Interview: Tomas Unikauskis, CEO at Smart Brands Laboratory

Interview: Tomas Unikauskis, CEO at Smart Brands Laboratory

How do we define a microbrand?

 

The main characteristic is its small-scale. The brand might be known only at limited geographic locations or it might be selling niche products that a limited number of consumers are using.

Imagine selling delicacy cheese 🧀 from a small Swiss canton or producing custom rows of keys 🎹 for 19th century pianos…

Whatever your product or service is, you will find your consumers with the help of internet and hyper targeted marketing 📈. This gives the microbrands a bigger impact than one might think.

 

If proper online marketing has boosted microbrands like Cali’flour pizza crusts to the top of Amazon’s sales rankings, then should we all rethink our business plans 🤔? We wish that life could be that simple! Microbrands, or in other words direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies, are having tougher competition than ever before.  

 

This is the place where companies like Smart Brands Laboratory jump in. With their know-how in the field, they have created a micro niche brand development model that scales them through a series of growth methodologies in branding, multichannel sales, sourcing, and digital marketing efforts. 

 

In the light of  ‘attack of the micro brandswe talked with Tomas Unikauskis, the CEO at Smart Brands Laboratory.

 

The Interview with Tomas

 

Alien just landed on the Earth and your task is to explain to this totally clueless creature “What Smart Brands Laboratory does?” Go!

Smart Brands Laboratory is in the business of understanding people’s behavior. We’ve developed a proprietary niche brand scoring algorithm that identifies products that people around the world need, how they get what they need, and what the most efficient ways are to meet that need. We now own and manage 5 niche brands in the home & kitchen, vegan, pet, and sports product categories.

 

The source of your company’s success is the micro niche brand development model that you have created. What source of scaling magic is this? How does it differ from anything else on the market?

The primary objective of niche branding is to deliver a highly relevant message along with a value proposition that resonate closely with a narrowly defined audience. Our goal isn’t to build large brands that speak to masses and deliver products that are great for everyone. We’re driven by an eagerness to identify a subset of people that have a few specific things in common and speak about what matters to them. That’s the main competitive advantage of our business model.

 

Smart Brands Laboratory works with niche brands that have huge undiscovered potential. How do you find these unique labels? Do you agree that if a brand is too niche, it may die from lack of audience?

Even if you have the best brand of trombone oil in the world, every month there are only 300 people around the world looking online for trombone oil.  Our niche scoring model determines when a product developed for a certain audience is not a viable standalone business.

 

Looking at Smart Brands Laboratory’s DNA and that you help brands scale across multiple sales channels and geographies. What are the main markets you focus on?

Smart Brands Laboratory’s primary sales markets are the USA, Canada, Mexico, the EU, and we’re about to launch in Australia. We’re also laser-focused on choosing the right marketing mix in each market. For example, the demand for certain vegan products has been growing steadily in the US for the past few years, whereas it has only recently picked up in Germany.

 

 

The market is more and more tired of big corporations and instead turning their face towards microbrands. How do you see this microbrand explosion evolving?

The rise of direct-to-consumer brands started almost a decade ago. They utilized undervalued traffic strategies such as social media ads and influencer marketing. They spoke about a single problem and presented a clear-cut solution to that problem. DTC brands spoke in a way which resonated with their audiences and social media advertising algorithms facilitated delivering that message to these audiences efficiently. 

Also, customer behavior appears to have shifted towards experimenting with new unheard brands more frequently. A nationally known brand used to be the main driver for customer confidence. Now DTC brands that utilize user generated content, influencer marketing, and online product reviews can deliver the same feeling of confidence and convince new customers to purchase their products.

In the light of these niche branding and newly found customer confidence factors, more brands will continue to enter the e-commerce space. However, one of the main challenges for these brands will be determining the right product-market fit and balancing customer acquisition costs with their lifetime value. I think microbrands have a better chance at striking the right balance due to substantially lower competition in these niches. This is what we’re after at Smart Brands Laboratory.

 

Even during these unprecedented times, Smart Brands Laboratory is actively hiring and looking for new members – currently to the Sales, Marketing and Product development teams. Who are you looking for? What is the mindset that unites your current employees?

Since inception we’ve been inviting people to join the team in hiring sprees whenever we hit a significant milestone. We’ve doubled our team a few times already and we’re currently preparing for our 3rd round of hires. We’re looking to grow our product development and sourcing team to launch even more brands next year. We also want to expand multiple traffic strategies such as SEO, SEM, paid media, affiliate, and influencer partnerships. 

