoring services, which are so important in difficult crisis times, we also offer research and analytical services that we provide remotely by communicating with customers online.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?

Robert Stalmach: We try to manage smartly – still optimizing processes, costs, and the conversion funnel. And we succeeded in it; analyzing the results, it can be seen that we managed to improve them quarter by quarter. I think that, as in most dynamic new technology companies around the world, we work almost 100% remotely, we meet within the company and with our clients online, and we have organized the entire client onboarding process so that it does not require personal contacts. As for marketing tools and software, we use various – both external suppliers and those developed by us. Of the external tools, Google’s tools are still the most important, even though we test many different ones.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Robert Stalmach: We operate in the MarTech industry, where the competitive pressure on innovation is very high. Our answer is flexibility, consistency, and close contact with customers, thanks to which we can diagnose their needs well. The main areas of innovation for us are Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. We use solutions from these fields to teach algorithms for better speech recognition and automatic transcriptions, improve the evaluation of the overtone and context of publications, assess the gender of authors, or determine the similarity of materials. We currently index over 15 billion documents from 50 million sources in 75 languages. This is a huge challenge for hardware and software so that the applications we develop are efficient, stable, fast, friendly, and…not too expensive to maintain. We use machine learning and automatic software optimization to stay in the game.

Your final thoughts?

Robert Stalmach: May you live in interesting times – the famous proverb of Chinese origin reads. Today, in the context of the experience of the 2 years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and global inflation, it sounds particularly ominous. And in fact, we live in a crucial period of the end of the world order as we know it. The turbo version of globalization is most likely coming to an end. Businesses will have to face completely new challenges, such as increasing social and state pressure on the responsible selection of energy sources, semi-finished products, employees, cooperatives, and sales markets. These are factors that will certainly shape the business reality of economic entities in developed countries of the world to a greater extent than before.

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