MarTech Interview with Olivier Chanoux, Co-Founder and CMO at LumApps

MarTech Interview with Olivier Chanoux, Co-Founder and CMO at LumApps
MarTech Interview with Olivier Chanoux, Co-Founder and CMO at LumApps

“Fully-engaged employees can play a leading role in brand advocacy by building a brand’s image both internally and externally.”

Could you tell us about LumApps? Specifically, tell us how it helps enterprises turn employees into brand advocates?

We’re a digital workplace company originally founded in 2012 in France with offices around the world including New York, Austin, San Francisco, Paris, Lyon, London, and Tokyo. Our flagship product is a social intranet that sits at the core of a company’s communications and workflows in order to connect, inform and engage employees. Having a solution like LumApps is critical for a large business with many employees and, of course, a lot of data. It centralizes all corporate content, business applications and social features under a single platform.

The second leg of our platform is our social advocacy solution which empowers employees to share relevant branded content — such as news articles, corporate events, customer stories and job offers — outside company walls. Let’s face it, trust is the new Marketing currency and word of mouth has become the most powerful tool to increase brand awareness. We designed our new social advocacy solution to help companies address this growing need.

Companies using our solutions today including major brands such as Colgate-Palmolive, The Economist, Electronic Arts, and Logitech.

Taking a step back, why is brand advocacy critical for a company, and how can employees get involved?

Fully-engaged employees can play a leading role in brand advocacy by building a brand’s image both internally and externally. An employee who is confident their opinions are valued and believes in the company’s mission is more likely to promote the brand across their social channels. This will increase the company’s social reach and help to establish enhanced credibility and trust outside of the organization. Internally, employees who feel trusted and empowered are more likely to embrace the company’s mission and values. That’s why establishing employee engagement with content and collaboration is so important.

LumApps does much more than just brand advocacy. Can you tell us about how it connects employees in general?

LumApps enables employees to connect with the enterprise and with their coworkers across countries and locations but is definitely much more than just the leading employee communication platform. It is a truly digital workplace where employees access all the enterprise resources they need to do their job. Employees are provided with an employee dashboard where they can see their emails, tasks, meetings, links, favorite teams or Slack channels, and more. LumApps also provides a powerful global search engine that can find news, communities, people, documents across the enterprise.

What are some of the elements companies can leverage to get the word out about their brand?

The good news is much of the content to be leveraged for employee advocacy already exists. You don’t need to create new content. Repurpose company news, blog posts, industry news, event announcements and more. LumApps enables you to simply aggregate these sources into a single dashboard so that employees can easily engage with and share it.

Where does LumApps sit within the technology stack relative to other digital workplace platforms? What technologies does it connect to?

LumApps is a true Cloud platform and integrates with G Suite, Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft SharePoint. It’s also accessible on mobile devices. We designed it to serve as a central hub for enterprises to share personalized content, social communications, work tools and applications with their employees to boost engagement and improve internal communications. LumApps delivers a fully integrated digital workplace.

What does LumApps do that other digital workplace platforms like Slack, G Suite, Office 365 don’t offer?

One of the biggest challenges that enterprises face when it comes to engaging with employees is “fragmentation.” Today’s employees are switching between 35 business-critical apps more than 1,100 times every day (Source: TechRepublic). What makes LumApps unique is our solution integrates Office 365, G Suite and Slack into a single platform to simplify an employee’s daily experience and help them get their work done faster and smarter.

What advice would you have for a CIO looking to centralize all employee communications and boost employee advocacy?

To succeed in your employee advocacy program, you need engaged employees. So the first thing is to make sure that you have reached a good level of engagement. Centralizing your employee communications is the first step. This is what LumApps helps hundreds of companies to achieve. Once you’ve completed that step, we recommend launching a pilot program with the most engaged employees that are already internal advocates. We believe your pilot program will be a success that will then inspire other employees. This is what we did at LumApps beginning with our Sales team. It didn’t take long for all of our employees to request being a part of it, too.

What are your predictions for the future of work in 2020?

I would divide that into three separate predictions. The first is on the mobile side. It’s true that we are fully connected via mobile devices in our personal lives, but it’s not truly a workplace reality today. The next big challenge is to connect all remote employees who account for 80 percent of the global workforce.

On the Social side of things, at LumApps we believe that even if “social” is a buzzword today, it’s not a reality in the business world. Companies are still struggling with how to use social media channels and at the right level in the workplace.

Finally, “smart” products will come to the forefront very soon. Here I believe LumApps has a great role to play. We are investing to make our product smarter with one top priority being to establish LumApps as the place where companies can talk about AI with their employees. There are significant fears around AI in the workplace. You need to talk to your employees about it and the role this technology will play in the company’s future. That way, once AI is implemented, your employees will view it as a tool to solve real business pains – not just the company deploying technology for technology’s sake led by IT guys.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

I lead by example. As Chief Marketing Officer at LumApps, I use our solution as often as possible. I particularly love using our mobile app. It allows me to connect when I travel, and I travel a lot!

One word that best describes how you work.

Collaboratively. At LumApps, we truly work as a team with a very open and inclusive approach that allows each employee to have a voice within the company.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

My top three are Google Analytics, Salesforce for forecasting/analytics and Pardot for Marketing Automation.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

More face-to-face communication with colleagues with the goal of reducing emails for everyone.

What are you currently reading?

Right now I’m reading Sapiens, a brief history of HumanKind by Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari. The book surveys the history of humankind from the Stone Age up to the present day. Fascinating stuff. Up next for me is Homo Deus, a brief history of tomorrow by the same author.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The classic KISS approach: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Also, “think 10 times,” one of the mantras learned by Google teams that we also apply at LumApps.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

At LumApps, I definitely say it’s our teamwork and the energy we bring to every project. I’d also cite our commitment to our LumApps values.

Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

I would choose two. Elon Musk for his disruptive approach in a very different business, and Sundar Pichai at Google for his innovations in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

Thank you, Olivier! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Olivier Chanoux is CMO and Co-Founder of LumApps, digital workplace platform that houses all corporate content and enterprise tools in one place. LumApps concentrates everything you need to work: it streamlines communication by opening social channels, applies search function to company materials, and serves targeted information to each user on a central dashboard.

Before LumApps, his first experience in creating a new startup was gPartner (now Devoteam G Cloud).

lumapps logo

A social, mobile and smart intranet to connect and engage all employees in a central hub. LumApps brings everything you need to work in one place: personalized content, business applications, and social communities.

Fully integrated and synchronized with your collaborative suite, LumApps helps employees to work more efficiently, collaborate smarter and connect with coworkers. Based on strong customer reviews all over the world with Fortune 500 and Forbes 2000 companies, LumApps is the only enterprise portal successfully mixing corporate communications and social network, answering both company and employee needs

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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