Regarding mindset – I’d say that it’s very important to be open and sincere with your peers when you’re working in a startup environment. The ride is bumpy, everyone has their ups and downs. It’s never easy. All these things are way more comfortable when people approach challenges with an open mind.

Here are some examples of out job openings that are active at the moment:

 

 

How do you find the talents to hire? Do you publish a job offer or what % of hired candidates has been sourced and headhunted?

I would say that a lot of people have come to us organically through word of mouth and conversations at local meetups. In addition, we post all open positions on MeetFrank and reshare them on LinkedIn. So far, we’ve hired over 50% of our staff through MeetFrank’s platform without using other headhunting services. 

 

What are Smart Brands Laboratory plans one month from now? What does 2021 look like?

Analysts predict that 1 out of 3 gifts in the United States will be purchased online. We expect a wild fourth quarter this year! I’m sure 2021 will be another year of growth for the company. We’re looking to grow our niche brand portfolio and open new sales channels. 

Marketing Jobs in Lithuania: What The 2019 Data Shows So Far

Marketing Jobs in Lithuania: What The 2019 Data Shows So Far

As far as the best countries to find employment go, you can hardly do better than Lithuania. Heck, with its 8.6% annual salary increase and 98% happiness rate amongst residents in its capital city, Vilnius, you’ll have a hard time finding better. 

With a 500% growth rate since gaining independence in 1990, the Lithuanian economy is in solid shape. Following its 3.5% economic growth in 2018, the country looks set to enjoy a very prosperous few years. In fact, the country is looking so good, it is considered one of the standout members of the Baltic states. 

Its super-fast broadband capabilities are rated as one of the finest in the world, clocking speeds over 15mb per second (over 40mbps according to this report). This has in turn spurred massive amounts of internet usage in the country, with an estimated 2.04 million users by 2022. In case you’re wondering, that’s almost 70% of its 2.76 million population. 

Considering the booming online activity, it’s not a surprise that there’s a lot of marketing activity in the country. And with plans in place for the country to become an innovation hub by 2020, there’s more than a bit going around in the way of marketing jobs in Lithuania. 

If you’re looking to snag yourself one of these jobs, you’ll want to know what to expect. Read on to see the 2019 data on what’s trending for marketing jobs in Lithuania. 

 

How big is the opportunity for marketing jobs in Lithuania?

 

Quite big really. Data on MeetFrank indicates that there has been a staggering 289% increase in Lithuanian marketing job offers in the app recently. The stats show a significant increase over the first 6 months of 2019 as against the period between July 2018 to December 2018. 

Marketing jobs in lithuaniaAlthough there’s no clear reason for the increase, it is an indication that more companies on MeetFrank are looking to attract marketing talent. As the platform grows, so do your chances of meeting your choice employer. 

Lithuania has already expended much effort into attracting heavy foreign investment into the country. This has been geared towards several sectors including IT services and software development. 

Multinationals such as Microsoft, Barclays and IBM, all heavy on customer-friendly marketing and spin-kings in their own right, are established in the country. It’s not surprising that this is firing up the employment vortices and churning up the waters for marketing jobs in Lithuania. 

 

Who are employers looking for? 

 

Demand for marketers in mid-level and senior roles is currently highest on MeetFrank. The data suggests that companies are looking more to experienced heads to help ground their teams and drive innovation. 

Offers for lead roles are a distinct third while there is significantly lower demand for entry and executive roles. This makes sense as companies are unlikely to hire a posse of executives to lead their marketing teams. They don’t seem to be willing to spare the time and resources it would take to train entry level hires either. 

This means if you’re looking to get the marketing job offer you want, it might be necessary for you to skill up. That could go a long way to finding your dream pay too, as our data on average salaries shows. 

How much are they willing to pay?

Executives attracted the highest salary on average, earning €3,310 a month. This correlates with their habitually higher responsibility and required qualifications. Interestingly, juniors attracted lower average salary than employees in entry roles, earning almost €200 lower. 

While this is a surprising quirk, it’s expected that it is no more than that. Companies are usually eager to reward upward movement in their structure with higher pay and better benefits. Data from the next few months should show a reversal to more common trends. 

So far as overall salary data goes, there’s not a lot of spread between opposite ends of the spectrum. Employers were willing to pay an average of at least €1,225 with a maximum offer of €2,040 on average. The maximum recorded salary was more than double the maximum average though, at €4,900. 

