Interview with Thomas Vejlemand, President of FIBEP and CEO of Infomedia, a media intelligence company from Denmark.
Hi Thomas, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Infomedia?
I joined Infomedia seven years ago. Back in 2015 Infomedia had its activities only in Denmark. Today, Infomedia has 250 employees in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, and London. In 2018 Infomedia acquired Opoint, a technology platform for crawling of global online news content.
I am Infomedia Group CEO and chairman of Opoint. I have a background as an engineer with a good sense of business and technology. In the last 20 years I have had CEO roles in digital agencies and information management companies combined with roles as a board member in tech startups. In November 2021 I became president for FIBEP, an industry organisation for media intelligence companies.
What differentiates Infomedia from other media intelligence companies?
We are one of the leading media intelligence companies in the Nordic region. We serve major brands and organizations with global communication insights. Our strong integrated global media coverage across print, web, broadcast and social is a big asset. The ownership of Opoint also gives us business opportunities serving industries with aggregated online news content. We are unique as we are owned by the two largest publishers in Scandinavia that require that we are at the forefront of copyright and re-distribution. We strongly believe that this enables Infomedia, Opoint and clients to put their focus elsewhere. We focus on value selling rather than product selling, and we believe in strong partnerships and networking with our clients. It’s a lot about culture and people skills as well.
What are your greatest challenges ahead at Infomedia when it comes to serving your customers and developing your offer?
Digital transformation of our business has been a major focus for several years and will still be. The media intelligence industry is changing and you need to be on top of new technologies to make your business as efficient and valuable as possible. It’s about serving your customers with communication insights and pinpointing business impact. During my time with Infomedia, I’ve focused on breaking down communication silos, thus equalising blogs, social media with traditional media. We are now closing in on this narrative. It’s becoming a data driven industry where you need to afford investments in technology, data science and analytical competencies.
In 2019 Infomedia acquired M-Brains activities in Sweden and Norway. In hindsight, how has that acquisition affected the Infomedia offering?
The acquisition of M-Brain brought us into new markets. We got critical mass and scale in our business and thereby the ability to further invest in products, services, technology and in our people. We now have a more client segmented offering with clear value propositions supporting needs for real time insights for crisis management, brand and reputation insights, market and competitor insights and communication efficiency insights.
What is the focus for Infomedia in 2022 and how will you get there?
We want to further consolidate and develop our position in the Nordic region within media intelligence and communication insights. We want to position Infomedia and Opoint for new buying centers. PR/Communication is our target customer group but we believe media and communication insights are of value for marketing, business development and sales as well. It’s about the retargeting of insights and our new product platform suits this. We would very much like to contribute with analytical services enlightening the climate and sustainability agenda as well.
When it comes to the actual data behind media intelligence, what kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?
The answer, as always, lies with the client. We have seen a shift in behaviour of media consumption, ensuring more focus on metadata and raw data rather than focusing on data types or media silos. Media data is recognised as being a leading indicator in many industries and our clients benefit from that. We work with multiple data sources: panel data, CRM, and market data to name a few. So the overall trend is related to how we enable client behaviour and ensure that we can correlate data to give them business critical insights across their data and needs.
You were recently elected President of FIBEP, The Media Intelligence Association. What are the greatest challenges for FIBEP as an organisation when it comes to supporting its members?
The greatest challenge is to become even more relevant for media intelligence companies across continents. We have to face a more differentiated need from members including global, regional and local companies as well as we have to welcome a broader number of new data and technology companies with the opportunity for networking and partnerships. FIBEP was founded around a very strong networking community. Clearly COVID-19 impacted the way of networking and interacting. We have to innovate and develop a hybrid model for a global industry organization.
How do you think the media intelligence industry will change in the next five years, and what are the greatest challenges ahead?
I’m optimistic and believe our industry will have further growth opportunities. Delivering media analytics and communication insights is of strategic importance in a world with a more complex media landscape – not to mention a world being impacted by fake news and manipulation. The flipside of this is of course the ability to access media content, both editorial and social content. Understanding copyright legislation and dealing with media, platforms and influencers is key.
How would you like to see FIBEP develop over the next five years?
I would like to see a more diversified list of media intelligence companies from across continents. I would like as well to see FIBEP develop its ecosystem and network with selected universities and research organizations in order to position our industry supported by new innovation and science. We need to embrace networking with other industry organizations as well, within PR/communication, marketing and technology.
By Peter Appleby