InterviewsSocial Media Intelligence

Meltwater CMO Valerie Fawzi [Interview]

PR software and monitoring company Meltwater delivers the insights needed to manage a brand and stay ahead of the competition. We asked Meltwater CMO some questions.

Valerie Fawzi is responsible for developing and executing global marketing strategy, building brand, and driving growth for Meltwater. Valerie has built a successful career in B2B software marketing for both startups and enterprise technology companies. She calls ‘The Bay’ her home, and works from Meltwater Headquarters in San Francisco.

What is new about Meltwater Media Intelligence solution and what does the new technology offer to Marketers?

Meltwater has taken a giant leap beyond traditional monitoring into a media intelligence solution that elevates the corporate communications function from counting mentions to delivering strategic insights to the c-suite. The new Meltwater solution offers marketers the ability to proactively drive an influencer relations strategy – with a completely redesigned web interface and workflows. It integrates content types all in one place – It includes a mobile application built for iOS and Android devices. The new offering has new search capabilities and real time dashboards that are fully customizable.


How many offices do you have worldwide and how important is the Middle East for you?

Meltwater is a global company with 50 offices on six continents. We have a firm belief that the global economy and technology will continue to grow. We are committed to having local expertise in both emerging and established technology markets. We have offices both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and are constantly improving our Arabic source base. The user interface of our media intelligence tool is available in multiple languages, including Arabic.


How many clients do you have in the Middle East and how far do you support Arabic sentiment?

Meltwater has multiple clients across a wide variety of industries such as government, tech, legal, banking, construction and hospitality, to name but a few, Meltwater continues to expand it’s client base at a rapid pace. Our Media Intelligence platform is available in 13 languages including Arabic. This allows us to monitor online news and track conversations and other activities on social media in the Arabic language.


How do you think Social Media monitoring can make or break businesses?

Traditional media is still considered more impactful and substantial at an executive level in the Middle East. Print and broadcast continue to reign supreme, while digital and social media tend to be viewed as secondary. However we are witnessing new growth in social media solutions. These markets have experienced the impact of crowdsourced journalism, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for this trend. In a crisis, for example, social media, like Twitter, will move faster than traditional media. You can be certain that messages will be coming at you from multiple platforms and numerous angles. If businesses don’t start incorporating social media strategy into their overall communications and crisis communications methodology, they could be left behind.


Who needs Meltwater Media Intelligence solution more: Public Relations or Marketing?

While it’s media focus is targeted at the corporate communications function, best in class marketing organizations work closely with their public relations teams to ensure that demand generation, field marketing, content marketers, product marketers are all aligned. All aspects of the marketing organization should be leveraging the insights that come out of the Meltwater platform.


How can Meltwater Media Intelligence platform help brands to achieve different objectives like increasing brand visibility or lead generation?

Modern marketing is about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. Marketers should fundamentally qualify their interactions, which is a shift from the blast mentality of the past. Meltwater helps people make sure that their story counts. This is also a tool that informs other parts of business strategy, not just marketing, by delivering industry and competitive analysis.


Do you think Social Media has become the new PR? If yes, how?

Social media is one of several public relations channels, and teams that are focused on social within the marketing organization should be working closely with corporate communicators to proactively listen engage and understand the conversations in this channel.


Who do you think are Meltwater’s main competitors?

Till now we have been the global leaders in online media and social media monitoring. Our competitions are those companies that track newspapers and social media. But with the launch of this new product we will be able to maintain our market leader position and offer our clients with a better, more unique service. There are really no other companies that offer what we do.


Do Meltwater have plan for acquisitions or joint forces on the horizon?

We are always looking and open to ideas.


What do you think about the next trends in Digital Marketing?

The corporate communications function is one of the last marketing organizations to go digital.  There is a big opportunity to help drive efficiencies and increase the transparency of this function.   Take Crisis Management, for example. For most communications teams, every crisis is a new one. Many companies don’t have a well-thought out plan and workflow in order to get ahead of a crisis, but it does not have to be that way. We should have the tools and processes in place to stay on top of any foreseeable crisis.

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