The figures for January to July 2019 also reflect the spread of the overall salary data. The average for January was €1,200 while April saw the highest average at €2,242. 

average salaries in marketing lithuaniaThere was a bit of a drop from an average of €1925 in May to €1,630 in June and €1,421 in July. One possible explanation for the drop is the usual reduction in recruitment activity during the summer holidays. 

Summer is usually a time for a bit of rest and relaxation. Apparently, recruiters and the talent they habitually hunt think so too. 

 

Where do people want to work? 

 

Most of the requests by our users indicate a healthy interest to work for startups and companies offering remote workspaces. Several others want to work for the coolest offices. 

marketing in lithuaniaThe data indicates that more Lithuanians are jumping on the bandwagon of workspace disruption, favouring companies that are trying out new stuff. That makes sense too, considering that Lithuania already boasts quite a number of businesses that offer options for remote work

With the promises of less pressure, better work-life balance and increased productivity that remote work offers, it’s not hard to see why so many are interested. top 10 companies

 

Top 5 in demand skills

 

If you’re going to take a punt on one of the available marketing jobs in Lithuania, you should know what skills recruiters are looking for. 

Marketing strategy leads the way for many recruiters, constituting an important factor in 11% of job offers. Social media management follows at a close 10%, reflecting the increased importance attached to social media interaction by companies. Content marketing, web analytics and branding follow at 9%, 8% and 7% respectively.

The fact that there’s not a lot of spread to the requirements for these skills is a pointed reference to the increasing preference of recruiters for very skilled employees. Individuals possessing two or more of these skills will likely find interesting job offers with very handsome pay. 

Our data on the mix of skills that attract high paying offers also confirms this. For offers paying more than €2,500, content marketing, marketing strategy and project management were important requirements. 

 

Let MeetFrank solve your recruitment and employment needs

 

At MeetFrank, our dream is for a job market that is easy on both recruiter and prospective employee. That’s why we developed an app that promises to change employment as you know it, for the better. 

We believe people should be able to find jobs and get hired without having to suffer undue stress. Even better, we believe the dream job should not remain only in dreams. On MeetFrank, you have everything you need to find the exact kind of job that you want. That’s why the platform is made for you, the talent, first. Look through our free app here to find your dream job.

We don’t stop at helping you find the job of your dreams either. MeetFrank provides data about companies and salaries so that talent can make better decisions. Our platform makes the job market fairer and more transparent. 

It doesn’t leave recruiters behind though. The task of recruitment is commonly regarded as one of the most tedious, time consuming tasks that companies must undertake. However, it shouldn’t always be so. MeetFrank allows recruiters find the perfect candidates in a stress-free and cost-effective manner. Find out here about how we take the stress out of recruitment. 

2019 Stats on Marketing Jobs in Finland: What You Need to Know

2019 Stats on Marketing Jobs in Finland: What You Need to Know

Opportunities in marketing have grown in leaps and bounds in recent times, especially for marketing jobs in Finland, as seen on our app. Everywhere you look, there’s one more insane stat confirming that it’s crazy to not be involved in digital marketing right now. 

Roughly 40% of all marketing job openings now require digital marketing skills. That’s twice as many as there were 5 years ago and the figure is steadily increasing. 91% of B2B marketers now actively use content marketing and 86% of B2C marketers swear by the marketing strategy, believing it to be key for business. 

Seriously, this shows that if you haven’t really considered it before, now might be the time to bet on marketing. And if you live or work in Finland, you’re in just about one of the best environments to get a great head start. 

Finland is currently doing its level best to position the country as a “smart” tourist destination that provides the “ideal digital customer” experience. It’s moving pretty close to that goal too, if reports are anything to go by. 

In a country that’s doing everything possible to improve the digital experiences of its visitors and citizens, there’s bound to be plenty of business for digital marketers. Cue our data on the booming digital marketing industry in Finland and how things might play out for you. 

In this article, we’ll share insights that we have gleaned from people working in marketing jobs in Finland. We’ll also share what we’ve learned from employers using MeetFrank to solve their recruitment needs and all the interesting data you’ll want to know. Let’s get in!

 

How big is marketing in Finland right now? 

 

Offers for marketing jobs on the Meetfrank platform in Finland grew by a gigantic 661% compared to the period between July 2018 to December 2018.

The reason for the increase? Hard to pinpoint any individual factor. Although, considering the increasing social media presence of a good majority of the Finnish population, it’s understandable that companies are doing more to reach them. 

