Meet Anna Haraldsson, our happy intern!

Anna Haraldsson, intern at Ode Agency.

Hi Anna! What will you be doing at Ode?

– I’m proud to say that I’m Ode’s first intern – ever. So: I’ll be doing anything they’ll let me! Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute to the creation of lots of great content, developing strategies and plans for different projects as we go along.

What’s your background?

– I’m an amateur photographer who became a bouncer (yes!) but dreamt of studying. Luckily I ended up at Lund University studying Strategic Communications, now at my senior year.

What do you think is the main challenge for marketers today?

– Cutting through the loud noise of our time. I think that really reaching the right people, connecting with them and creating trust can be problematic if you don’t have the right tools or true understanding of your audience. Also, keeping up with and staying ahead of your competitors can be tough.

And the most common marketing or communication mistake that companies make?

– When you’re deeply involved and invested in a project it’s easy to become attached to it and lose objectivity. This means you have to critically analyse everything you communicate to your audience. If you overcomplicate things you won’t be able to reach people the way you want to.

What do you do at work, when you think that no one sees you?

– Dance to loud music, of course. Who doesn’t?

Where do you find inspiration?

– In other people. People with good energy and a great mindset, that want to do good things and to do things differently.

 

Meet copywriter and content manager Anna Sandahl, who explains why most companies still fail in social media.

anna sandahl

Hi Anna! What do you do at Ode?

– I’m the COO and manage the creative work. I founded the agency last year and spend about 50% of my time writing content for websites, newsletters, press releases and social media, and 50% managing projects and sales. A couple of times a month I give seminars, courses and workshops on writing for the web, both for businesses and as external lecturer in digital media at universities.

What’s your background?

– I like exploring new fields, so I got a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Linnaeus University, a good way to learn how to do quick research and turn complex things into something more sexy and interesting. I worked as a news reporter and freelance magazine editor for more or less 10 years, delivering content to publishers like Aller Media and Egmont Publishing. I am TV-trained by SVT (Swedish national television) and radio-trained by SR (Swedish national radio).

I also studied sustainable tourism at Linköping University, language philosophy and Spanish at Lund University and media activism at Södertörn University. I co-produced a documentary about Kilimanjaro in Kenya with Engineers Without Borders and co-founded the publishing house Grönegatan Förlag, websites/magazines Spring and Matkärlek (now part of TheDietDoctor.com). The last five years I’ve been working as a copywriter and content manager.

What do you think is the main challenge for marketers today? 

– To cut through the noise and to actually convert new customers. Companies tend to be present on Facebook, Instagram or communicating through websites and newsletters, but they don’t see any actual results. It’s because it’s not enough to just publish stuff, you need to produce something of high quality that’s useful and therefore will go viral and drive sales.

– I understand that it’s hard to stay up-to-date with social media algorithms and updates, they’re constantly changing – but good content is pretty much timeless and will live on.

And the most common marketing or communication mistake that companies make?

– They may have switched from print to digital channels, but I still see a lot of companies doing traditional advertising and PR, which simply doesn’t work. It’s also quite expensive. New channels require new ways of communicating. You don’t reach your customers anymore – you need to focus on making them find you. This is what needs to be the focus of every post, text, image or video.

What do you do at work, when you think that no one sees you?

– I take pathetic selfies where I try to look professional with my laptop. I always fail.

Where do you find inspiration?

– I’m inspired by businesses that have the courage to make fun of themselves. Parody and satire will be great for marketing campaigns and messages in 2017. Situation-based storytelling like the posts of Humans Of New York, or long blog posts that go viral because they use great formatting and narratives, headlines and tonalities like Wait But Why, inspire me.

Meet Petter Andersson, content writer, who claims that the filter bubble is real and dangerous.

 

Hi Petter! What do you do at Ode?

– I produce quality content, scout trends and fiddle around with WordPress.

What’s your background?

