Arnaud Steinkuhler has just been appointed as the new CEO of Auxipress, to consolidate our position as the Belgian leader in Brand Intelligence through media monitoring and digital audience listening. We wanted to ask him a few questions to give us a glimpse of his future plans for our company.
Congratulations Arnaud! For those who don’t know you that well, can you tell us a bit more about yourself, about your background?
I am from Brussels 🙂 I left Belgium shortly after my studies at the ULB, 25 years ago. I came back 18 months ago, married, with two children, and with a great professional experience!
I joined Auxipress to develop a range of products and services dedicated to brand managers, helping them to make informed decisions by observing the media, analysing social trends and listening to audiences.
Prior to that, I was Head of Solutions Europe at Talkwalker, the world’s leading SAAS Conversational Intelligence tool. There, I led a team of consultants who helped companies solve their business challenges by listening to and analysing digital conversations and audiences. Fascinating.
I understand the challenges and needs of brands particularly well because I ran the Media & Public Insights department of Argus de la Presse (Cision) for several years in Paris. With my team of 70 people, we helped 500 clients to manage their brand thanks to a combination of indicators, reports, insights and opinion surveys.
I worked with many companies including prestigious brands and international organisations such as PSA (Peugeot-Citroën), Nestlé Waters, Red Bull, Aéroport de Paris, EY, Groupe Seb, Decathlon, Volkswagen Group, L’Oréal… helping them improve their performance by leveraging data.
And to come full circle, when I came back to Belgium, I found Auxipress and its passionate team of experts relentlessly monitoring the media and listening to digital audiences!
What have you learned from your journey?
Our media monitoring and analysis market has been totally transformed these last few years. The value of use cases has made an incredible leap forward. Today at Auxipress, the challenge is to remain very solid in our monitoring and PR campaign reporting business, while evolving towards a broader discipline called “Brand Intelligence”, i.e. the ability to help brands make decisions and act in an informed way, by listening to the market, its audiences, trends and the media.
This shift fully addresses the new need for brands to understand what people and the media think about them in real time. This is crucial to keep marketing efforts and product development on the right track.
The most powerful brands, the ones that grow, the ones that survive crises…are the ones that have the greatest ability to adapt. And to succeed in the face of changing markets and audiences, what better way than to keep a constant eye on your industry and your audiences?
Our job now is to enable brands to grow by being in direct contact with their ecosystem. We help them to remain relevant to their market, to their audience, by listening to all their stakeholders.
And what are the new use cases today?
To make of brands, real business assets, we can rely on 4 essential pillars:
– Protect: monitor all public conversations for potential risks or sensitive information.
– Decide: transform media and social content into strategic deliverables to help professionals make informed decisions.
– Progress: measure the impact of PR, marketing & digital activations, and campaigns
– Inspire: helping brands create inspiring content for their audiences by understanding target groups and influencers
So where do these use cases fit in?
The nature of our business, bringing the voice of audiences, markets and media into the company, brings us into contact with all layers of the company and all communication areas: marketing, HR, PR, sales…
It is a crucial role in the sense that it allows the company to build a coherent and shared vision between all the decision-makers, despite the increasing multiplication of information sources, formats and media.
The media and social agenda must be perceived by everyone in the same way and at the same time. If one department is disconnected from what is happening inside or outside the company, how can it make a proposal or contribution that will strengthen the other departments?
More globally, our job is also to observe the media, and to understand their impact on society. To what extent does one influence the other today?
If we flash back and look at the evolution of the democratisation of “individual” radios (found in cars, in the bedrooms of American teenagers…) in the 1960s for example, we went from a “family radio listening” experience to an “individual listening” experience – or even generational… This change generated a movement in society, in particular among teenagers building an identity that was different, sometimes in opposition, to that of their parents, with a rock & roll rhythm and exposure to new influences. A movement that was harmless at the beginning and that participated in an inevitable cultural revolution in the 1970s. With hindsight, we can see to what extent the media and their evolution have a considerable influence on our society.
If we now look at the evolution of television habits, we can all remember times with our parents in the living room watching a movie or watching the news. Today this phenomenon has been completely individualised, with everyone consuming audiovisual content on their own, with their Netflix subscriptions, their YouTube videos, their Tik Tok or IGTV.
Added to this is the role of algorithms that push the content to which we are exposed… We can see how much the media world has and will have a significant influence on the way we live together as well as on our sense of belonging.
Marketing has thus become more complex. At Auxipress, our role is to translate a complex, multifaceted, multi-format and unstructured environment into readable and intelligible deliverables such as press reviews, newsletters, analyses, reports and real-time dashboards.
Our daily objective is to offer a clear and insightful reading of complex phenomena, to make them easily understandable and actionable for our clients.