Statista reports that nearly 70% of people in Finland aged 18 to 64 were active on social media in 2017. It was estimated that daily social media usage grew by more than 20% in 2018 alone and the figures are expected to keep rising. 

This, perhaps, underscores the sizable growth that is being experienced in the Finnish marketing industry. Ad spending in 2019 is currently estimated at $590 million, an increase of 11.5% year on year. Considering that the figures were $464 million in 2017 and $529 million in 2018, it’s easier to understand why there’s such a clamor for skilled marketers. 

If you have the skills to enter into this job market, you’ll be interested in the next set of stats. Here’s how much you could be looking to earn. 

 

Average salaries for marketing jobs in Finland

 

According to our data, the average of minimum salaries during the first half of 2019 was €2,447. At the other end of the scale, employers shelled out an average of €4,003 for higher paid jobs. 

This takes nothing away from the maximum salary offered though. At €7,000 a month, the lucky individual taking home our maximum recorded salary will be making it rain all through this year.

The average salaries for marketing jobs in Finland are much closer to the general average though. Trading Economics reported that salaries in Finland held at around €3534 per month in the second quarter of 2019. This was up from the average of €2,857 recorded between 2000 to 2019. 

Our data correlates with the 2019 figures with the highest recorded average of €3,740 occurring in May. Although, there was a drop in the average recorded between June and July, from €3,070 to €2,688. 

Although there’s no clear explanation for the drop, one likely factor is the summer holidays. We’ve observed that recruiters are generally less active during this period and the same goes for the talent they’re out hunting.  

 

What roles are currently in demand? 

 

The two most in-demand roles for 2019 are mid-level and senior roles, taking up 55% of recorded offers between them. This makes sense too. As the marketing boom in Finland continues, companies are understandably looking to populate their teams with more experienced heads. For many companies, it’s a time to consolidate and find a platform for better growth. 

Entry and executive roles are in much lower demand, with just 5% and 7% of recorded offer respectively. Again, the data for executive positions is understandable since you companies are unlikely to be looking for more than a handful of captains to man their marketing ships.

The more significant data is for entry roles. The implication is if you want to get in on the scene for marketing jobs in Finland this year, you’ll have to skill up and gain some experience. It’ll pay you handsomely too. 

Just by stepping up your skills to junior level, you can look to earn up to €800 more than an entry level marketer, at €3,636 average salary. And the bigger your role, the higher your average salary as our data shows. 

 

Where do people want to work? 

 

Most of our Finnish users are looking to hitch a ride on the coat tails of beautiful disruption. There’s a strong preference for startups, fintech and the next big thing. You can hardly blame them. What’s there to love about a job that doesn’t get your heart pumping?

Top 5 in demand skills

 

What do you have to focus on to ensure that recruiters come calling? Well, the top 5 in-demand skills for marketing jobs in Finland indicate preference for an interesting mix of talents. 

Although web analytics edges out at a slim 11%, SEO, content marketing and marketing strategy are considered just as important at 10%. PPC skills bring up the rear at a close 9%.

The almost negligible spread between these talents indicates that companies may not really be looking for an “either/or” bargain here. Each of these skills seems to be considered as important as the others. 

This is confirmed by our data on the mix of skills that attract high paying offers. Job offers paying more than €3500 require content marketing, marketing strategy and PPC advertising skills. 

So, it might be in your best interest to add a minimum of one more competence to your area of strength. That way you’d be at least twice as likely to get your dream offer. Good deal eh?

 

Find the perfect marketers and marketing jobs in Finland on MeetFrank

 

MeetFrank is a recruitment app that aims to democratize the job market. We make it easy for you to find the job of your dreams without having to run the CV gauntlet. Find companies that are interested in hiring you and how much they are willing to pay. 

MeetFrank lets you get on the job market on your own terms and without the hassle of “job seeking”. Whether you’re looking to work at a startup or the next big thing, you’ll find your pick of marketing jobs in Finland on MeetFrank.

That’s why our platform is made for you, the talent, first. Check out the free app here to get a head start on your hunt for the perfect job. 

It doesn’t end there though. Our solution makes recruitment stress free. Companies can find the exact type of candidates that fit their bill without having to entertain thousands of applications. 

If there’s a specification to the type of candidate your company is looking to attract, we’ll help you find them. 

Give us a shout on team@meetfrank.com or click here to find out more about how we make recruitment stress free.