– I studied sociology and cultural studies for some years, before I decided to become an Information architect. When I graduated, I had already started my career as a copywriter and Mixed Martial Arts journalist. Along with my writing I also built websites and worked as editor in chief for MMAnytt and Söderåsens miljöförbund.

What do you think is the main challenge for marketers today? 

– To deal with the fact that people really don’t like ads or commercials. It’s regarded as visual or audio noise, and that’s why they install pop up-blockers, turn off the volume on the TV and spend a good amount of time mocking the ads on Facebook, caused by different not so sharp algorithms.

Another tough nut to crack is the problem with two major companies pretty much controlling the traffic on Internet. The filter bubble is real, and it’s dangerous. The short-term advantages with customized information are small compared to risks: the credibility of companies, newspapers, science and politics.

petter-andersson

And the most common marketing or communication mistake that companies make?

– To assume that companies should cure bored or indifferent consumers by being funny or somewhat ‘crazy’, when they really should be focusing on providing real value for their customers. The old saying: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half”, is still oh so true.

That’s why any modern company should:

  1. Produce relevant, useful and truthful information, i.e. content.
  2. Measure: collect and evaluate data, to make sure their money is not going down the drain.

What do you do at work, when you think that no one sees you?

– Squats. Sitting is the new smoking.

Where do you find inspiration?

– In good journalism, books and George St. Pierre’s meticulous work ethic.

 

Meet copywriter Linnéa Gudmundson, who says today’s marketers should use the 80/20-rule – and never forget that their clients are in fact very much like themselves.

 

Hi Linnéa! What do you do at Ode?

– I’m a copywriter and strategic consultant, and co-founded the agency last year. I help our clients in making strategic decisions about communication and PR, create strategies and plan marketing activities that align with the brand’s message and concept, so that they bring both long-term and short-term results.

– I also develop the tone-of-voice, visual guidelines, slogans, copywriting for websites, ads and other types of advertising and communication platforms.

linnea-gudmundson

What’s your background?

– I have quite a mixed background … I studied journalism for three years at the University of Gothenburg, copywriting at Berghs, screenwriting at Biskops-Arnö and visual communications at Malmö University. I also studied film and video and have produced and directed a documentary that was launched at Gothenburg Film Festival.  

– Since I moved to Malmö in southern Sweden I’ve worked as a communications officer at Nordic Aid and copywriter at South Communication and Dynamic Dog. I did my internship at KAN

What do you think is the main challenge for marketers today? 

– To realize that it’s the soft values that generate the hard ones. We easily forget that our clients are in fact very much like us. We’re all humans with our different problems, who dream of true community, to belong and feel that we have a purpose. 

– I think we need to remind ourselves about that more frequently, when analyzing target groups and shaping strategies, so that the marketing really lasts, reaches the right people and feels genuine. Otherwise, no one remembers it.

And the most common marketing or communication mistake that companies make?

– So far, I’ve never met a company that works according to the 80/20-rule: Let 80 % of your communication be about the things that interest your customers. Then they will automatically listen when you talk about yourself, your services and products the remaining 20 %.

– Actually, most companies do the opposite. Even the ones with a solid plan and strategy that produce great, valuable content that their customers want to share – their marketing is still 80% focused on themselves, which gives the customers or prospects no reason to engage, interact or share anything whatsoever.

What do you do at work, when you think that no one sees you?

– I take off my shoes and listen to Dire Straits! But please don’t tell anyone. 

Where do you find inspiration?

– I’m inspired by brave people who think for themselves and have a sense of humor. I read new bloggers and thought leaders almost every day, but the most recent thing I shared on LinkedIn was a post by Fast Company, who always gives relevant insights from other marketers in an easy way, while looking ahead.

– In general I’m inspired by companies that invest in building their brand through CSR. One example is IKEA, who just built a replica of a Syrian home, bombed and with torn mattresses on the floor, as part of their campaign ”Where life happens” by Åkestam Holst. A win both for the brand and for society, and a campaign in line with their concept. It’s also viral and shareable in all different kinds of channels and social media, and possible to re-use in future campaigns.